A Travellerspoint blog

Second weekend in Kenya

25 °C

Samedi dernier, je me suis rendue à Crescent Island Wildlife Sanctuary dans la Vallée du Rift. C’est un îlot situé sur la côte Est du Lac Naivasha. L’îlot s’est formé aprés l’éruption d’un des nombreux volcans qui entourent le lac. Cet îlot appartient à une famille de colons anglais. En 1963, à l’indépendance, cette famille n’a pas été chassée par les locaux qui estimaient que leur présence était bénéfique pour l’îlot. C’est à Crescent Island que la plupart des scènes de Savanes du film « la ferme Africaine» ont été tournées. Inutile de préciser la beauté et l’immensité de l’endroit ! Je n’avais jamais rien vu d’aussi beau de ma vie et les mots me manquent… J’ai pleuré tellement j’étais heureuse ! J’y ai vu un tas d’animaux, en autres, des girafes, des zèbres, des gazelles, des hippopotames ainsi qu’un tas d’oiseaux plus beaux les uns que les autres. Je peux vous assurer que je ne mettrais plus jamais les pieds dans un zoo en Europe !! Je n’ai pas rencontré de pythons géants même si le matin même le chien des propriétaires anglais s’est fait étranglé par un serpent de la même espèce !! La végétation à Crescent Island est majoritairement composée d’acacias jaunes.
Je suis rentrée en fin d’aprés midi sur Nairobi, où j’étais invitée à l’anniversaire de la nièce et du neveu de Cecilia – les enfants de Anne. Nous avons super bien mangé et c’était vraiment sympa !
Le soir, nous sommes rentrés sur Ruaka avec Cecilia, une autre de ses sœurs (Joan) et ses deux petites filles (Nyambura et Wanjiru, respectivement surnommées Nyambu et Ciiru) ainsi qu’une cousine et son bébé Kyle. Nous avons passé une trés bonne soirée à discuter. Ciiru à craquer sur mes cheveux et à passer la plupart de la soirée à me les brosser.

Aujourd’hui, lundi, j’ai travaillé comme une tarée… J’ai un rapport à rendre à la fin de la semaine et je commence à bien stresser… D’ailleurs l’écriture de ce rapport va être l’essentiel de mes activités cette semaine.

Il a plu un peu ces trois derniers soirs… Malheureusement, pas suffisamment… Dans les campagnes, les gens meurent de soif les uns après les autres et les bêtes tombent comme des mouches… C’est épouvantable et là aussi, je ne trouve pas de mots pour décrire l’atrocité de cette situation.

Ce soir (lundi), des ami(e)s de Cécilia nous ont rendu visite. C’était chouette.

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Last Saturday, I went to Crescent Island Wildlife Sanctuary (Rift Valley), which is located on the Eastern side of the Lake Naivasha and which was once formed by the eruption of one of the numerous volcano that surround the Lake. The island belongs to a British family. In 1963, at the Independence, the family was not chassed and could stay as the local people estimated that they were good enough wazungu (with people in Swahili) as they took care of the environment and provided well-paid job to the Kenyans living there. This is in Crescent Island that most of the savannah scenes from the movie “out of Africa” have been shooted. No need to mention the beauty and the immensity of the place … I have never seen such a beautiful place in my all life! I have no word to describe it… I was so happy that I cried like a baby! I have seen a lot of animals such as giraffes, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, elands, waterbuck, wildebeest, hippopotamus and hundred of bird species. I also had great fun in watching very funny flat head ants. Believe me, I’ll never go back to any zoo in Europe! I haven’t met any giant pythons though (the very same morning the dog of the owner got killed by one of them!). The vegetation was mainly composed of gorgeous yellow-barked acacias (yellow fever trees).

I came back to Nairobi on the same day around 5 pm and I joined a birthday party (Cecilia’s nephew and niece were having their birthday party with school mates). We ate so well and it was a fun party.
On the evening, we went back home at Ruaka with Cecilia’s cousin and her son; Kyle as well as Cecilia’s sister; Joan – Joan was with her two lovely daughters; Nyambura (we call her Nyambu) and Wanjiru (also named Ciiru). Ciiru loved my hair and spend hours brushing it! That was lovely.

Today, I have been working like crazy. Have a report to hand in at the end of the week and I think it will be THE activity of these next couple of days.

It rained a little but not sufficiently to provide enough water… In the countryside, both (wo)men and animals suffer a lot from the lack of water… It goes beyond words…

Tonight (Monday) a couple of Cecilia’s friends showed up and we had coffee. It was nice and cosy.

xxx

Posted by Cibulle 13:49 Archived in Kenya

Nairobi (in English / en Français)

After a week...

sunny 28 °C

I arrived in Nairobi, at Kenyatta National Airport, last Thursday in the middle of the night after a quite pleasant flight. There, I waited about one hour for my luggage to be delivered and I have to admit that, at first, I thought they were lost. Cecilia, the young woman who’s hosting me in, was waiting for me with her so very nice sister, Anne. When I saw these two women standing in the middle of the crowd with that piece of paper with my name written on it, I really felt safe! They were so happy to see me; they gave me the best smiles ever and they looked so friendly! (and believe me, they ARE nice! Extremely nice and warm persons!!) We then drove to Anne’s place, which is located not so far away from the airport and we spent the night there. The day after we drove to Ruaka, where Cecilia lives and where I’ll spend the next 3 months. Ruaka borders Nairobi province and Central province and is located on the Limuru Road (north of Central Nairobi). Ruaka is not so far away from Runda estate, which is the posh part of Nairobi, where ambassadors, UN staff or again really rich Kenyan people live. It takes approximately 20 minutes to go from Ruaka to Nairobi by bus or again by matatu out off rush-time. The matatus, also called “Nissans” are some sort of minibus often overcrowded but so cheap and exotic that nobody should avoid taking matatus to move around Nairobi. However, as a white person, you should be aware of the skin tax practice, that is to say a slightly raise in price… It’s quite an experience to take matatus, especially the first time you use them. The music is often very loud and they drive like crazy. It’s said that the matatus’ drivers often chew miraa leaves to stay awake and work over the clock, but I am not so sure about that. Traffic is crazy in Nairobi and without any doubt it is one of the most dangerous in Africa. You better watch out!
Last Saturday, Cecilia introduced me to some of her friends, Sarah, Grace, Cliff and other, but above all I met Paul, Cecilia’s boyfriend, who is the sweetest boy ever. We went to a club – one of the very few places in Nairobi where it is allowed to smoke (indeed, smoking in the street or in public place is forbidden in Kenya. If you get caught by the police, smoking in public areas, you run the risk to pay a huge bill or even spend some time in jail!). I drunk my first TUSKER, local beer and I enjoyed them quite a lot. We danced a lot and came back home late by matatu.
On Sunday, we went to Church – Yes! To Church! It was like a concert for me… Really less boring than our offices in Europe… However, I didn’t quite agree with the pastor when he said that secular people were only a bunch of hopeless consumers… After Church, we had a lunch at Cecilia’s friend place and later on during the day I met two guys from my home university; Jakob and Rune. It was really good to see them as, I have to admit, I was kind of homesick that day …
On Monday, I met Patrick, the Executive Director of the Kenya Youth Parliament (the organisation I am working with) and he explained me the job summarizing the main tasks I'll be in charge of.
My principal activity for the time being is to draft the new strategic plan for the organization. It has to be done before the 1st of October. Then I'll be in charge of the planning of the conference for the Kenya Youth Caucus On National Development & Vision 2030, that will take place in January and that will gather about a 1000 young Kenyans. The goal of the conference is to allow the young people to deliberate their role in Nation Building. Finally in November, I'll join the East African Youth Integration Caravan in order to collect youth voices. So, I'll travel to Tanzania. The collected messages will be delivered to the East African countries secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania. I am so excited!
On Tuesday, I had a meeting with the minister of Youth Affairs and it was something! I can’t say much about that meeting as it is confidential but believe me it is quite different than meeting a Western minister!!
I am very often hanging out with Lars, a Danish friend, who’s working with the UN and this weekend, we’ll go to Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley, where we’ll be encountering wild animals.

In general, the food is good. Still, my stomach has to adjust from time to time.
The Kenyans are extremely nice people. They are happy to live and they share with me everything they have. I am really impressed by their kindness and I somewhat feel like a queen…

It’s a bit complicated to take pictures in Nairobi as it is forbidden to flash official buildings… But, I will do soon and post some of them. Meanwhile, you can look at the pictures I took from my flat windows.

I miss you all but love you so much that it is like I was with you… always!

Cheers!!

PS: there are so many things I have forgotten to write down, such as the fact that we have electricity every other day and that water is a precious commodity…
Kites (medium to large long-winged bird of prey with a forked tail and who frequently soar on updrafts of air) are everywhere – they are our pigeons… they are pretty aggressive…
We wake up very early in Africa and are supposed to go to bed around 10pm…
Music is very important in the Kenyans’ life so there’s no day without loud music in the streets…

Well… I think it’s about it for now.

Stay happy!
xxx

Je suis arrivée à Nairobi jeudi dernier au milieu de la nuit. Mon vol a duré 11 heures mais tout s’est bien passé. J’ai attendu environ 1h avant de récupérer mes bagages et j’ai bien cru qu’ils étaient perdus. Cécilia, la jeune femme chez qui je loge est venue me chercher avec sa sœur, Anne. Ensuite, nous sommes allées chez Anne où nous avons passé la nuit. Le lendemain nous avons pris la route pour Ruaka, où je vais loger ces 3 prochains mois. Ruaka est au nord du centre de Nairobi – proche de ce qu’on appelle Nairobi Province. Ce n’est pas loin de Runda, quartier général des Nations Unies. La route principale pour se rendre à Ruaka s’appelle Limuru Road et, en matatu, ça prend environ 20 minutes pour aller au centre ville. Enfin, tout dépend des embouteillages. Les matatus sont les transports locaux, genre j7 ou j9 et roulent comme des tarés. Il ya toujours de la musique dans les matatus et c’est plutôt folklorique !
Samedi dernier, avec Cécilia et d’autres ami(e)s, nous sommes sorties en ville. Nous sommes allés dans un club où nous avons bu des bières (TUSKER) et dansé. C’est possible de fumer dans les clubs alors qu’il est formellement interdit de fumer dans tous les autres endroits publics et même dans la rue à Nairobi. C’est passible d’amende, voir d’emprisonnement.
Dimanche, je suis allée à l’église… oui, à l’église ! 10 ans que je n’avais pas mis les pieds dans une église et à vrai dire, j’ai trouvé ça plutôt sympa. C’était comme un grand concert ! Beaucoup moi triste que nos cérémonies pastorales !! Cela dit, je n’étais pas vraiment d’accord avec le pasteur qui expliquait que être laïc, c’était comme être un consommateur perdu sans espoir… Allons bon !
Lundi, j’ai rencontré mon boss, Patrick. Il m’a expliqué mon job qui se résume à rédiger des rapports concernant la jeunesse et la politique au Kenya. En Novembre, je pars en Tanzanie où je vais rencontrer plein de jeunes et déposer leurs souhaits politiques au secrétariat des pays d’Afrique de l’Est, à Arusha.
Mardi, j’ai rencontré le Ministre de la jeunesse et des sports. C’était quelque chose !
Ce weekend avec un ami Danois, je vais faire une marche au lac Naivasha dans la Vallée du Rift, où je vais sans doute voir beaucoup d’animaux.
En general, la nourriture est bonne mais mon estomac est plutôt fragile.
Les Kenyans sont chaleureux et aimables. Ils me traitent comme une reine!
Nous avons peu d’eau et de l’électricité tous les deux jours seulement!
Nos pigeons sont des milans…
La terre est rouge!
C’est encore vert mais nous sommes en saison sèche donc la vegetation crame peu à peu.
Je n’ai pris que trés peu de photos pour le moment. Les photos que vous voyez sont prises des fênétres de l’appart où je vis.
Vous me manquez et je pense à vous chaque jour! Je vous aime. Prenez soin de vous!!

Posted by Cibulle 03:16 Archived in Kenya

Departure/Départ

Ready to go!

So, this is it! (Donc, ca y est!)

I am ready to go! (Je suis prête pour partir!)

It wasn't that easy to wake up this morning. I slept only a few hours. Too much pressure I guess. (C'était pas facile de se réveiller. J'ai dormi quelques heures seulement. Trop de pression j'imagine).

I land in Nairobi about 9pm this evening, local time (J'atteris à Nairobi vers 21h ce soir, heure locale).

I am going to miss you all (Vous allez tous me manquez) - I write you as soon as possible (je vous écris le plus vite possible).

Love you! Be kind!

Posted by Cibulle 20:42

Nairobi

Info

I usually don't like this wikipedia tool but at least you can get some general info on Nairobi looking at the following links:

(En Français) http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nairobi

(En Anglais) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nairobi

Stay happy!

Posted by Cibulle 03:30

The Kenya Youth Parliament (KYP)

Some details about my job as an intern at KYP...

Bonjour!

Ces trois prochains mois, je vais travailler pour le "Kenya Youth Parliament". Il s'agit d'une organisation non-governementale gérée par des jeunes Kenyans agés de 18 à 35 ans. Le but ultime de cette organisation est de permettre aux jeunes Kenyan une réelle participation aux affaires publiques de leur pays. Ceux qui comprennent l'anglais peuvent se référer aux détails ci-dessous.

Je vous en direz plus une fois sur place. Mon contrat débute le 14 Septembre :-)

Hello there!

These next 3 months, I am going to work at the Kenya Youth Parliament (KYP) in Nairobi, which is a non-governmental youth led organization that seeks to entrech the Youth Agenda in the public limelight. KYP works on three thematic areas namely:

  • Defining the Youth Agenda, Audit of Youth Programs/Funds and Partnerships in Good Governance,
  • Population, Health & Environment, Peace & Conflict Resolution,
  • Entrepreneurship and Skills Development.

During my stay at KYP, I will have to:

• Facilitate capacity enhancement of Youth and partners for active participation and ownership of Youth development programs.

• Support planning for the Kenya Youth Caucus on National Development & Vision 2030 Conference.

• Facilitate planning for the East African Youth Integration Caravan for 2010.

• Work with partners to create and strengthen linkages with all stakeholders.

• Facilitate and strengthen organization capacity in resource mobilization.

• Enhance youth participation in programming.

• Enable implementation of programs/ projects in an integrated and sustainable manner.

• Facilitate fundraising from corporate sponsors activities within the organization.

• Participate in monitoring and evaluation of programs.

I'll be busy then! Of course, I'll know more once I'll start working on the 14th of September :-) - so, I'll update you.

Cheers,
xxx

Posted by Cibulle 02:28

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