So finally I get a chance to update this! Since I’ve brought my mini laptop for the trip I can type out my blog whenever and then transfer it here when I get the a café.
Well, where to start! We arrived in Nairobi at 8am Tuesday morning, where we were met by our contact or “fixer” if you like. We choose to get one of these fixers simply because of the fact that Nairobi is such a dangerous city. Beatrice was our guides name and she was going to put us up in her house for the two nights we were there. Her house was located about 1 hours drive from Nairobi so she arranged for a friend to come and drive us there.
Along the way, we saw shanty town after shanty town. Conditions for living that could only be described as below basic. These houses were made from bits of wood, metal and any other material that could make walls etc…
When we arrived at the community when Beatrice lived we discovered that not only were myself and Florence the only white people there, but that most of the people there never saw a white person before! So you can imagine the looks and stars we were getting.
Our accommodation was in the form of a flat, which had no fridge, shower, kettle or oven. “Welcome to Africa” I muttered to myself. At least she had a toilet, as no toilet would have been very tricky for Florence to work through.
Anyways, cutting to the chase, that evening we visited a christian apolostic mass, in which Beatrice was a prominent member of. The mass was one of those you see on films where from start to finish its preachers shouting the word of God, singing his praises etc. It lasted a full two hours and in that time we were standing up while there was not one break in the mass. People were running around the shed(church) waving their arms in babbling to themselves. It was hysterical to be honest. We enjoyed it something shocking. I was told that I could take photo’s and videos if I wanted to I immediately went into Christy Regan mood and snapped away happily for the next 30 minutes.
The next day, we went to visit the Nairobi slum, which is one of the largest slums in the world. Its also home to the “glue kids”of Nairobi, for any of ye that saw Ross Kemps documentary called Gangs.
Conditions in these slums is hard to imagine unless you actually witness it. Words couldn’t describe what it felt like to be there and seeing all this poverty and lack of basic hygiene. While the slum isn’t a safe place by any means, we had Beatrice at our side who told us what to do and not do. Again with not a single white person for miles and miles we felt very intimated by the constant verbal abuse and gibes that was thrown our way. But sure they know no better.
Before we left for Tanzania, Beatrice had arranged a visit to a local orphanage where the kids were told about us and they were looking forward to seeing us. So when we entered the makeshift house, we were greeted with roars and screams from the little boys and girls there. There must have been about 40 of them ranging from 3 years to 11 or 12 years of age. Again, they had never seen a white man before so they were touching our skin and having a really good laugh at myself and Flor….but in a good way. So this was our first introduction to what we’ll be doing for the next three months. The kids were so full of life despite the conditions in which they find themselves subject to.
Before we left them, we had to take a load of photos of them. They never saw a camera before either so seeing themselves on camera was another first for them. Heartbreaking stuff to witness but we’ve somehow got to develop thick skin if we are to get through the 3 months here.
Anyway, I’m writing this as I lay on my bed here outside Nairobi. Its 7pm Wedensday evening and we’ve a very early start at 4.30am to get a local bus which will take us on the 8 hour trip across the border and into Arusha in Tanzania.
So until then,