Thursday, August 26


Kenya - Summer 2010

Videos from Kenya

Tuesday, August 17

Slowing Down

Pole Pole - That's Swahili for "Slow Down." (Interesting side note: "pole" - pronounced "poh-lay" - all by itself means "sorry.") It's a great phrase to know when your driver is going to fast for your comfort or someone (usually a Mzungu - foreigner/white person) is trying to push things to move too fast.

Our American culture tends to go much faster than the African cultures I've experienced. Whereas we try to "take time" to do something, they "hold time" in order to get things done. I can definitely feel my pace of life having slowed down as a result of my time in Africa... and also the fact that there is so much to do in so little time, with getting ready for my exegesis ord exam at the end of the month, getting our community house together and gearing up to speed at the church.

It's times like these where I hear a voice whisper in my ear, "pole pole." The challenge is trust that the voice is right, and that what will be done, will be done.
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Wednesday, August 11

Constitution: The Aftermath

I'm pleased to report that there has been virtually no violence and complete transparency in voting in the aftermath of the referendum on the proposed new Constitution in Kenya!  After thousands died in the violence following the Dec 2007 presidential elections due to massive fraud, this is great news.

The Yes vote garnered over 2/3rds of the vote, and all sides are calling for peaceful understanding and reconciliation.  The No vote would love to make some amendments to the constitution before it goes into full effect in 2012, but I doubt with only 30% of the voters they will be able to get much changed.

I read the constitution and it is full of progressive measures that ensure human rights, encourage sustainable development, and helps diversify and spread out a suitable balance of power between the branches of government.  They've reserved 47 seats for female representation in the national assembly, as well as two spots (male & female) for the youth (18-35 yrs) and another two to represent those with disabilities.

On August 20th Kenya will host a signing ceremony where government leaders will pledge to uphold the new constitution.  I am hopeful and cautiously confident that Kenya's worst days are behind them, and the best days lie ahead. 

Friday, August 6

Kenya thus far

I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in Kenya... visiting all kinds of friends all over Nairobi, and then going to Kitale in Western Kenya to help a group build an orphanage with Transformation International. So much to tell and so little time. I look forward to updating once I return on Aug 9th to the States. For now, there are lots of projects to consider and pray about, as well as my host family to see tonight. Kenya is such a wonderful place full of wonderful people - I am blessed to be here and to be with them once more.

Monday, August 2


Kenya retains the constitution left to it by the British. On August 4th they vote for the 2nd time on a new constitution. Funny enough, i was here for the first vote in 2005.
Polls have the Yes vote, whose color is green, ahead with 65% of the vote, over the No vote, whose color is red. The current president Kibaki is for the new constitution, but the former president Moi is campaigning against the new constitution... not something we would see in America. KTN, a local Kenyan TV station, stated: "Where we stand is a battle between presidents that may be unconstitutional but is about the constitution."
As my former boss Dan told me, "It all depends on the people behind the paper." Otherwise it's just words and more words. Even today a Pentacostal pastor was convicted of bribing a local official with $25,000 to erase the margin of victory of her opponent!
Kenyan politics: always entertaining.
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Friday, July 30

Karibu Kenya!

Nimefika Kenya! (I've arrived in Kenya). It feels good and a bit surreal to be back. The roads are much better. The traffic is worse. The hawkers (street sellers) are still out and about, though this time they're selling even crazier stuff (like blow-up pool tools of Tellatubbies!)... I'm connecting with friends and trying to see and visit as many people as possible. Sammy Mutua is graciously hosting me. I'm here until Aug 8th, and am flying out to Kitale in Western Kenya mid-week next week to help with the building of an orphanage. Right now I'm back in my old office at CWS; I'll keep you updated as best I can, though I'm not sure when and how I'll have internet!


Nyumbani, or "at home," at Sam's place relaxing and enjoying my first Tusker (Kenya's beer). :-)

Driving in Kenya

I'm driving through Nairobi with my friend Sammy. Traffic is as bad as ever but the roads are paved quite nicely. Still, Sam says, "If you miss a bump, you're not in Kenya." I noticed we were running on empty so i asked Sam if we need gas. He said no, Kenyans keep the tank close to empty so in case the car is stolen the thieves can't go far.
Sam then related a story of a guy who was carjacked and put in the boot (trunk). He then kicked out his tail lights, not so the police would stop the car, but so he could stick his arm out and get people's attention. He had to go through several roadside checkpoints before the police flattened the tires. The car rolled several times but the man was OK.
"This is why you should fix up your boot," Sam says, laughing, "in case you find yourself there with no water, food or blanket!". This is the Kenyan way: take something serious and joke about it, because what else can you do?
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