Kenya photodiary – Ngare Ndare home life

Africa, photography

Jambo readers.

Part 2 of my Kenya photodiary series.

Let me share some snaps from my first placement and first Kenyan home in Ngare Ndare – or Ngazza Ndazza as I referred to it…

My first counterpart, Betty, and I travelled 2 hours out of Nanyuki to this tiny rural village surrounded by forests and giraffes and elephants and waterfalls. Sounds pretty blissful right? Well, I did love Ngare Ndare but the ‘ooooh rural Africa’ novelty wore off pretty quickly when the reality of living in the middle of bloody nowhere with zero work to do set in. Our work supervisor was crap so there was nothing to do. I really did try to be resourceful and upbeat and get on with something but it was near enough impossible. We were there with the UK’s biggest voluntary organisation and instead of having a clear work plan and contacts, we were told to wander round the village (which was an hour walk away btw) and look for women who looked like they were beaders. Seriously?!!?!?!? These women didn’t even speak English or Swahili so we were 100% stuck.

Aside from the failure of our placement I friggin loved my host home. I loved our little hamlet of Kianda and the kids and animals and all day sunny weather. I really thought of it as home and even went back to visit weeks after we’d left. So Betty and I called the little wooden cabin ‘home’ for a month before I relocated to Nanyuki town and Bettz headed to Ngobit.

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Our neighbours house

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We owned a few farms so would collect kales, onions or fruit before dinner.

Our Masai family consisted of our Mum, Joyce. In Kenya the mother is named after their last born child (or any other child) so sometimes she was Mama Joyce, other times Mama Makena and occasionally Mama Stella. Kinda confusing. Mama didn’t speak any English so that was a massive obstacle. She had her middle bottom tooth missing as part of Masai tradition and always dressed beautifully. Although we couldn’t verbally communicate, we always had a laugh together and she taught me loads. She exclaimed that she saw Betty and i as her real family which made my heart burst with all the feels. I was also mega lucky to have 2 gorgeous host sisters; Makena, 18 and Stella, 21 as well as a very cool and calm brother, Paul, 13. Our little family was completed by the 2 dogs; Scotty and Bob who were actually nameless when I arrived(?!). Oh and we had 2 cows, one was pregnant, both very cute.
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Look our cute little house! The walls were lined with newspaper and water would get in when it rained. Our bedroom was crawling with insects and the nights were so cold that four layers of clothes and 2 blankets weren’t enough. Our house didn’t have electricity or running water but that didn’t really bother me. We heated water on the stove and had a bucket shower in a little shed outside and went to the loo in a drop toilet (super smelly but healthier…)
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Untitled In the mornings we’d wash pots and pans (sufurias) outside. It was a nice time to chat and enjoy the morning sunshine. Untitled
My brother Paul. Arsenal for life. Surprisingly good Scrabble player. He walks 2 hours to and from school. He was in charge of collecting milk in the evening.
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Sister Stella
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Work sister Betty

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As you can see, my family are absolutely gorgeous – inside and out. I loved being part of the Masai culture for a few weeks and they taught me so much. I miss our evenings watching crappy telenova La Gata until the TV’s battery died and we’d sit in the dark playing Scrabble by torchlight. We cooked together and ate together every night and always had something to chat about; boys, politics, sport, funny village people.

Next post will be about my crazy niece Sharlene and the kids in the village.
Kwaheri (bye) bishes

Hiya Addo – 9th May 2014

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Arriving at Addo Elephant Park was fab, our lodges in Matyholweni camp were so nice and homely but we quickly got back in the car to go on our first mini game drive round the park. Although we didn’t see any elephants that evening we did see warthogs on their knees (very weird sight), a huge buffalo, kudu and a jackal. The jackal was basically a glorified fox but unlike in the case of seeing a fox, we stopped the car, excitedly whispered and took an unnecessary amount of photos. It gave us a full display of it’s talents; scratching, sniffing itself, digging, sitting in the middle of the road and then howling. Well done jackal, you impressed us.

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Mary x

 

 

 

Running with Dolphins – Holidays in South Africa – 9th May 2014

Africa

I love a good beach. If you’re my friend or follow me on facebook/twitter/instagram/tumblr/pinterest you’ll probably have already grasped this fact…

I love swimming in the sea (I can chose between 2 oceans when in Cape Town which never fails to amaze me), I love playing bat and ball, I love watching the surfers and I could spend all day sunbathing. If being a beach visitor was a sport I would be a professional. On 9th May we stumbled upon a pretty little beach at Plettenberg Bay. We didn’t plan to stay long as we were travelling from Knysna to Addo Elephant Park and just wanted to stretch our legs and take a few photos before heading off again.

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As well as being a total beach bum I’m also very good at being the last at things; the last to exit the car, the last to finish a meal, last to decide what to have from the menu. This day I was the last to turn away from watching the ocean and in the distance I could see fin like shapes bobbing up and down in the water, not too far away. One side of my brain was about to explode with excitement – loads of wild dolphins just a few metres away! The other side of my brain was doubtful – surely they would’t be this close, just jumping about like dolphins in movies?! My mouth just went ‘kerjfgnjdhgsgjn DOLPHINS, GUYS COME SEE!! aakjdnbsjvbfjhsv’.

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admittedly my photos aren’t great but I was way too caught up in the moment to care too much

Trisha, Bill, Callum and I just stood and watched as about 30 wild dolphins swam, surfed the waves and jumped about in front of us. And we were the only ones on the beach! Amazing. As they moved along the water Callum and I couldn’t resist running along the beach next to them. We were running on a gorgeous, empty beach so close to a pod of 30 dolphins in Africa. Can things get any cooler?! I felt like I was in a cheesy film about love and freedom… It was great. 

 

We also saw a double rainbow that day. What is up with the universe?!

 

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Mary x