Kenya Travel Stories, Page 2

Busia Kenya

Busia Kenya
Busia Kenya is a huge city, there are many Hotels, from large ones to small ones, I am in the excellent Shark Lodge for 300 Shillings right along the road leading to the border. I suppose a person needs to tell the van to drop you off; however, there are Boda bike taxis for 20 Shilling that will take you back from the bus stop.

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Busia, Kenya
East Africa
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
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This Shark Lodge, I am trying to get HoboHideOut.com BlackBerry ready, so I can submit all these Hotels easily.

300 Shilling is about four US Dollars, and much better than the Blue York Lodge, that cost 1300 Shilling where all the NGO’s are staying and ten times easier to find, plus there is parking.



The trip from Siaya to Busia was easy, the road was mud; however, the scenery was great, it felt as if there were distant mountains in Uganda and I was traveling towards them.

I will cross the border this morning, I anticipate this taking about one hour, then there is a 63-mile trip from Busia to Jinja, I am guessing within three to four hours from the time I leave the hotel I will be in Jinja.

Reading the guidebook give me a panic attack, it reads as if I am going to a tourist trap. They talk about whitewater rafting, bungie jumping, this and that however, no true information on the Nile, just tourist crap.

My present plan is to stop in Jinja, say hello to the Nile River, then jump all the way to Mubende hopefully skipping Kampala and skipping any tourist if possible.

TOO FUNNY

I am having fun, the noise of saying UGANDA, AFRICA sounds in my mind, like it is somehow a rigorous trip and life is difficult. 135 Miles or four hours in a bus is as about as easy as life get for a traveler, the biggest problem is the smell of people. So far East Africans are not good at bathing, the Frenchie West Africans were very good, these boys and girls a pigs in comparison.

The phrase, “You look like you did not shower,” does not apply in Africa, whether they shower or do not shower, they look the same. Only the clothes are different and they do change very four or five days.

Busia Kenya


Saying Goodbye to Siaya Kenya Friends

Saying Goodbye to Siaya Kenya Friends
I have made some great friends in Siaya, Kenya. I have become a regular at a few places, and people even say my name “Andy” sometimes and do not call me “Musugo” or “White Man.”

Where is the epicenter of good conversations in Siaya, Kenya?

I think I would recommend you find the small restaurant owned by Charles, that has the back connected to the Bakery. This is located just below the Siaya Centre Hotel and a few steps around the corner towards the Market.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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Siaya Centre is the only restaurant with any hope in the city, however truly is just a Bar, so after you eat go below and talk with “Sir Charles.” If you are lucky they will invite you into the back of the Bakery.



This is Feeby and Hudi or something, and I do not know the man with the Hat, this was my first invitation into the back of the Bakery.



There is the front of life and there is the backside of life, if we are persistent in our “proof of friendship,” we will be invited into the lives of the people we meet, we will be invited into the back of the restaurant.



Proof of Friendship

I just made this up, however I know somewhere in the phrase there is a glimmer of understanding. I entered the Bakery about 10-15 times in the few days I was in Siaya, I consistently said Hello, I consistently proved that I was a friendly guy. I consistently gave my “proof of friendship.”

There is a truly wonderful girl by the name of Judy that works in the Bakery, married, a little chubby, two children, and loves to be told her hair is beautiful. She is my friend, she is cynical and took my photo with her cell phone the other day.

The secret to proof of friendship is finding excuses to visit, stopping into a restaurant when you are not hungry.

Hmm, I just remembered the name of the Bakery, the true name of the Bakery is the “Nameless Bakery.” I do not think there is a sign, however truly a good place, please say Hello to Judy and Sir Charles in the small restaurant around the corner that is connected.

If you need a reason to talk to a person, they are not your friend.

Saying Goodbye to Siaya Kenya Friends


Map Siaya Kenya to Uganda Border

Map Siaya Kenya to Uganda Border
I plan on leaving Siaya tomorrow morning and going to the city of Busia, located on the Kenya - Uganda border. My normal strategy for crossing border is to go spend one night in a border city, then cross when I am good and ready.

There is a problem, I am not sure if there is a city called Busia, Kenya, and I am not sure if there is a Busia, Uganda.

Maybe it is a dusty stop on the road like the city Kogelo where Obama’s Grandmother Mama Sarah lives.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Monday, April 27, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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Busia is very close to Siaya, if I had any type of problem, I can just turn around and come back.

The Uganda Lonely Planet map shows Busia being in Uganda.
The Kenya Lonely Planet map shows Busia being in Kenya.
Google Maps seems to show the road stops at the Border.

GOOGLE MAP OF KOGELO AND SIAYA – UGANDA IS TO THE WEST


View Larger Map

If you are going to have a problem, it is going to happen at the border. I truly believe that all guidebooks should show where to find a Hotel at the border, I think it is negligence to not keep travelers out of harms way by helping them to find lodging at the borders or countries.

Reading the chapter on Uganda makes it sound like a big amusement park with a zoo.

My friend Naomi the receptionist in the Sussy Hotel told me that there is a Busia, Kenya and it is larger than Siaya, and there are many Hotels. I am never sure if these Kenya people understand English…

Pushing too hard gets people in trouble, going slow is always safer; my gut feeling says Uganda is going to be cakewalk. Kenya has been an easy country, nothing adventuresome about the place, more of an ordeal.

Map Siaya Kenya to Uganda Border


Twitter and BlackBerry in the Bath Water

Twitter and BlackBerry in the Bathwater
I can never get these sayings correct, however here goes…

Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Maybe my life is not more important than 140 characters on Twitter.com.
Maybe I do need to learn how to use a BlackBerry.

I had a very startling high-tech experience in the city of Kilgoris, Kenya given to me by a Masai woman. (She was wearing clothes; this is Africa, not CNN.)

Should I label this an epiphany?

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Monday, April 27, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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FADE IN

…. Michael Corleone, the new Godfather is in Cuba riding in a private limo to a meeting about the future of Cuba. He sees a man blow himself up killing a politician.

Michael recognizes the power.

FADE IN

I am walking down the street in Siaya, Kenya to buy a Pineapple from a street vendor. My cell phone rings, I have a text message, I look down, Naomi the receptionist from the Sussy Grand Hotel has written.
“Where are you?”
13

I think to myself…
“Why does she want to know?”
I am not poking her, she is not my girlfriend, she is not my wife, I do not owe her money, she is the receptionist in the Hotel, a nice girl and I hope a friend.

“Where are you?”
13

I answer,
“I am buying a Pineapple, then getting on a Boda Boda Bike taxi to come to the Hotel.”
84

Hmm, I think to myself,
“I can give her the Pineapple, she will cut it up and give me a few pieces; I will save myself a lot of juice.”

I think this is Twitter.com, my life in less than 140 characters.

FADE IN

I am in Kilgoris, Kenya; I will show you mine if you show me yours.

I have this BlackBerry, there is a bright Masai women talking to me by the name of Mayanie, she is cute, I think to myself, I will show her how I receive emails on the BlackBerry and impress her on how smart I am.

I show her mine.

She opens up her 50-100 Dollars Cell Phone, shows me how she downloaded Opera Mini and writes me an email and sends it. Then explains how she is updating her Facebook.com page from the phone.

She shows me hers.

This is a BlackBerry, this is a smart phone, and this is the future whether we like it or not.

FADE OUT

A For Sale sign is being placed on the Corporate Headquarters of the New York Times Newspaper.

A For Sale sign is being places on Microsoft Corporate Headquarters and two computers are being thrown out the window into a dumpster.

99 percent of the world does not own a computer.

Soon 99 percent of the world will have a cell phone that will Twitter, Facebook and soon computers will be placed next to the typewriter.

Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, and truly 140 characters is more than I need to explain my life, no need for sequels or reruns.

Give the world a Cell Phone, a Facebook and Twitter account, credit on a prepaid account. Ergo there is no reason to learn to type or write a sentence, nobody is reading. The attention span of a human is less than 140 characters.

Twitter and BlackBerry in the Bathwater


Digging Water Well in Kenya Africa

Digging Water Well in Kenya Africa
I have been fortunate here in Siaya, Kenya, I have been able to watch some men and women digging a well for water. I moved from the center of Siaya to the Sussy Hotel, it far enough outside the city whereby there is no public water lines.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Sunday, April 26, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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This woman instantly came to talk with me when I walked over to inspect the large hole in the ground. She tells me they are digging a well for water, however it is not finished.



They have made a simple winch out of trees, and then used a few nails to create the handles. I have seen many wells like this in my travels, however this is the first time I have seen this type of well actually being dug. Hauling dirt out of deep holes is difficult; setting up this temporary winch is very wise, and makes their jobs easier.

Sometimes there is a winch on the top of wells like this, other times there is just a rope hanging in the well. I will go across and ask the workers if they are going to have a winch on top of this well after they are finished. Hauling up a couple of buckets of water is less of a problem then digging a 20 meter deep hole and removing a couple of tons of dirt, maybe the winch is only needed to dig the hole. I am quite certain this winch is just a temporary one; this is too rudimentary to survive being used daily for years.

I can see the water in the bottom of the hole, I am not sure how they keep the sides from falling in, there does look like they have places some type of covering on the walls at the bottom of the hole.

This is very dangerous work and a great way to die quickly. The local ground is hard clay, therefore safer than in other situations, however, cave-ins are always possible.

I am happy to say, the water in the Sussy Grand Hotel is not muddy looking, and I believe well water is better looking water than the public water systems of Kenya, Africa.

Does anyone know how they keep the sides from falling into the water?

Toilets And Showers, - Water, - Health

Digging Water Well in Kenya Africa


Opening Drinks to Avoid Being Drugged

Opening Drinks to Avoid Being Drugged
Travel Tip

Did someone put drugs in your drink?
Drinks need to be opened in front of you to be safe.

Tourist and Travelers are often drugged in foreign countries, there are two major reasons this happens.

1. To rob you.
2. To have sex with the women against their wishes.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Sunday, April 26, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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This bottle of Orange Fanta was opened in front of me here in Siaya, Kenya. The waitress left the top on the bottle to help me feel safe that the bottle was indeed opened in my presence.

Generally, people are drugged in Bars; the locals first must qualify whether you have enough money to rob you. Therefore, they will make friends with you, belly up the bar with you and then try to determine how much money you have.

Here is a list of simple guidelines to avoid being drugged.

1. Drink directly from bottle or cans, mixed drinks or draft beer makes you an easy mark.

2. If suddenly you have this new friend, if another person has initiated a conversation, they you need to beware. It is better if you start conversations; generally, people who start conversations with you do indeed want something.

3. Women should be careful going into bars alone.

4. Becoming too intoxicated, drunk or slammed and the drug is not needed, this is always a problem.

5. Know how you are going home, it is best to take a taxi when out on the town drinking, walking home is not advisable. If you are feeling tired or weak for any reason, it is time to leave. Leave alone or with a good friend, never leave with a new friend.

The two countries where I know this has happened are the countries of Turkey and Thailand.

Please add other guidelines on how to avoid being drugged.

Please add other countries where this is common.

Thanks,
Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com in Kenya, Africa

Danger, - Health, - Danger, - Restaurants, - Entertainment

Opening Drinks to Avoid Being Drugged


2006 World Malaria Day

2009 World Malaria Day
Today is World Malaria Day, therefore to be a curious person I decided to go see if I how difficult it was to purchase a Mosquito Net in Kenya, Africa.

I was in the Siaya Centre Hotel, therefore I asked an exceptionally smart girl by the name of Immaculate a couple of questions.
“Do you sleep under a mosquito net?”
She said,
“We do not need too, we are uses to them.”
Then I asked,
“Where can I purchase a Mosquito Net?”
She quickly said,
“The supermarket over there.”
She pointed out the window at a building.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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I walked over to the Supermarket and she was correct.



429 Kenya Shilling or about 5.25 Dollars, there was maybe five in stock.

How many hours would the waitress in Kenya need to work to buy this mosquito net?



I waited for about 10 minutes then they finally said the price of this baby Mosquito Net cost 429... (hmm)

I believe you could send one Mosquito Net to every person in Africa and there would only be a negligible decrease in deaths.

However, Mosquito Nets are the solution du jour; therefore, I went and priced them here in a Malaria prone area of the planet just for kicks.

I believe the solution is held by window manufacturing factories, if screens were a standard part of windows installed on houses in the Tropics, there would be a dramatic improvement. This would be a passive solution that would be effective.

People in Africa know about Malaria, they know about Mosquito Nets, they just do not use them.

2009 World Malaria Day


Bumology 101 in Kenya Africa

Bumology 101 in Kenya Africa
How to be a Bum in Kenya, Africa?

Bumology 101: How to be a Bum?



I believe this young boy aspires to be a Bum; I have met enough Bums in my life to know this boy has what it takes to become a professional Bum.

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Siaya, Kenya
East Africa
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Siaya is the closest city to Kogelo, the Homestead of Barack Obama.
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I sat down on a park bench in Siaya, Kenya the other day with the goal of watching the world pass by. The people of Siaya, Kenya do not see many white people; I am the tourist, however truly the people of Siaya are the ones who take the tour. They would go out of their way to make sure they took the walking tour in front of my park bench. This makes the art form of people watching easy, there is less strategy needed.

As I was sitting on the bench, this small boy came and started mumbling words to me. At first, I considered him a normal street urchin who saw me as the mark, a person to give him money.

Hmm, I would estimate that 80 percent of people I meet in Kenya ask me for money or help, I assume if a person comes up and wishes to talk, they will soon start to pitch me on something they want something for nothing.

1. Starting a church
2. Relative that is sick.
3. Need a job, but really they want a handout.
4. Working on a project.
5. Buy me a soda or beer.

Why was this boy special?

Beggars can be different from bums, in a way 80 percent of the Kenya people come up and Beg something from me in a roundabout way from wanting a Visa to the USA to the honest one who just wants money.

When a person drops below the level of just a normal greedy person who believes someone rich need to give them money they can start to become ostracized and confused. This boy was confused, his bag is full of plastic bottles he is collecting, and he has no shoes and is wearing what looks like pajama bottoms.

No Shoes

This is the first indication of true bum.

No Fashion

There is a loss of the ability to be fashionable or fit in to normal society.

There was a man and women from the USA I met in Isiolo, Kenya who told me that was making a documentary about street children. They introduced me to a boy they labeled a street child, I was laughing at their naïve understanding of street children. The boy had on shoes, spoke English and was wearing a Bob Marley Ethiopia colored hat, the kid was using them, making some good cash. He was easy to interview, showed well on camera and was available in the afternoon. I thought about advising them,
“If you truly want to find street children, you have to be here when the sun rises and discover who is truly living in the streets.”

I knew they truly did not care; it was more about the image than reality, so I let it go…

This young boy kept mumbling or trying to say something to me, another man next to me who spoke the local languages tried to speak to him. The man said to me,
“He is confused.”

Confusion

Humans are sociable beings, they talk with each other and they know how to obey the norms of society. When a person somehow drifts away from other people, when they for some reason stop having normal conversations, when they stop fitting in, they start to become confused, this is when their mind steps into a new dimension. This boy was not able to talk with me; he was not able to even beg in a coherent manner.

Unpredictable and Frightening

At the bottom tier, the person becomes frightening to everyone around him or her, they become unpredictable, they become difficult, nobody can understand or know them, there is no common ground.

I finally tried to bring the boy back to reality, I pointed at his feet and with the help of the local man, I tried to say.
“Here is some money, go buy some shoes.”

The kid was over the edge, he had lost the plot, I could not reach him, and all I could do was give him a few coins for his survival hoping he would revive.



This is the older version of the boy, ripped clothing and farther down the line a subgroup of one.



The boy had a small bag of bottles; this man has a large bag of something he is collecting. I was still able to get close to the small boy, however I needed to use the zoom lens to capture this photo, this man who walks around in the city of Siaya, he was no longer approachable.

I guess this is the final lesson in Bumology 101, when a person walks away from civilization and does not know how to return.

Bumology 101, asking for help, asking for money, making another person your donor is a great way to start down this path, to give nothing, but to expect something, this is Bumology 101.

Bumology 101 in Kenya Africa