Monthly Archives: January 2010

Market Days

This weekend I took a retreat down to Msembweni to visit my fellow volunteer Jeff’s site. Jeff and I are soon to be collaborating on yet another project, so it seemed a good idea to catch up with him. It’s also not a hard draw, considering he has a beach, a nice campsite, and a picturesque village. So off I went.

Of course, when you get to this village and sit on the beach and do the camping thing, you also wonder what else you can do. That Sunday, we decided to spend some time going to the market, because I was looking to expand my collection of work-wearable Hawaiian shirts, as well as pick up a couple kikois for the coming summer months and the subsequent summer heat. Normally one might think I would head up to Mombasa to pick things up, but I very quickly become annoyed at the Mombasa markets, and their crowds, and heat and pickpockets and yelling and people thinking I am a tourist.

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Projects 2010

Every once in a while I like to update people on what I am actually doing here in Kenya besides writing what can only be described as copious amounts of blog posts… for a Peace Corps volunteer. Here be the list of projects as they stand at the beginning of 2010. It is always interesting to watch how the list morphs and evolves as the year progresses.

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Free Form Swahili Poetry

I am sitting here waiting for the NYS bore-hole pump to turn on so I can fill my personal tank so that I can do my laundry and I thought I would write up some poetry in kiswahili. Mind you, I have never taken a poetry class, or even read much about what type of art form kiswahili poetry is supposed to be, so I am still at a stage of trying to do a nice-sounding translate-from-english poem. It’s free form. Whatever. No translation though, sorry 😉

Kukia darajani usiku
Nyota juu, taa zimewashwa
Mtazamo yake iliinasa yangu
Moyo yangu, nafsi yangu
zilipunga kabisa
Sura kama malaika
Je, penzi ni uwaga huu?

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Just Add Music, and Other Minor Musings

I was sitting on the bus coming home to Mombasa from Nairobi this past Sunday and took out my iPod to listen to some music (which I only do on certain bus lines) and as I started looking out the window I noticed how well the peoples’ actions were syncing to the beat of the song I was listening to. Without laughing at me, I think the song was one by Switchfoot, which usually maintains a pretty upbeat rhythm. Three scenes in particular caught my attention: a small child playing in a wetlands puddle (we’ve had significant rain recently), a pair of women walking with wooden chairs carried on their heads, and finally a man getting down from the back of the large truck he was working on. These three actions just synced perfectly and as I watched the scenes, this musical accompaniment (not the lyrics just the sound) added a whole new dimension. Life outside the window became significantly more alive and vibrant. The rhythm of life as it were.

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Quick Preview of Things To Come

I know it may seem weird to write a post about potential future posts, but I just wanted to assure my readers that in fact I am alive! That is right, I have successfully survived Europe and Kenyan Safari and will be returning to work (and regular blogging) hopefully this week! You can look forward to a roundup of my holidays, some opinions of Kenya tourism that arise out of my first hand experience, and continuances of such series as Linux and Open Data Formats (which have long been needing some attention I know). Finally, I will also be introducing some comics with Peace Corps themes to appear at least once a week, just to add continued variety to my somewhat stale space. Year two of my Peace Corps blog is shaping up quite nicely if I do say so myself. It’s good to be back folks!

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