Kenya photodiary -Ol Jogi

Africa, photography

Part 8 and the final part of my Kenya photodiary!
It’s been emosh.

Towards the end of our placement we planned a trip to a village about 2 hours away from Nanyuki called Doldol. On the way there we wanted to visit a safari park called Ol Jogi.

We’d had loads of drama leading up to the trip; not all of the volunteers being able to afford the trip, seasonal rains causing floods, general volunteer behaviour (towelgate dun dun duuuun) and not being able to book the safari. Eventually it all came together and we managed to go! We were a little disappointed when we arrived because Ol Jogi wasn’t exactly a safari, more of a sanctuary. Oh well, I was happy because we’d all seen loads of rhinos and giraffes by the side of the road a few weeks before. And I was lucky enough that Ngare Ndare was safari heaven.

Untitled Simba – Lion Untitled
Untitled Bear – kubeba

This was apparently was Africa’s only bear 😦 He was rescued from a Russian circus. Untitled
Untitled Cheetah – duma Untitled
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Check out this crazy canyon thing!

We loved seeing literally the most random animals (they had dogs, a very tame looking cat which apparently wild, mice, rabbits etc etc) but the main attraction were the 3 elephants. A mum, baby and huge dad. I’ll never get bored of seeing African elephants, they’re just so beautiful and majestic.

Untitled Elephant – Ndovu Untitled
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This is it for my film photos but I have plenty more updates which I will either publish on here or on my Facebook – Girl Got Lost. Go give it a like if you wanna see more Kenyan adventures and pics from the places I’ve been!

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Kenya, it was real. Until next time.
hadi wakati mwingine

Maz

Kenya photodiary – Twende town

photography, Uncategorized

part 7.

Twende town – let’s go to town

I said twende (let’s go) a lot when I was in Kenya. Kenyan time is real. Everything is at snails pace, something I have to get used to every time I go to Africa. I’m very much a get up and go kinda gal. I don’t have the patience to sit around for hours doing nothing so throughout I was there trying to get people moving; let’s go, let’s do something!
Most lunch times we’d head to the market, just out of the town centre to eat at Connie’s place. Connie was a host mum/sister to Andrew C and Lucas during the cycle and was so lovely and sincere. She always made us feel welcome at the little restaurant she ran and her food was amazing. I became the kind of person who woke up in the morning already excited for a lunch of cabbage stew. Cabbage and beans!
Untitled Trainers for days. All around £2 a pair. Nike, Addidas, New Balance – the lot Untitled
A quiet day at the fruit market. Mountains of mangoes, massive avocados, fresh bananas, huge watermelons, pinapples, paw paw (papapya) and so much veg. Nothing compares to fresh fruit for about 20p a piece.
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Sofas were made on the street in front of you from scratch. Wooden slats cut from a tree trunk, assembled and then covered in different fabrics.
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Our little family, minus Stanley.
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The whole VSO team. UK and Kenyan volunteers plus team leaders

I wish I’d taken more photos in town as it was such a vibrant place on market days. It was filled with all sorts of characters (not that I’d ever photograph them, people really don’t like having their pic taken) but they kept us entertained. There was the crazy fiddle man, warlord looking dudes, Antony the pineapple man, beady Steve, fabric Tina and BOB MARLEY BOB MARLEY man who would slap us while we walked past.

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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Untitled Masai Life Untitled
Untitled Mama and PaulUntitled
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

Kenya photodiary – Makutano.

Africa, photography, Uncategorized

Hey, Jambo, Habari.

Welcome to Girl Got Lost (formerly ‘Mary’s Project Year’ – but I’ve kinda stepped over the year mark, sooooo….). I’ve just come back from a crazy 3 months in Nanyuki, Kenya, where I was volunteering with VSO. More about the actual work later; for now, let me share with you some of the photos I took with my film camera. I love using film but it sucks how expensive it is and how valuable my camera is. So I mostly used digital in Kenya and took crappy videos and didn’t care too much for the outcome and saved my film camera for the safety of my home or garden. But now I’ve had the films developed I wish I was more adventurous with my photography and taken more pics at large community events and cultural ceremonies. Oh well, it’s definitely inspired me to take more next time I’m in Kenya/Africa/anywhere!

I’ll try and group the photos so expect a few posts.

Boda Life
Untitled This was taken from ‘Makutano’ which translates to junction in Swahili. So each town has their own area called Makutano but this was Nanyuki’s. We lived 10 mins from town and a further 15 min walk from the tarmac road. Although it was against VSO’s rules we used to travel by boda boda almost everyday. Thats the motorbike you see in the left of the pic. That small seat could carry around 2 or 3 passengers but we’d all seen bikes carrying 5 or 6 people, babies, goats, sofas etc. One time I even saw a bike carrying a cow. It’s legs were folded underneath it and it’s face was as puzzled as mine. Despite 2 near death experiences (seriously, Sophie and I almost had a head on collision with a lorry and another time my driver had to swerve off the road completely because of an oncoming vehicle) we all loved our boda rides. Especially during a night out, getting from bar to club at ridiculous speeds, nothing beats it! Plus it was dead cheap; about 30p for a 10min drive and one time I travelled for a full hour on a boda through forests, past giraffes and on a mud road for the equivalent of £1.60?!

Muddy Makutano   Untitled Untitled Untitled Our rural-town mix house was down a muddy path past a tiny church (you could really hear them screech out those hymns on a Sunday morning), a few grocery shops and guys welding on the street. Welding with zero protection equpiment may I add. Hardcore. I loved where we lived and the twice daily hilly walk because we were away from the bustle (and sometimes danger) of Nanyuki life but close enough to still get in and out quickly. We were down the road from Liki slums where we heard stories of petty crime and a woman getting beheaded. Our team leader also gave a passionate ‘don’t ever go to Makutno’ speech… Eeeeer we live there mate. But at the end of the day we stayed safe and the biggest drama at our compound was that someone stole our neighbours chicken. 50% of the time the road back home was fine, the other half was hell. The rain washed away our hopes of getting home quickly and cleanly. Seriously the path became and fast flowing river and we’d be ankle deep in thick mud. Our host mum would sigh at the state of us when we eventually reached home and would proceed to clean our boots with a machete the next morning. One evening I feel right on my bum because of the slippy road. Another time we saw a snake slither straight past our feet through the water.

Mount Kenya Untitled

Some mornings I would wake up at 5:30 am and there wasn’t much more to do than go for a run. And this was my view. When I used to live in Cape Town I could jog while checking out table mountain and now I had the glorious Mount Kenya to see in the mornings – not bad. The sun would rise from behind and you could see a clear outline of the mountain for a few hours before the clouds would come and hide it. On a really clear day you’d be able to see the snow and glaciers at the peak.

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Untitled (run recovery on the grass. Soon to be covered in excitable dogs and subsequently muddy paws on my face)

Hopefully this has given you a little insight into Kenya and my experiences. I’ll have a few more posts on home life, cultural dress and lots of photos of my beloved cows. Crazy times.

Tuonane baadaye. (see ya laterrrr)