Six years ago, I went to Kenya for a one year stint as a VSO Volunteer.
It changed my perspectives completely.
Now I am back in my country, the Philippines, and I am still working in the development field. My experiences in Kenya have made me a better development worker and prompted me to work even harder for the advancement of the farmers, with particular interest with women.
Didn’t I tell you my son and niece are here? My mother arrived last week to accompany my son. Turned out, she couldn’t leave without Beebop, my niece, who is inseparable with her so she had to bring her along, too.
Anyways, over the weekend, my younger sister (I currently share the apartment with her) and her boyfriend took us all out. We went to the zoo, much to the children’s delight. They were so excited to see the animals, especially the feathered ones. They learned about ostrich at school so when they met an ostrich for the first time, they were animated! My son was talking non-stop. You can tell from the picture, yes? My niece was a bit hesitant to go now but after a few minutes, both of them were feeding the ostrich.
My friends noticed that I’m posting mainly about Kenya. They are right. As of now, I’m waiting for a call to start work at a new company. So while waiting, I am taking this opportunity to write about what I had seen and experienced in Kenya.
Also, I didn’t get to post much while I was there because I live in and with the local community where electricity is yet to arrive. I only get to be online when I am in the town capital or in Nairobi when we have important meetings. So what I’m doing now is like back-dating, or making up for the lost time.
But anyways, you know what they say, it is better than never, ‘aight?
So, on to my post…
Do you know what are these?
These are dried bottle gourds and are originally used (apart from being eaten as vegetable/food) as water carriers/bottles, but now have other, multiple uses in Kenya and other African countries. The bottle gourds belong to the same family as cucumbers, squashes (including pumpkins), luffas, and melons. They are oddly shaped and hard-skinned.
The gourds are arranged creatively, as pictured above, to represent all the 42 ethnic tribes in Kenya that use them. That’s a monster gourd above there – the mother of all gourds in Kenya!
This is a mitumba spot that I always pass whenever I go to the market from my rented room in Lukore. I sometimes stop by to see what’s in stock and very much surprised to see designer items and vintage clothings every time. Of course, I had purchases when something caught my fancy.
This giant-sized chess pieces can be found in our city plaza (Roxas City, Philippines). Every afternoon, chess afficionados in my city go there to play and it’s always a crowd-drawer. My son wanted to play a bit (just toying with the pieces) so we went earlier.
I am back online again and I missed blogging. It so happened that my co-volunteers and I had a chance to be in Nairobi for a much-needed R and R and there was Internet where we were staying. I just had to update my blog to tell my family I am fine and also to share this photo. The thing is, by the time this gets published, I would probably be on my way to Mombasa to resume my community work; or, maybe not (it depends on the situation as this is an auto-post anyway). We had a wonderful weekend watching wild animals and just being in the city with electricity, running water, and most of all, enjoyed the company of fellow volunteers and great food! And what a great weekend it was. This is a not so Wordless entry, so please excuse me. Ok, on to the picture.
This one may not be Pumbaa the lovable character in the Disney movie, the Lion King, and half of the dynamic duo Timon and Pumbaa, but it is a warthog. We found this one on our visit to Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
This is, specifically, a Central African warthog (Phacochoerus africanus massaicus) that is found only in Kenya and Tanzania. The warthog commonly reverses into burrows with the head always facing the opening and ready to burst out if necessary.
You are reading another automated post as by now I am in my village continuing my community work. Monsoon season already started a month ago and it’s been non-stop. Well, when it rains, it really pours! One afternoon I got out of my hut after a two-hour pounding of rain, I noticed the locals were chattering noisily, obviously excited over something. When I approached the group of young mothers just a few steps away from me, they shouted at me to look at the sky. So I followed their pointing fingers and voila!!!
What a beautiful sight to behold! I can understand the excitement. It’s one of those simple moments you feel the grandeur of God’s creations… it definitely left an imprint in me.
Please excuse the absence of current posts here. I am a bit lost in a flurry of field activities. Not long ago, I just came back from Nairobi from a meeting and yet there’s another meeting looming again, on May 19th for a mid-term review. Again, one local representative from the cooperative will be coming with me for this mid-year activity for all Volunteers and partners.
Anyways, this is my entry for this week’s WW.
Spotted in one of the trees inside while on a trip to the Gede ruins. Some of us stopped to take photos of these crawlies and I could only imagine how embarassed these two must have felt while we were taking their photos in, uhmm, horizontal position *lol*
One of the many old, old trees that covered the Gede ruins in Mombasa, Kenya.
Two weeks ago, my fellow Volunteers and I decided to spend our weekend together. We went to Gede ruins near the coastal town of Malindi in Mombasa. Gede ruins is a 12th century Swahili village that was mysteriously abandoned some 600 years ago for unknown reasons. It is now a national park and the ruins are now overgrown with beautiful forest trees, such as this huge baobab tree. The place reminds me so much of the temple ruins at the Angkor Wat complex. It may have lacked the grandioseness of the temples in Cambodia, the Gede ruins give visitors an eerie atmospheric feeling from the massive trees with mangled branches reminiscent of Ta Prohm temple. The Gede ruins continue to attract tourists from everywhere.
Another update set in the auto-post mode. I am not sure which tribe they belong to but these women work as entertainers/performers at the hotel where the VSO Coast Volunteers had a 3day conference two months ago. I have a feeling that these women do not exactly enjoy what they’re doing but they have no other choice. They earn from performing their tribal dance every night.
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