Sunday, 9 November 2014

Hijinx With Hippos

When city boys are over worked they get moody like a bride on wedding day. All of us had spent a good part of this year grinding day in day out and the need to rip out of the city was an itch that was only getting bigger.

My phone rang

“Bro we got a car, let’s get out of here tomorrow”

Such sweet words like a symphony of birds singing melodies in my ear. We had talked about this trip for a long time. There was a place people spoke of where nature runs free and animals dance around fire like lunatics. It all sounded fantastic but the stories of the 3000 pound hippos who raged until morning hours were legendary.

As soon as we got there we started looking for Hippos. We stuck our tents by the water and walked for hours asking locals along the way if they knew where the Hippos were holding it down this weekend. The air was so fresh as a strong breeze blew past us that kept us from fatigue under the blasting sun. Part of me didn't even care about finding the hippos, everything was perfect already. 

We crossed paths with a chillin family of Giraffes and they told us to keep going.

“Look for a trail of carnage and listen for the terrible roars of beasts,
you’ll know you’re there”  Said Mama Giraffe

Sounded pretty decent.

 Soon enough we heard giant Hippo roars that sound like millions of cheeseburgers being shot out of a medieval water canon. Bones lay everywhere crushed into thousands of splinters and the stench of booze, barbecue and body odor grew stronger as we got close.

“You guys here for the rager?” a group of hippos asked us. One them was wearing a blood soaked apron that had the words “TUNAKULA SIMBA” written in swahili on it (WE EAT LION)


The next two days are somehow difficult to remember in sequence. We ate double our weight in meat, crashed a wedding, got arrested for trespassing and danced with the most beautiful zebras the animal kingdom has to offer. Hippos are the best hosts and they really know how to grill a buffalo leg.

The next day we piled back into the car and I slept all the way back to the city.  It's so important to get out once and a while to remind us where we come from and take a break from the madness such is the city that never sleeps. I'll miss our new Hippo friends who we left while they were preparing for a fishing trip with only a case of sugar cane liquor and two snub nose shotguns.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Slum Soccer Dispatch: Sep - Oct 2014

New nets and fencing has given the ground a new life thanks to the hard work of so many who are building a legacy in Mlango Kubwa. The youth of Mlango Kubwa now have a colorful space to play and call their own!


On September 18th we returned to the Slum Soccer pitch with a fresh injection of funds and set out to make some big changes. Youth, members of the community and tradesmen helped transform the space into a vibrant landmark in Mlango Kubwa.  For over a month we have been banging away under the sun while we try to make something of quality for the youth to play on for years to come. The experiences of working together and seeing people’s reactions at the end of the day are valuable memories I will carry for the rest of my life. Last Friday our funds ran dry and we have taken a step back to see where we have reached. It’s amazing to see the difference we have made with only a little support and our bare hands.  Thanks to everyone in the amazing community of Mlango Kubwa who came to grab a shovel or mix some cement and all the people who have supported us in different ways. Stay tuned for more from UP WITH HOPE J