Hey, Jambo, Habari.
Welcome to Girl Got Lost (formerly ‘Mary’s Project Year’ – but I’ve kinda stepped over the year mark, sooooo….). I’ve just come back from a crazy 3 months in Nanyuki, Kenya, where I was volunteering with VSO. More about the actual work later; for now, let me share with you some of the photos I took with my film camera. I love using film but it sucks how expensive it is and how valuable my camera is. So I mostly used digital in Kenya and took crappy videos and didn’t care too much for the outcome and saved my film camera for the safety of my home or garden. But now I’ve had the films developed I wish I was more adventurous with my photography and taken more pics at large community events and cultural ceremonies. Oh well, it’s definitely inspired me to take more next time I’m in Kenya/Africa/anywhere!
I’ll try and group the photos so expect a few posts.
This was taken from ‘Makutano’ which translates to junction in Swahili. So each town has their own area called Makutano but this was Nanyuki’s. We lived 10 mins from town and a further 15 min walk from the tarmac road. Although it was against VSO’s rules we used to travel by boda boda almost everyday. Thats the motorbike you see in the left of the pic. That small seat could carry around 2 or 3 passengers but we’d all seen bikes carrying 5 or 6 people, babies, goats, sofas etc. One time I even saw a bike carrying a cow. It’s legs were folded underneath it and it’s face was as puzzled as mine. Despite 2 near death experiences (seriously, Sophie and I almost had a head on collision with a lorry and another time my driver had to swerve off the road completely because of an oncoming vehicle) we all loved our boda rides. Especially during a night out, getting from bar to club at ridiculous speeds, nothing beats it! Plus it was dead cheap; about 30p for a 10min drive and one time I travelled for a full hour on a boda through forests, past giraffes and on a mud road for the equivalent of £1.60?!
Muddy Makutano Our rural-town mix house was down a muddy path past a tiny church (you could really hear them screech out those hymns on a Sunday morning), a few grocery shops and guys welding on the street. Welding with zero protection equpiment may I add. Hardcore. I loved where we lived and the twice daily hilly walk because we were away from the bustle (and sometimes danger) of Nanyuki life but close enough to still get in and out quickly. We were down the road from Liki slums where we heard stories of petty crime and a woman getting beheaded. Our team leader also gave a passionate ‘don’t ever go to Makutno’ speech… Eeeeer we live there mate. But at the end of the day we stayed safe and the biggest drama at our compound was that someone stole our neighbours chicken. 50% of the time the road back home was fine, the other half was hell. The rain washed away our hopes of getting home quickly and cleanly. Seriously the path became and fast flowing river and we’d be ankle deep in thick mud. Our host mum would sigh at the state of us when we eventually reached home and would proceed to clean our boots with a machete the next morning. One evening I feel right on my bum because of the slippy road. Another time we saw a snake slither straight past our feet through the water.
Some mornings I would wake up at 5:30 am and there wasn’t much more to do than go for a run. And this was my view. When I used to live in Cape Town I could jog while checking out table mountain and now I had the glorious Mount Kenya to see in the mornings – not bad. The sun would rise from behind and you could see a clear outline of the mountain for a few hours before the clouds would come and hide it. On a really clear day you’d be able to see the snow and glaciers at the peak.
Hopefully this has given you a little insight into Kenya and my experiences. I’ll have a few more posts on home life, cultural dress and lots of photos of my beloved cows. Crazy times.
Tuonane baadaye. (see ya laterrrr)