Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 1– The borough

Trying to get over my jetlag, I wake up round noon. Quick “breakfast” at the house, while cramming another 80 pages of “Catching fire” (my first read for the summer, promising to be quite quick).

First order of business, get a SIM card. Asking where I can do that at reception, they sent Julius, who works here, to show me where the Village market is – you can get basically anything you need there.

IMG_9919Village market

20 minutes later - Safaricom number secured – 0708 587 538. M-PESA account - opened . Not exactly sure what I’ll do with it, but after a semester talking about the mobile miracle of Kenya and East Africa, I just had to get one. Of course it’s free and takes about 5 minutes. Works or any phone, so now I’m set to send and receive money, make payments and so on. And despite the fact that millions of people in Africa use it, I’m still not quite sure how to do it. I guess that something to figure out in the weeks to come.

The heat is depressing, though. It absolutely sweltering outside as I make my walk from the Village Market to the UN Compound. I want to see what it looks like, how far it is and whether I made a good location choice. On the way, I pass the US Embassy, embraced by a long white fence, you can’t see what is in the compound.

I reach the end of the street and I see the UN Compound. For some reason, I expected towering buildings, a business city type of environment. But, seriously, what was I thinking… This Compound, at least from the outside, is nothing like that. Surrounded by a regular fence, with some barb wire on top, the buildings are small, the vehicles old, labeled with the name of the agency they belong too.

I keep walking. Heat’s getting worse. Few people walk past me. And this is the first time I feel strange, like I really don’t belong here, that I don’t know what I’m doing (which I really don’t). But oh well…

I make it back to the guesthouse with a couple of Tuskers in my bag. As I sit at the porch, writing this with a beer my hand, the light of day fades away, darkness settles in and the rain continues to pour. It’s now 7:05 PM and the only glimpse remaining are the occasional lightnings and horrifying thunders.

1 comment:

  1. You'll eventually know what you're doing there and I hope you'll like your whereabout.
    Looking forward to reading more of your blog posts!