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Kenya 2006-07

a travel blog by aburns

WYI trip to kenya

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Kisumu, Kenya

i'm now in Kisumu after an 8hr bus ride from Nairobi yesterday. they bus ride was pretty cool, sat next to a lady called franki who's a teacher and knows everything to know about Kenya so got a free tour on the way. we passed the kibera slums on the way out again and also went through the rift valley. saw loads of towns and things, a couple of masai and zebras! the zebras were just next to the road amongst the cows and stuff, no-one else except us girls took any notice. Kisumu is nice, alot smaller than Nairobi but still the 3rd largest city in Kenya. we're here for the next couple of days and will be based here on and off when we go out the villages. its alot hotter here aswell but every afternoon generally it rains which is quite nice. we're staying in the new victoria hotel which is awesome and everyone there is so supportive of us and goes out of their way to help us out with anything. so far we've just been checking out the town. this morning we had an 'amazing race' through the city just to get orientated which was cool and saw the start of a marathon which had a couple of olympians in it. we've been eating pretty well too. ugali is the staple here (maize-porridge sort of) and heaps of vege's and stuff so definitely havent been going hungry. there heaps of street kids around who are all pretty cool. we'll be working with them alot in january and mel our group leader knows them all pretty well so they've been pretty cool with us. glue sniffing is massive here though so its pretty shocking to see some of the stuff that goes on. the culture shock hasnt been too bad but it will be great to get out of the cities just to feel a little bit safer and not get hassled as much. but there hasnt been any problems which is lucky for us.
anyway better go its about to pour. we've been getting boda boda's around the city for 15ksh (about 30cents) which is just us on the back of a bike. they're awesome. the drivers just tap on the cars to let them in but they're heaps of fun and cheap! but yeh brought my camera to upload photos and left the memory card at home!!! pretty damn stupid! so will be doing photos tomorrow!
love lots xxx

permalink written by  aburns on January 12, 2006 from Kisumu, Kenya
from the travel blog: Kenya 2006-07
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Nairobi, Kenya

Hi everyone,
dont know how much time i have left so am just gonna ramble on as s\quick as i can.
i'm sitting in Nairobi trying not to pass out from all the fumes, pollution here is crazy. got here no dramas on tuesday and went to the masai markets which were awesome. there only every tuesday so all the masai come into the city to sell whatever you could want. bought a blanket and a few bangles and things and am on the way to becoming a champion bargainer. there were 4 of us at the time and we were seriously mobbed, everyone following us and hassling us to buy stuff and people trying to be our personal shoppers - mine was Ben. after that we just wandered around just checking out the city which isnt half as daunting as i imagined. after a few hours you forget you're a mzungu (white person) so when you see others - i've only seen 3 - they stand out so much and you cant help staring at them haha, (fecking tourists hey steve). but its not scary at all which is great.
we went to a giraffe park and elephant orphanage today! got way too many photos but these computers have no usb so cant put them on till i get to Kisumu. we also drove past kibera, it was pretty far in the distance but still so amazing to see. at the moment theres fighting between rival gangs in there so its too dangerous to drive into it.
tomorrow we leave for Kisumu, got an 8hr bus ride which will be interesting. the roads are bumpy and flooded at the moment so should be quite an adventure.
we also had our first proper kenyan meal today (had the best pancakes in the world yesterday) but i'll tell u bout it later. times running out.
girls are all really great (might change after 3months haha) but nah everythings good
hope you're all well at home
love liss xx

permalink written by  aburns on November 30, 2006 from Nairobi, Kenya
from the travel blog: Kenya 2006-07
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Kisumu, Kenya

have finally tried to add some photos. its taken 45 mins so far so hopefully they'll be done before my time runs out. havent got much to report but am heading to katolo a small village about 1/hr from town tomorrow. theres so no running water or electricity so this is it for 2 weeks and hopefully i'll have a few more stories then. today we went to temak which works with young mothers and prostitutes and girls with aids and stuff and gives them vocational training to get them off the streets and generate an income. the girls were all so beautiful and welcoming so i think i'll be going back there when i can. this afternoon we're playing soccer with the street kids from hovic which is another organisation which feeds them and provides skills training and stuff so that should be awesome. yesterday we went to some markets and last night i got a taste of the Kisumu night life. ashur (the manager of our hotel) and a few other locals took us to the pub style place with live music and traditional Luo dancing. it was great! we were getting right into it and the locals loved it. they're all so into dancing here aswell and theres music playing in the streets all day.

the photos arent all Kisumu but dont have time to fix it, have put them on my photo page aswell so hopefully that helps.
alirght better go, thanks for the comments!!! keep them coming! and will be back in 2 weeks xxx

permalink written by  aburns on December 4, 2006 from Kisumu, Kenya
from the travel blog: Kenya 2006-07
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Katolo, Zambia

i just wrote a huge thing on the flood and the stupid computer froze and wiped it all.so second time round i'm just gonna be quick. sorry everyone.
firslty merry xmas!!!xmas morning we were woken up at 3am by james our guard and discovered water pouring in through the front door. spose to be in dry season but its been raining pretty heavily everynight and finally i think the rivers couldnt take it and some of the banks broke. Katolo is in a really flat area surrounded by hills so we copped most of the water. anyway we just managed to get everything off the floor and onto the bunks before all the water came in. pretty hard to find everything in the dark though. after that we sat down and waited till the sun came up. the water outside was about a meter or so i think. its hard to tell, i took some photos at 7am and the water had already gone down about 2 feet so i'll try put them up. so yeh xmas morning was spent in the dark listening to the bbc radio talking about the droughts in Australia and we're sitting in water up to our knees eating all our xmas food - chocolates and biscuits and everyone else- just coz we could. was a pretty funny xmas.everyone was laughing and stuff so that was great. they said if it kept rising we would have to be airlifted out so i think we were all secretly hoping that it would. but it stayed fairly stable until the morning so that didnt happen. we were spose to get taken out with a 4wd aswell but that didnt show - so in the end we packed up all our stuff and had to walk the 3km to the road and get driven back into town. probably the longest walk ever. the water on all the roads and the tracks was like a river about knee deep. luckily mum and dad rang just in the middle of the trek which made it nice and easy to juggle everything.
but yeh then we just came into Kisumu, napped, ate, and went out for a nice dinner. was almost normal! spose to be at a big celebration in Katolo today for boxing day but we're not allowed back into the village until tomorrow. i'm not sure what the damage is there yet so i'm pretty annxious to get back. pretty sure all our chicken houses we built would have been washed away so thats reassuring. haha no cares too much though. the frames are alll there they just need to be re-mudded.
on xmas eve we delivered a bed to 'dani' whos this 90-or so yr old woman with no family who lives in this tiny mud hut and sleeps on the floor. we've been getting her water and food over the past couple of weeks and decided to get her a bed for xmas. so we delivered that and cooked her up a feast and she was so excited it was the best! the bed takes up half her house! it was so lucky we did it on xmas eve though so atleast she wasnt on the floor when the flood hit. dont know how her house held up but we'll find out tomorrow. we also had our group xmas on xmas eve. we did our kris kringle presents and stuff and had a big dinner so that was good.
we leave the village this sunday so its kinda sad not to be there now. we're just getting settled and everything and now we have to leave. in the past week we've been invited to everyone in the villages house for dinner aswell so gonna be alot of eating this week. anyway this is pretty boring so i might leave it there, havent got the best flood photos but i'll get some more from the girls and try and put them up later
hope eveyone is well and hada good xmas.;
christmas maber! xx

permalink written by  aburns on December 25, 2006 from Katolo, Zambia
from the travel blog: Kenya 2006-07
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bujagali falls

Jinja, Uganda

hi all
sorry havent updated this for a while but i've been in Uganda for a week and before that it was a bit hectic with all the floods and stuff. we've now moved to a new village - alendu- and started work at hovic today biulding a kitchen to feed street kids. i also squashed 2 of my fingers in a truck the ohter day so sorry if my typing is really bad.
Uganda was fantastic though. so different to Kenya. its really tropical and lush and the villages dont seem as poor or badly kept as what i've seen here. we went to a plave called bujagali falls, which is the beginning of the nile. it was so awesome there. the place we stayed overlooked the nile and there were heaps of tourists there and new tour buses came in every night.
it was nice to get away and just be a tourist for a week. basically all poms or aussies there so that was cool too. we went whitewater rafting on the nile which was up to grade 5 rapids, (grade 6 is illegal for us) and went quadbiking through all the villages and just swam and chilled out. was pretty hard coming back to work today.
the weather in Kenya is still boiling hot but it rains so heavily every night so the mud is everywhere still. hopefully there'll be no more flooding though. we're now pretty much settled for the next 4 weeks and then its all over so hopefully there;ll be some more excitement to tell u about later.
we;re getting to know the street kids a little better now aswell and went on a night street walk to see where they all slept. we went down into the sewers with nobert ( a guy from hovic, where we;re working now) and saw where they all hide from the police. heaps of them are in jail at the moment though because the cops round them all up around xmas and new years and are quite brutal. but i think now its getting a little better....we've also been visitng some orphanages and today school started back so we're checking out the schools tomorrow to try and get involved with the english teaching and stuff.
but anyway thats all i can really think of at the moment. boring blog again sorry, will be in Kisumu alot more now though so hopefully can keep u updated on whats happening for the next couple of weeks
lots of love
liss xxxxx

permalink written by  aburns on January 8, 2007 from Jinja, Uganda
from the travel blog: Kenya 2006-07
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