I'm not sure when beeplog de-activates inactive accounts, so this post is to keep the site alive.
Everyone reading this should go to mypartofnairobi.blogspot.com.
I hope you are enjoying life. -Paul
Friday, 03. March 2006
Yes, still posting
I'm still posting at:
Monday, 06. February 2006
Due to beeplog now charging for my postings here, I am back at my original home: here.
Sorry for the confusion!
Friday, 03. February 2006
Shopping for work
A very kind gentleman came from Kansas City to help us with our bottomless IT needs. He works for Microsoft and quite generously donated his time and energies for the sake of ministry. I trust that the blessing went both ways.
So to say thanks, I went shopping and got him a beautiful hand-carved elephant. The wood is so heavy I hope the airline didn't balk when he handed them his luggage.
These kind folks were the salespeople. It helped for me to use a little Swahili. ("Katika Nairobi.") There is definitely a tourist price and a locals' price.
Thursday, 02. February 2006
Call to prayer
I dunno how many of you live in a neighborhood where the local mosque shouts out a call to prayer several times during the day. We do.
Ritual can be good, but I must admit that I'm thankful Christianity does not call me to worship God with such an audible (and sometimes obnoxious) sound. You see, at least one of our local "callers" is quite tone deaf.
I also feel like it's a violation of everyone else's rights to have no choice about hearing the announcement. Perhaps all Muslims should be issued mobile phones (for those who don't already have them), and then they could receive a phone-call-to-prayer.
Wednesday, 01. February 2006
More Dr. Suess
Many of the plants here seem like they came out of a Dr. Suess book.
By the way, I do prefer for my blog entries to be more than just photos with just captions. Otherwise, my entries become just tiny instantly digestible bites. Candy bars can be good, but they don't make up a good diet.
But so much of life these days boils down to such tiny chunks that perhaps we come to expect that for most everything.
Tuesday, 31. January 2006
He was eating
We saw this guy during our Mt. Kenya climb.
Monday, 30. January 2006
I have this mobile phone for work. It's connected to one of the two service providers in Kenya: CelTel (formerly KenCel, which sounds like "cancer cell" to me).
A majorly annoying thing is that voice mail is not automatic. I have to set it up. Then the main server "forgets" that I set it up if it's not used for I dunno, maybe a week? So my voice mail capability gets frequently lost.
I shouldn't be complaining; mobile phones are a huge convenience, and one small normal feature being missing is not a big deal.
But since I'm complaining, the recording that says, "Welcome to voicemail" or something like that, is incredibly distorted. It sounds like someone took a microphone and put it in front of another mobile phone's speaker to make the recording.
Friday, 27. January 2006
During our Mt. Kenya hike, I kept seeing these amazing giant grass tufts. I had hoped to get the Dr. Suess effect, but it didn't quite work out.
Thursday, 26. January 2006
Floridians and Californians enjoy these fragrant trees. We also appreciate them in our neck of the woods. They grow to be about a hundred feet high here.
Some people have come down hard on eucalyptus trees. Apparently they are huge water hogs and frequently take over habitats of other species. But they smell nice if you can smell; I can't. They also provide some welcome shade.
My sister Amy, who moved from Portugal to Belgium within the last 6 months, said she misses them. She said she made tea from the leaves. (We haven't tried that yet.)
Steve and Martine Chambers have a painting hanging in their home that always comes to my mind when I think of eucalyptus trees. Their patchy trunks are featured prominently. Martine's dad, Martin, did a great job capturing a scene in his native Florida.
Wednesday, 25. January 2006
One aspect of life that is so much better in Nairobi than in the States is that skyscrapers have opening windows. (Think of the kazillion megawatts of energy that are saved!) This works here, since the climate is so mild year-round.
I was amused that as I looked closer at my picture, one (just one) window had a window-unit air-conditioner.
This is the part of the year when such a device would be nice. (I am thankful that my office does not get direct sunshine in the afternoon.)
Climate does affect architecture. Many of the homes here would not last through a north American winter. Many "homeless" people here have homes. Humble homes, but homes nonetheless.
Tuesday, 24. January 2006
Environmental, without knowing it
The railroad came to Kenya over 100 years ago. Some of the trains here seem that old! Anyway, I was walking along the railroad track the other day & found this ticket... turns out that a person can hop on the train in one part of town and ride it to another. (And I mean that - the choice is very limited. It goes one direction in the morning and the reverse at night.) This is MUCH better environmentally, as public mini-buses belch out nasty plumes of diesel smoke. (I heard a statistic that the air in Nairobi is 38 times worse than in the average US city!)
Another great thing about the train is that it costs less to go that way than via the minibuses.
Monday, 23. January 2006
Lemon Mint drink
Yes, I admit, it's not a flavor that would be thought of in the US. But I could not resist buying it the other day when I went to Nakumatt.
Somehow it came to Kenya from Israel. Maybe the store's buyers got a great deal on the stuff.
By the way, it doesn't taste bad. It's more like lemonade than anything else I can think of.
Friday, 20. January 2006
Deforestation at work
As one travels across rural Kenya, bags of charcoal by the side of the road are a common sight. Charcoal is the main cooking fuel. And chopping down trees to make it is the sole source of income for many families. So I can't be too condemning about the chopping down of those trees. It IS really sad to see photos of Kenya about a hundred years ago... where lush forests stood there are now dusty deserts.
There are many factors that contribute to drought, but when I see one in action, it does sadden my heart.
Thursday, 19. January 2006
Legal and illegal
At our local video rental store, the tapes come with these labels. Apparently the government here is happy to endorse pirating videos. (The tapes are obvious dupes.) I'm guessing since the Kenyan film industry is not very prolific, Kenya doesn't have much to lose in the equation.
And at every street corner (almost), one can buy the latest Hollywood films on DVD, even before they are finished playing in the theaters. (But I know that's the case for much of the world, beyond "western" borders.)
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