I escaped NYS a day early so that I could get some work done in Mombasa while I still have a nice 3G connection on my ceullular modem. Of course, it also means I am sitting in a hotel room with air conditioning, so I am comfortable, and thought I would fire off a quick blog post. This latest, “I Miss…” goes hand in hand with an earlier one about how I miss summertimes with my friends.
I miss Timesplitters. I bet most of my readers don’t even know what Timesplitters is, and the long story short is that it’s a video game played on a console, which in my case was the Nintendo GameCube (predecessor to the infamous Wii). Now, I fully admit to being a video gamer, through and through, though my interest was always a bit more academic than many people: often knowing much, “about,” the games and gamer culture, while never playing many games at all in comparison to what one may call a, “hardcore,” gamer. In fact this post was inspired by a friend who said he was slightly addicted to a game called World of Warcraft (a common addiction nowadays). Continue reading
Most all education institutes in Kenya follow a three on, one off, schedule for their school year. This simply means we have three months of teaching, followed by one month of holiday. Of course, NYSTC is slightly different from every other institution in that though we follow the 3/1 pattern, our year starts in May, not January, but that’s just trivia, and not really a major impact on my life. For this past year in Kenya, there has always been some work to get done during my month, “off,” from teaching, which has prevented me from actually going on a single holiday. Believe it or not, despite all my adventures around Kenya, which I am lucky to have, none of them have been true vacations, they have always been, “work related.” That’s about to change 🙂 Continue reading
This may be a short blog post for today as I start to wrap up everything here on the coast before heading out on December 1st for the beginnings of my zany three part adventure. Part one is traveling around Kenya doing Peace Corps-related work, part two is a Eurotrip with Chris (more on that later) and part three is a Kenya trip with Chris (again, later). I am sure once I am organized and being bored at various points in my travels you will get updates. I will also try to front-log some work so as to keep a regular daily-posting, but I warn you all now, I may not be able to. However, I do want you all to certainly keep checking back in, as I do intend to continue blogging during my travels as situation permits.
An earlier entry jokingly regarded the change of seasons in Mombasa not as a great climatic shift as one might consider it in New England, but instead as a transition between periods of fruit and not fruit. Though this is true, the real situation has even more drastic consequences. The climatic seasonal shift in Mombasa and most everywhere in Kenya, and dare I say, Africa, is negligible from a Western perspective. The result is that it only takes one mindset, one way of doing things, to get through life. There is no naturally-induced need to change one’s behavior on a regular basis in order to survive. Continue reading
The application I was using to get pictures up on Flickr had a silly default setting of, “private,” for every image, meaning only I could see it. I believe the settings have all been changed now, manually, through the website, so I am hoping the images are all public. They weren’t showing up in my box to the right, so feel free to click this link for pictures instead. If that does not work, please tell me, and I will try to resolve any issues. Cheers!
I must be the luckiest guy in the world, because not only were my friends and I able to pull off a successful Halloween, but we bagged Thanksgiving as well! Thanksgiving went off without a hitch, not counting the later than expected dinnertime of course. But hey, this is Kenya, something would have been wrong if we did start on time. It was also a small affair, with four Peace Corps, one non-PC American student and at final count, four Kenyan friends, which made it nice to sit down and enjoy one another’s company. Also, pictures will be added to my Flickr page, so check that out as well, to the right. Continue reading
Part of my biggest problem when trying to get anything done here is that I always simply get frustrated when nothing gets done for no apparent reason. I sit and I ask myself, “Kenya is becoming a more and more globally-aware nation. Why are we not learning from other nations’ mistakes in their history, and using this knowledge to propel ourselves faster through this development and modernization.” I dislike when people make the excuse of, “Let us make our own mistakes,” because it makes me cringe. I most certainly do not want parternal development work, because that causes even more problems, but at the same time, when mistakes cost innocent peoples’ lives, are they acceptable? Continue reading
I was on the beach yesterday (I know, hard work that Peace Corps), and there were your usual camel ride troop of camels but being a Tuesday there were not many customers so the camels were relaxing. Normally, when a camel (the animal) relaxes, it rests on its knees so as to get up faster (having been domesticated for so long, my guess is that camels just know they will eventually need to get up). However, when I turned to look at troop again, there was one that had just flopped on its side and I immediately felt it embodied myself and other alumni and current students of my alma mater Connecticut College in so many ways. I snapped the picture with my camera phone, and whipped up a little graphic for it. Hope you enjoy. Go Camels! Miss you all!
I thought that I would kickoff the introduction of more series-based posting with a talk on the seasons here in Mombasa. Now that I have been here for almost the year, and experienced the full gamut, I feel like I can give a better impression.
First off, what are the seasons. Many people will tell you that here in Kenya we have two types of seasons: rainy seasons and dry seasons. To be specific, there are the long rains and short rains, and then the dry times in between. I have encountered many different answers when asking about the meaning of, “long,” and, “short,” rains, the two most common answers being that long and short refer to the length of time it will rain in a particular instance if it does rain, or, the length of the actual season, one being more months than the other. I have also asked what months these are and this also elicits different responses from person to person, and it seems that it varies depending on what part of the country you are from. Continue reading
In December 2007, Kenya underwent what was arguably its second, “free, democratic, election,” which in this situation I will present as a democratic, multi-party election in which the former effectively-dictator leader, Moi, was not running.
Kenya, Africa’s shining star of stability and super economic growth, failed.
The result was months of post-election violence, allegedly instigated by all major political parties, in which inter-tribal tensions were highlighted and used to fuel days of rape, arson, burglary, murder and extra-judicial, vigilante-style attacks. Continue reading
A series of cartoons from a Peace Corps Panama volunteer circa 1965 was brought to my attention. They were drawn by RPCV Charley Stough, and have potentially inspired me to restart my own Peace Corps Kenya Cartoons. These images are being linked to from the hosted site and are not stored locally on my blog, so if that site disappears, they disappear. I am currently emailing Charley to see if he will let me re-host them here as well. He has several more than these below, but I picked nine that I feel connect with my experience. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Continue reading