Friday, 22 October 2010

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

Thought I would put more photos instead of text. I love having a camera on my phone because I hate carrying around alot of technology in my pocket. Even though the quality isn't top of the line, it's better than nothing and I know that most people who buy big expensive cameras never even print anything anyways so what is the point of having some monstrosity hanging around your neck? I love seeing tourists walking around holding their cameras white knuckled with their backpacks on their front and when I say love I mean makes me sick. Here are some flicks of stuff while just hanging around.

Hiding from the rain that felt like it was tearing off your skin.

African Pimp my ride. The posters of the guy on the vehicle is Mike Sonko, our new MP for Makadara which is the constituency we live in. He drives around in a hummer with gucci suits and gold rings on every finger. He is very generous with his money though, although no one really knows how he has so much of it.

We had a picnic under that tree, it was nice. Look at how the only place the light is touching is my beautiful friend.

The frontline soldiers in the battle against Nairobi dust. My face is perpetually exploding.

The world famous Kibera. Sometimes I can't believe it's my phone that takes these pictures.

Back Alley Gynos don't seem like the best idea. Bingo House girls on the other hand...

Click on the photo to see the wire that snapped and started shooting sparks everywhere while we were just standing there talking. You could hear this old drunk guy yelling "PROBLEM PROBLEM PROBLEM!" "NOMA NOMA NOMA!"

I like to stare at the roses in my garden and learning how to trim them so they turn like this.

I made 4 wheel barrows from stuff I saved from the Garbage

Paradise Lost under the water fall. I want to live here.

Taking Stacey for swimming. She can walk very fast now.

A sweet day for swimming

Kaka + Stacey 4 eva

Stacey Loves Water. She cried when we pulled her out. I on the other hand have some weird blood problem and can only jump in the water for one minute and then feel like I'm turning into ice. I have to lie on the hot cement while convulsing for a few minutes. This is why I live in Kenya because I hate cold with an intense passion.

Walking home with the buddies. That Yellow sickly looking cow named "beefy Bob" on the billboard freaks me out big time.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


STAKEN Recycling Company was awarded the Number one Environmental Conservationists in Nairobi from the Ministry of Youth. Apart from this shiny trophy we don't get anything else, which doesn't suprise me but I still think it's a cool thing to be titled.

I'm not really crazy about the fact that I usually write about myself on here. Especially since I am now realizing that I don't even know most of the people that read this. This thing started out for our friends back home to keep up with what we are doing. But for those of you that read this who don't even know me and enjoy it and share it with other people, I don't think you realize how great that is.

So our businesses have taken a short break to look for ways of up scaling. This basically means looking for money so that we can buy and shred more plastic. We have locked in funding from OXFAM and they are going to be giving us a nice injection of cash to pump into the businesses so that we can pay bills, buy more plastic, and pay wages (Kaka and the workers have been volunteering since 2007!). Any money that the business has made since it started has just gone right back in to the company meaning that all the workers have sacrificed their wages to keep the business alive. I would like anyone to find a group of youth in Nairobi and tell them "Hey we have this idea but you have to put your blood and sweat into it and you won't get paid for years" and see how long they stick around... It's impossible.

For some reason I have been lucky enough to work with young people who have sacrificed so much for a business for nothing in return. I can't stress how fucking rare this is. And the craziest part is that they say their lives are boring when the business isn't running. I'd have to agree. Riding on top of trucks around the city, swimming around in mountains of plastic, long days in the centre throwing plastic around, welding, grinding, laughing, screaming is what makes this business the best thing in our lives.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Do you know where I can get a leg?

I wouldn’t attend burials here if they were somber affairs. Burials have turned into a way for me to see a whole lot of the Kenyan countryside. Often when people pass away in Nairobi, the tradition is to bury them where their family originates. Usually in a beautiful valley on the lush knolls that spread across the country. The one I attended a few days ago was probably the most beautiful celebration of life I have ever been a part of. It was on the flat plains of Juja, attended by hundreds of family and friends who lost the 23 year old girl, sister of my good friend Steven. The crowd of hundreds around the grave sang beautiful gospel songs in their mother tongue. At one point I even found myself with a shovel filling the grave back up sharing turns with all the other men sweating under the hot sun. If I ever die, I hope people would celebrate that way.
Basically I’ll take whatever opportunities I can get to have a brake from the daily grind of dust and traffic jams in Nairobi. It’s such a nice way to really get to know what normal Kenyan life is like, because life in Nairobi is not anything remotely close to “Normal”. But I won’t even get started with how blown away I am by the peace and beauty that exists in rural Africa.

I got a call from Kaka on Saturday night who was in Nakuru town (a few hours north-west of Nairobi) as an exhibitor for World Habitat Day.

“Oh man you should just come here.”

It didn’t take much to convince me and I was on a bus the next morning. The night I was there, Kaka and I decided to see what Nakuru was about. We walked around with some old friends and found a smoky bar with one red light bulb (the main ingredient for a good dance party). We danced a hot little while getting to know the locals who were happy to have a white boy taking libations with them. Nakuru at night is a hot one.

I woke up with a nice little headache to a girl singing gospel songs at the top of her lungs followed by a banging on my door with her saying “Are you still here?” I realized everyone had already gone to the exhibition.
World Habitat day was like any Kenyan convention attended by mayors and MPs. The “VIPs” and MPs stay in a tent and don’t dare ever walk out under the sun alone to mingle with the mere citizens. They are quickly ushered in with their massive SUV’s and are just as quickly ushered out only after a symbolic walk around with their associates who ask ignorant questions to the groups who are told to stand upright while their presences are “graced”. MPs are like ghosts here. If you see one, it’s a supernatural experience. Meanwhile, the civil society groups on exhibit hold pissing matches to who has the most advanced and successful projects. It’s about as much fun as your second cousins graduation ceremony. The best image I witnessed was a big fat guy (and by the way he was white) smoking a long cigaro while beside him were a couple street kids begging the coordinators for ice cream. It was cartoonish.

One of my favourite parts of the ceremony (apart from the woman who walked around fraudulently billing each table for decorations subsequently disappearing, leaving a very confused and angry decorator) was when I was sitting on the grass and a man came up to me on a wheelchair. We talked for a couple minutes and then he very casually asked me if I could get him an artificial limb.

Either way it was nice to get out of Nairobi. And the whole trip cost me 20 dollars, because that’s how I roll.

Marching band music is so good for headaches in the am.

Kaka and friends at the exhibition table.

This thing was really interesting. You could pour in dirty water into the pot and it filtered the water then dripping into the blue bucket.

World Habitat Day 2010

I know this isn't a very good picture, but I just wanted to show what it looks like as the MP's and "VIPs" stay in the shade completely segregated as normal people walk around under the sun.