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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.

Kilgoris, Kenya
East Africa
Thursday, April 16, 2009


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.


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