Kenya Travel Stories, Page 4

Steel Buildings in Kilgoris Kenya

Steel Buildings in Kilgoris Kenya
Here is a question for readers, and I am hoping my Mother and Father write me with an answer.

What are these steel building used for?

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Kisumu, Kenya
East Africa
Sunday, April 19, 2009

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Steel Building in Kilgoris, Kenya, East Africa.



Ok readers, what are the people of Kenya using these building for?

Steel Buildings in Kilgoris Kenya


Zip Lock Plastic Bag Hose Travel Tip

Zip Lock Plastic Bag Hose Travel Tip
There are many reasons to carry one gallon Ziploc Plastic bags and the other day I discovered another reason. I was in the Farmers Lodge in Kilgoris, Kenya; somehow in a stroke of brilliance the Hotel management stopped using one tank located on the roof above my room and used the only a second lower tank. They would then bring water to the rooms in the morning for people to take dip baths. They kept telling me, the city does not pump water to the Hotel; however, they always had water in one-half the complex of building.

In countries with water problems, the management pumps water into tanks on top of their roofs that are used as a reservoir for times when the public water system is not working.

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Kisumu, Kenya
East Africa
Sunday, April 19, 2009

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This drawing explains, however, there are people capable of understanding and there are the others… hehehe Gravity, sometimes we really do need told that water flows downhill.



Because it was difficult to get the staff to bring me water on demand I would not have enough water to flush the toilet, taking a shower was priority number two.

During the day when the staff would remember to turn on the pump there would be water in the sink, I would then fill up my bucket and the other tubs I collected from the hotel.



My normal system for filling up my bucket is to place the bucket under the shower head, however since the shower did not work because the staff did not understand gravity, I need another system. Well, necessity is the mother of invention; therefore, I rigged up this plastic bag. I used some clothespins to wrap it around the faucet and created a hose.



There are numerous ways I can use this newly discovered system.

Toilets And Showers, - Water

Zip Lock Plastic Bag Hose Travel Tip


Malaria Medicine in Kenya Africa

Malaria Medicine in Kenya Africa
I have a fat nodule pushing against my sciatic nerve, the pain is difficult to ignore. Therefore, I have a habit of stopping in Pharmacies and asking question, hoping to have some insight revealed.

The other day I walked into a Pharmacy here in Kilgoris, Kenya and was surprised to see Quinine medicine used for Malaria on the shelf.

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Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Saturday, April 18, 2009

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The yellow boxes on the left are Quinine, the Doctor says for treatment of Malaria. The white boxes on the right with a drawing of a Mosquito are to help children to resist Malaria.

I was alarmed to see these medicines in great quantities, stacked up and in a very prominent location in the Pharmacy. This worries me, generally when there is some obvious precaution or solution, there is also the obvious problem.

For example, if you have bars on your Hotel room windows there is generally a problem with thieves and robbers, a person should not listen to locals telling you how safe it is, they have the bars there for a reason.



This is Doctor Ralph Muskoka who runs or works in the Altopok Pharmacy here in Kilgoris, Kenya. He told me he studied in the USA and was an interesting person to talk with, however his English was difficult.

I am still a little baffled on the Quinine Medicine, I ask my Masai friend and she said this medicine is not being used; they are using the more modern medicines for Malaria, not the Quinine.

I read that Ashton Kutcher, some actor I do not know was going to donate 10,000 Mosquito Nets to help fight Malaria, something do with an anti-malaria week. He got one million followers on Twitter.com

This is a mistake, he should be donating the money to have screens put on 10,000 houses, the solution to Malaria is not Mosquito Nets, the locals generally refuse to use them. Plus the design of the mosquito nets still allows mosquitoes to enter the net; the soaked in repellent concept is more or less a make money idea.

SOLUTION TO MALARIA
The solution to Malaria is to have screens installed on windows, and induce the manufactures of windows in have screens included, the world is just too stupid some days. I am in a Hotel here in Kilgoris, Kenya, the windows are very modern, yet because the national window manufacturing standards are low, they do not have screens as a standard part of the window. It is not the custom; people do not expect them, nothing to do with cost. I normally close all the windows and doors about 1-2 hours before sunset and I do not need to use the mosquito net. I am at about 2000 meters above sea level; it is not hot at night.



This is worm medicine; there was a whole shelf of this medicine and again in a prominent position. It is alarming to see this much medicine in one location, even though Kenya is very modern in many ways, there is some gaps in their systems that allows problems to exist that should not exist.

Generally in Africa, they still have not learned how to wash dishes or clean their hands, they believe that washing off the dishes in cold water eradicated problems, while the dishes are still wet and carrying problems from one person to the next because they are not dried or stored properly. Hot water is needed to wash dishes, it is truly a wonder of modern man, and to be able to have hot water come directly from the tap is the healthiest of all modern conveniences.

Life is Good

Malaria Medicine in Kenya Africa


He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother

Kenya He Ain‘t Heavy
“He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”
- The Road is Long
Song by the music group “The Hollies.”

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Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Friday, April 17, 2009

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I appreciate the love and care that is shared by the families in Africa and many countries of the planet. It saddens me to know that often in my own country, the USA; children would be whining and whinging if their mother or father asked them to carry their brother or sister on their back.

Yes, a baby stroller is easier and maybe even safer, however somehow the babies carried on the back are quiet and content. When I hear a baby crying, I now look around to check the country, I want to know how the baby is being carried. Babies in the Western world or developed world cry about 10 times more than the babies in the underdeveloped countries do.

Why do babies cry?

Kenya He Ain‘t Heavy


Worst Hotel Key Travel Tip

Worst Hotel Key Travel Tip
In my 11 years of living in Hotel rooms on the other side of the planet, I have developed a few self-imposed guidelines.

1. I do not allow cleaning people to enter my Hotel room alone.
2. I do not give the key to the reception when I leave the room.
3. I do not tell the management, staff or people in the Hotel where I am going and when I will return.

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Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Friday, April 17, 2009

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Because of those three small strategies to avoid being robbed, this key above is one of the worst Hotel keys I encounter.

Why?

HUGE
It is huge, I cannot carry in my pocket and walk out of the Hotel, there is a temptation to give to the desk to avoid carrying. This is exactly what the Hotel wants me to do, this allows them to know I have left the room and track my movements. Often this says to the Hotel it is time to clean the room, the resident is out of the room.

ROPE KEY RING
I cannot untie the knot in the rope and remove the huge piece of board with the number on it. 90 percent of the time I can separate the Hotel room identification tag from the key, then put the key on my personal key chain. I then have one set of keys in my pocket to watch and not two. If the Hotel is clever, they will use a nylon rope; tie a knot, then heat the knot with a cigarette lighter and burn the knot to fuse it into one solid semi-plastic knot.

I MUST CARRY A DAYBAG
I need a bag to store this large key tag, I am lucky, I normally carry my camera bag about 90 percent of the time, therefore it my custom to have a bag.

HOW DO I HIDE THE KEY
When walking out of the Hotel with this key, I am tempted to carry it in my hand and not put it in my pocket. The staff of the Hotel can see the key in my hand and try to induce me to give them the key.

PEOPLE CAN STEAL THIS KEY
I often see huge keys like this sitting on blankets at the beach, a person left their room and because the key is so large, they sit it down next to them. Maybe they are at the restaurant; they will sit the key down on the top of the table. Thieves can see the key, nonchalantly walk by, grab the key and then go the room and steal all your valuables.

HOTELS STORE THIS KEY IN RECEPTION AREAS
Normally because of the size of the key, the Hotel staff will place the key in small box areas behind the reception desk. Anyone who wishes can see if the person has left the room or walk behind the desk, steal the key and go rob the room.

Many Hotels have a rule that residents must turn in their key when they leave the Hotel. This rule is only enforced in about five percent of Hotels that have the rule. I normally will move out of a Hotel that enforces this rule because it forces me to place every valuable item in my room in my backpack, lock it up and use a dog chain to lock the bag to the bed or some permanent object in the room.

Worst Hotel Key Travel Tip


Masai Family off the Electrical Grid

Masai Family off the Electrical Grid
I think the trendy way to say it is,
“I am going off the grid.”
“I am going of the Electrical Grid.”

I wish to live where there is no publicly provided electricity.

This refers to the Electrical Power Systems of Nations that create and interconnected grid systems that hopefully provide backup power when a part of the grid goes down.

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Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Thursday, April 16, 2009

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I am lying here in bed in a Hotel costing 700 Shillings, about 8-10 US Dollar at 6:12 am with no electricity and no running water in my room. I am paying for electricity and running water, there is even suppose to be hot water showers. In find it morally incredible when Hotels ignore the fact that clients pay for services, and they fail to provide them. In a way, I understand the electrical problem; however the water situation is over the edge. Before I rented the room, the man brings me to a the room and shows me the hot water shower, then I move into the room and the girls bring in two buckets of water.

Whatever…. I have learned the way to complain to Hotels is to leave, I will again go look for another Hotel, if the price of the room was 200-300 Shillings, I would not be complaining, however at 700, this should be top of the line, at least for the water.

MAISAI FAMILY



This Masai home does not have electricity, however is a great home.

I met an extremely educated girl in the Van from Isiolo to Nanyuki, Kenya; we kept in touch by way of Cell Phone text messages. She is from the Masai Tribe, which means something and also does not mean much. She does not live in some primitive tribal situation, in fact here home is maybe above middle class, she is highly educated and lives in a this great home that does not have electricity.

Hmm, I think there are six children in this Masai family, I have become friends with all of them, and however, it is truly difficult to remember all of names. This home is part of an extended family group, her Grandfather, Grandmother, Uncles, and Cousins all live in homes that are within a good stone throw from this house, I have now met the majority of them.

Well, I am sitting here in the Hotel, the electricity came back on, and I am thinking to myself, maybe it is better to not have electricity and running water. I enjoy a predictable life, I like it when I know the rules and can obey them. When there is no electricity, I know what I must do to enjoy the room, however today, I woke up, switch the lights and there was no lights. I started to get up to find my candles, I know where they are, but it was too early, I decided to just read CNN and USA Today on the Verizon Blackberry Storm for an hour or two with battery power.

My computer also has a battery, it last about two hours on a charge, therefore all in all, when my Blackberry and Computer are charged, I have about six hours minimum of work time, before I my mind is lost.



The Masai family lives in a heavenly setting, my 700 Shilling a night Hotel is ok, however I have to deal with many “Kenya” drinking and hotel culture problems, while my friend just needs to milk the cows.



There family has two building; the one above is where they family sleeps, in the one above there are adobe partitions which make four separate rooms or areas.

This photo is the location of the Kitchen, like many other cultures, they cook in a separate room or building so the smoke does not bother the living space.

This Masai family lives “off the grid,” in many ways I am jealous, their lives are predictable, they do not have abrupt loss of water and electricity.

Yes, I have a bucket I use for backup water, and I have batteries, candles, I even have a solar panel, I can go live with my friends off the grid without a problem. I am paying the 700 Shilling a day so I do not need all this equipment, yet in the reality, I am always half camping and half living in a Hotel.

I am camping in a Hotel room.

Masai Family off the Electrical Grid


Plug Falls Out of Outlet Travel Tip

Plug Falls Out of Outlet Travel Tip
I have a 220-110 adapter on the power cord to my Blackberry Storm that will not stay plugged into my power cord. I cannot bend the two slotted electrical prongs to make wider or narrower, it just does not stay in the plug.

It was becoming annoying, I was taping the crazy thing to my extension cord, and this is not an easy solution. Every location required me to work at getting a solid electrical connection.

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Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

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This is the hard plastic 220-110 adapter.



Picture showing it falling out of the plug, sometimes I would just prop something up under the end.



I added this little device that converts a slotted to a two prong round electrical plug and now it will stay in the plug. This is very low electrical current, if the BlackBerry required a lot of juice; I would not be doing this because these adapters heat up.



Now the 220-110 adapter stays plugged in only by adding a simple extension that I already had and need to carry.

Plug Falls Out of Outlet Travel Tip


Tea Plantation

Tea Plantation
Kericho, Kenya at 2026 Meters above sea level appears one of the Tea capitals of Kenya. The companies Unilever and Finlays have signs saying they are here. From about 10 Kilometers before Kericho all the way to Kisii, Kenya is rolling hill trying to be mountains full of well manicure Tea Plants.



This is not a woman picking Tea Leaves, it is a woman who knew that was the photo people wish to take, so she walked down and pretended to pick some leaves for the photo, she was a happy sort.

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Kericho, Kenya
East Africa
Monday, April 13, 2009
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I am tempted to say this is a Tea Plantation, there is a group of houses down below the evergreen trees, however I know would be searching for words. I did not see any signs that said, “Plantation,” as I sometimes find along roads. Rather I saw never-ending fields of Tea covering all the hills and dells making green a comfortable feeling.

I saw two Tea Processing factories or companies along the road to Kisii, and I would have loved to stop and tried to take a tour. I traveled by Matatus, a small van that is the public transportation of Kenya; I am slowly starting to believe the only way to properly see Kenya is in a car, I have yet to see a great reason for a 4x4, however a small car or van would work perfect.



The locals kept telling me, you should come during rainy season when the leaves are green. I was so happy to be away from the Moyale to Isiolo area of Kenya, this was already green heaven.



I was only about one Kilometer from the center of Kericho, a nice walk, the cost by Motorcycle Taxi is 50 Shilling one way.



This sign for the “Green Pastures Junior School” was directly across from where I took all these photos, is probably possible to explain this to one of the Motorcycle Taxis after a long talk. I am quite sure you should not pay more than 50 Shilling and if they balk, the solution is to walk, and it is an enjoyable walk. A path leads along the market that leads right to the Tea Hotel which is located about 500 meters from the start of the large fields of Tea.

Sadly, in my mind, the majority of Travelers and Tourist will be staying in the Tea Hotel, however not really in a Tea plantation, however close to this location.

To me living in the Tea Hotel in Kericho, is the same a going to Kenya and living in the Hilton, yes the person was in technically in Kenya, but do they know Kenya.

Agro-tourism, - Food

Tea Plantation