Archive for the ‘Kisumu’ Category

Leaving Miwani & Nancy Odwaro

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

June 7th
Oh my goodness.  This morning I woke up around 6:30am to an amazingly large noise of birds chirping.  There was so many of them it sounded akin to a heavy rainfall on a tin roof.  The chirping and fluttering and more chirping.  Crazy loud.  Anyways, it was a good time to get up, everyone else stayed asleep or in their rooms until 7-8 so I got some nice quiet time in the front room overlooking the farm.  Very pleasant, very relaxing. 

Later in the morning we walked over to Karunga School, which was, in essence, personal project for some of the original farm members.  They diligently worked on enhancing their library, studies, and buildings.  Valerie just wanted to show us the school and the kids. 

Then we packed up and headed out from Miwani.  A couple years ago I spent 3 months there, this time, just a night.  Next we headed back into the Kisumu “suburbs” – I’m not really sure what you’d call the non-downtown areas of a large city – towards Nancy Odwaro’s House for the Olive Branch Documentary.  She put together a thanksgiving feast for us!  I wish I had pictures.  Rice, a few meat sauces, pineapple, mango, homemade juice, bread, the table was packed!!  And it was all mightily delicious.

During the documentary us boys, who didn’t have a part to play at this particular time, hung around outside talking, and keeping quiet as our voices could carry.  I checked out Nancy’s house and plot of land.  She is quite the efficient woman!  It isn’t a big plot of land but she had a couple cows, goats, chickens & mango trees.  A worker was working on her water flow system while we were there.  Most Kenyan residents who can afford it generally seem to install a series of concrete gutters to take in the heavy rains that come and dump it where they want to dump it, and take it away from the house.

I talked quite a bit with Mesh during this interlude, about his business ideas and the local response to the Chinese presence.  As figured, most didn’t mind the investment and all the workers.  They generally kept to themselves and didn’t want to socialize with the Kenyans, and so the Kenyan’s let them be.  Anywhoo, we talked and at one point Mesh stood to move away but as he stood I had some serious deja vu.  At that moment I stopped talking and asked if we had talked about this before.  The image of him in front of the van and me sitting down at Nancy’s place was stuck in my mind from a prior time.  I must have dreamed that conversation at some point in the past.  Strongest deja vu feeling of my life and I am dead serious on that.  Based on that deja vu I made a few decisions later on and we shall see where that will lead later on in life.

Anyways, we were at Nancy’s for a decent number of hours.  When we were done we headed to our next hotel, the Sheywe House, dumped all our goods and went to have a late dinner at the hotel restaurant.  We had a great view of some amazing lighting storms in the background.  The power kept going out putting us in total darkness, which while it gave good darkness for watching lighting, when you are hungry and the cooks need electricity to cook you food; well, let’s just say it was about 1.5-2 hours before we were all served.  Many dishes were served cold because they wouldn’t bring them out as they were done.  They waited until all dishes were ready.  Poor Valerie, she always seemed to get the brunt of food issues on this trip.  Either being served last, or served cold food, or both.  Both happened to her this time, cold and served last. 

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Kisumu and Miwani Farm

Monday, June 6th, 2011

June 6th
Waking up at 4:30am to catch a flight is always quite enjoyable!  Some of the breakfast foods weren’t so good at that time in the morning however.  They hadn’t been replaced from the night before so ants or some sort of bugs got into a few of the foods (samosas mainly I think).  Luckily the hard boiled eggs were still good, and the fruit was covered.  Still makes a good brekky!

Anyways, we flew out of Nairobi to Kisumu, which is a short 1.5ish hour flight across the country; to contrast to Washington state it’s like flying from Seattle to Spokane.  And check out the Prop Plane!  Awesome!  Heather even got a picture of the Plane stalling!  Oh wait, no it was just a high iso and it looks that way.  Silly Jolly.

While in Kisumu we dropped by the large grocery and other items store (Kenya’s Safeway) called Nakumatt to pick up a few food items for dinner.  I wish I got a picture of it but they were selling a Ham In A Box.  Hilarious, think Chicken in a Can but Ham; and Box.  Definitely a “Whoa!” item.  As in most places in the Kisumu area, lots of wonderful green growth everywhere.  This is in the center of the large shopping mall of which Nakumatt is part of, hence the Elephant I figure which is Nakumatt’s symbol.

We met up with a gal named Dinah while there, I guess she was quite close to achieving a Senate seat last election cycle but got terribly ill during the last bit of the campaign and either dropped out or stopped campaigning.  She’s definitely a strong woman though.  She gives me the impression of making an awesome friend, and a terrible enemy.  Luckily she likes almost everybody.

We drove the 20min to 1/2hr trip to the Farm.  It was a pleasant drive and one of the few things I strongly recognized in this trip so far.  Good to be back in an area that I remember well.  and I certainly remember these roads and the bony cow herds!

One new thing though was this nearby village got some new housing.  Now, keep in mind that the metal roofing is generally regarded as a better roof, for the wealthier of people, but I can’t see why they would want this over a thatch roof.  Granted, less maintenence, but my goodness, can you imagine the heat from a 80-95degree sunny day (practically every afternoon throughout the year) and the noise from the crazy hard rainstorms (3x a week average in “winter”, 2x a month in summer).  And I mean crazy hard rainstorms, not the piddle paddle of Seattle.  A good rainstorm here can dump the entire years worth of Seattle rain in a night.  I don’t think I could sleep on a night like that with a metal roof.  Granted, I’m not one to judge and I’m sure they have their reasons, but I think I explained my case well enough above.  😉

And lastly for this post: a picture of a lovely mango on a tree:

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Posted in Kisumu, Miwani, Travel |