Monday, April 28, 2008

Nairobi Pics!

Flight to Nairobi. This is Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the clouds at some 19000 feet. On the other side of the plane is Meru, the second biggest mountain in Tanzania (fifth in Africa) which we are scheduled to climb in a month.
Kili again.
First day in Nairobi we took a safari walking tour. They have all the different Kenyan ecosystems mimicked here.
Albino Zebra dish.
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We got about 2 feet from this leapord thanks to our tour guide.
Forget the name and species of this animal. It lost a horn in a big fight and was, apparently, raised by a lioness after its parents were killed. I never asked if its parents were killed by the lioness, just thought of that now.
Our tour guide thought that his friends in the cheetah department wouldn't mind letting us pet the cheetah. Right before entering I remembered an Oprah episode where people with large tame cats were mauled beyond recognition because - moral of the story - you can't take the wild out of some animals. That is why I look terrified and ready to bolt. I did not enjoy this.
Again, if Oprah is right about most books she could be right about large cats.
p.s. I never got a good look at the cheetah's face till blogging this, but it actually looks like it is drugged. hmmm.
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Colobus Monkeys.
The edge of Nairobi National Park.
This was our tour guide, Stanley. He was good, but kept trying to sneak us past the guards to get good pictures, which involved jumping a fence and going in between the lion and the leopard cages. It was pretty sketch.
The Del Monte store. Around here are pineapple fields as far as you can see. There is a huge Del Monte factory just outside Nairobi.
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Uhuru Park. Nearby is the Serena Hotel where Odinga and Kibaki got together with Kofi for peace talks. This monument is either for Kenyatta or Moi, I'm not sure.
Village Market. An expat Oasis. You can do any and everything here: shop, eat, golf, bowl, watch a movie, etc. The road that brought us here was called Limuru road upon which are the UN offices, US and Canadian Embassies and massive villas of wealthy expats and foreign ambassadors. Only 30 minutes from here, ironically, are the second largest slums in Africa.
Foodcourt at Village market.
The Masaii Market. You can buy all types of African artwork here for a decent price if you are willing to barter for 30 minutes or more per item. A fun and tiring experience.
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Took a trip to the Nairobi National Museum. The exhibits on Masaii "coming of age" rituals was really well done. It sketched the life of a typical Masaii boy who becomes a man and how circumcision and piercing play such a huge role in that. I was fascinated by the sharp line drawn between boys and men and even men and women. In our cultures we don't have such lines (between men and boys or men and women for that matter) nor such roles. The tribal unit is fascinating because everyone seems to work in a tight interdependent community, reciprocating responsibilities and duties with each other.
Outside gardens were beautiful. B/c of political turmoil there were few tourists out.
NAKUMATT! The kenyan wal-mart.
Dormans coffee. Grade AA goodness. I drank more coffee in the last 3 days than I have in the past 3 months.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Hey Y'all,

Just a quick update. We are in Mwanza, arrived here on Sunday afternoon with the Andersons. It was a full load. We crammed Margaret, Andy, Mary Jane, Vanessa, Myself, Geoff, the pastor's wife (forget her name), Abigail, Caleb, and Ben (3 anderson children) and one of Abigail's friends into a jeep and drove the five hour trek to Mwanza. It was cozy, especially being crammed into the back with the three Anderson children and Geoff. More than once I was thankful for the inventors of Mp3 players. Yes, they are antisocial, but there is a time for everything.

Apart from one flat tire, the ride was uneventful. We are now enjoying the hospitality of the Jeffers here in their Mwanzan guest house. It is glorious, and we are amazed at the relativity of perception. Going from Canada to Mwanza we were overwhelmed by Mwanza's dinginess and poverty, but coming to Mwanza from Kahunda, we are surprised at the relative luxury and beauty this city enjoys.

Vanessa's visa application was rejected unfortunately, but thankfully we found it out now and not in a few days. Her tourist visa expires in May however since there is a 3 month limit, so, we've been told we have to leave Tanzania and return...or we may never leave, or worse, go to jail. That's probably extreme, but we're not taking chances. We were a bit peeved that we had to pay 50 dollars each just to leave the country and come back, so Margaret suggested that we go and visit the CRWRC headquarters in Nairobi for a few days and make the 100 dollar hit a little softer. We decided to take her up on the offer, so we are going to check out Nairobi starting tomorrow. We fly out at noon and come back Monday. So i'll update the blog with our adventures in Kenya when we return. The whole thing is rather haphazard, but seems to be falling together nicely, especially since there will be someone driving from Mwanza to Kahunda the next day and we can hitch a ride back with him. So, that's that. Off to Kenya...

Take care everyone and hope you enjoy the pics!

Doug and Vaness

Monday, April 21, 2008

Loading up the boat at Nyamongo.
The clinic. Naomi in the blue dress worked with Vanessa.
Fishing line up. A boat parking lot out on the water.
The archetype of all fishing towns. Notice the cleared spaces for drying Dagaa (tiny fish).
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This chameleon fell out of a nearby tree one morning while we were eating breakfast outside. Our cat and two dogs terrorized this thing until it turned black and almost had a heart attack. He inched his way to this tree and bolted up it.
Nyamongo Island. Thos black clouds in the distance are actually swarms of Lake flies!
cute kids.
Vanessa and Mary Jane.
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Step 1: Cut a hole in that... well, cutting the plywood in half for backboards.
Welding up the poles. I had the hardest time not looking at that bright light...still do.
making the nets square and level, without a square or level.
my baby.
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Almost the finished product!
Painting the poles and making the red square on the backboard. (does anyone know if that has a more technical name, or is it just the red square on the backboard)
The entire male population came saturday morning to carry the nets from our place to the school.
Me, feeling more white than usual...
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Meshing the rims.
The two men working in the background are the Fundis. They worked through pouring rain to get these holes dug (over six feet deep) and then had to mix mortar and stones together for a good 3 hours to get the two nets in the ground. I'm taking pictures...under an umbrella.
Lift. In this one I took cover under the cookhouse roof b/c it was still raining. Thank goodness for zoom lenses.
Panoramic of the brand new Kahunda School Bball facilities.
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