Archive | September, 2009

Students. Universities. Life… in Kenya

24 Sep

Travelling can open ones eyes. I love seeing new places. It can be beautiful, stretching, humbling, heartbreaking.

Travelling from Nai through riftvalley to Eldoret:

Drought her, cutting trees there. desperate traders here, street building there. Bright sun, this special kenyan green, blue sky.

5 days at moi university:

Hospitality, live wires, lights off, shower, rain, muddy, hygiene, bathrooms, 800 beds missing, internet, humiliating, no power sockets, sharing beds, friendship, strike, authority, business in rooms, village, 10to10 rule, students life…

Thanks a lot to the moi eb! Chep and main, i know both will rock and we have a fantastic year ahead. stano, perris, dun, mac, kuks, julie, siro, abraham and100 more… i definitely had fun:-) and remember, i am walking behind you!

Update:

The strikes about the matatu prices have found one victim. So the senate of Moi University decided to close down Main Campus until further notice. The students were told to leave yesterday, most of them left their things in the hostels though. My friends are physically ok, some of them left town. Others are still around and trying to see what the next steps will be.

Leaving town? Another three months break after having returned to campus only some weeks ago?

This is the third public university who closed down due to riots this year!

Is this really about Matatu Prices?

Another nice article about students in Kenya

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Behördenwesen

10 Sep

Receiving a present is a pleasure. Receiving a present in Kenya comes with free entertaining process, zu deutsch: Behördengang!

“No, to receive this Parcel you have to go to the other post office.” – “Yes, it is the post code for this Post office, but still.”

So I walk all the way to City Square, go up to the third floor, and find the room equipped with around 10 post officers at various counters but without any directions on how to obtain my parcel. Showing my paper (reading “Mrs Manu AISEC” received a parcel from “Belgium”), I ask for the right queue.

The lady wobbles off, takes her time to find my parcel. If there is a system to storing those hundreds of parcels, she is not familiar with it. Queueing for the customs I have a look at what others receive: There is not a lot of privacy here.

Neither is efficiency: Two staff members are watching one lady at the customs counter, who is allowed to ask you to open your parcel, one customer by one of course.

The lady declares the content of my parcel “one toy” (overlooking the second part inside the box) and sends me to two more places to get her findings confirmed with a stamp each. Then I exchange my paper for another one at the Cashier (“we dont take coins here”), go back to my parcel lying behind the counter on the floor. The women says “No, first you have to pay”, pointing to another counter, where I pay to receive another stamp to go back and pick my parcel.

To leave the room I show the paper to the guy on the door, who had of course watched me for the last 60 minutes.
90 Minutes after entering the first post office I am allowed to leave with my parcel!

… but don´t think I got the parcel already: Be sure that there was another guy standing at the ground floor, asking for the paper that I had burried deep inside my bag.