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.

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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!

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


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.
Our little family, minus Stanley.
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 – Tuko nyumbani

Africa, photography

Part 6.

Tuko nyumbani – we are at home.

I arrived at my second Kenyan host home about a month into the placement. Late to the party as ever. My mum, Peris is the househelp which means she cooks and cleans and generally is a great mother figure. My host dad, Stanley is a retired beekeeper and now an advocate for people with disabilities as well as helping the community access clean drinking water. They are both some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, let alone live with.

It’s not until I really think about it that I realise how many crazy good people there are in my life. Success is measured in different ways and I would class both Peris and Stanley as extremely successful people. They took me in as a ‘volunteer refugee’ and made me feel like I’d always been in their little family unit.

We had bees that lived in the walls of the house because Stanley ‘liked having them around’ and he’d happily let them sting him because apparently it helped with his arthritis. When the honey was processed, towards the end of the program, we helped to heat it, separate it from the cone then Jonathon would assist with the packaging. This meant a house full of honey and happy Mary and Sophie in the mornings when we could just help ourselves to as much as possible. Peris would sometimes just scrape the bottom of the barrel and feed us with a spoon like a bird feeding her chicks. GOOD TIMES.

I didn’t get any photos of Stanley with my film camera because he was always busy with the bees or community projects. But this is Peris.
Untitled Check her out, separating the maize she’s picked from the shamba (farm) Untitled

This is the fire room where we’d heat water for our morning showers. We did have a fully functioning normal shower connected to the main water supply but it was broken half of the time. So not really functioning then. Andrew and I both loved this room; it was so dark, dingy and cold but the perfect place to sit and chat when there was a power cut. It’s also where we sat and stirred honey in the evening.

If you hadn’t guessed yet, I’m a dog lover. My best mate in Makutano was Shifter.Untitled When I arrived, his paw was split in half because he’d got it caught on barbed wire so Andrew and I bandaged it up using our first aid kit supplies. Unsurprisingly the dressing was gone by the next morning but luckily it all healed up well. Dogs are not domesticated in Kenya and the idea of your dog sleeping in your bed or even coming in your house is a bizarre thought to most Kenyans. Untitled
Shifter’s mum. Nameless
Shifter’s little sister. She was underfed so resulted in eating 7 baby chicks. Her owners were not happy
Say Jambo to a few of our friendly cows.
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Post run death. Running in Kenya was like a rite of passage for me. I knew the altitude would be a problem (1905m by the way compared to a modest 122m in Hertfordshire) but I didn’t realise what a massive problem it would be. I planned to attempt 10Kms a few times a week. I managed about 2Kms at a time. Oh well, at least I didn’t pass out or anything.

That’s all for Makutano home life. It’s a beautiful thing that we can be so adaptable to move countries, houses and families and feel so at home so quickly. That’s one of my favourite things about Kenyans, is how hospitable and welcoming they are.
2 more posts to come; Ol Jogi safari and Nanyuki town

Kenya photodiary – Sijui

Africa, photography

Part 5.

We’re nearly through with my film photos. This collection is just random snaps from out and about. (Sijui means ‘I don’t know’. I said this word a lot during the cycle. Or ‘Mayolo’ which is the same but in Masai)

You never think about how much you do during a space of time like 3 months until you get home and reflect – mainly by retelling stories 3 hundred million times. People then say ‘wow you did a lot!’. Yeah I guess we did manage to squeeze a lot in even if it felt slow and laborious at the time.

Before starting our placements, we stayed just outside of Nanyuki in Bantu Lodge. Bantu was beautiful. There was a lake, baboons running around, horses, little boats to sail, giant swing sets, a bar, a campfire – basically everything we needed for a few days of training and getting to know each other. The days did go on a bit but most of the sessions were really engaging and interesting. Marketing, international aid, global development, personal branding, health and security and loads more.

I stayed in a room with Elsie (UK vol, 18) and Betty (Kenyan vol, 21). Betty was very quiet but Elsie and I got on so well from the start. We both kind of had the same reservations and worries about things and she was good shoulder to cry on when things weren’t going too well (I was basically a big soppy mess at Bantu. Girl probz)

The boys next door to us washed their clothes and left them on the bush to dry. Casual. Oh and at Bantu we all saw how some of the Kenyans like to brush their teeth with a stick.

Check out my main man Max! This little pup belonged to my host cousin and was only a few weeks old. He slept in a little tin barrel and loved chasing the chickens. I was the only one to pick him up and cuddle him like a baby because rightly so, everyone feared he had fleas. He definitely did have fleas because I was itchy for days after. So worth it though. No regrats. Untitled Untitled

Thanks boys for making me look like the super keen one while you’re all just chilling giving me weird looks… I promise you that these guys are my mates. Jonathan, Daniel and Peterson. This was taken at the end of our clean up of Majengo slums. It was a weird day; the rain kinda drizzled on our plans and some of the team joining us weren’t too bothered about actually cleaning up the slum but more for the instagram opportunity.
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Untitled We stumbled across these camels in the slums. Random I know. Their legs were tied up and no one was about to explain what the situation was; they were literally just 2 camels in the middle of a field in the middle of a slum. The next day we were talking to a guy who lives nearby and he told us they were preparing them for the slaughter house. Very grim thought but I’d rather they were about to die than being tied up any longer. Weird logic? Untitled Ebony villa. Our home for 2 days over MPR. Emily, Sophie, Lynda and I stayed in this lush apartment while we did our mid-phase review, which is basically summing up the work we’d done so far, facing the problems we’d encountered and coming up with solutions for the future. Untitled The weekend involved teaching the Kenyan volunteers how to toast marshmallows (they kept setting them alight) and doing traditional dances around the fire. Some of the sessions were absolutely hilarious (Danielle had us playing counterpart Mr & Mrs and using Kenyan food as buzzer words ‘Chapati!!! YES!’ ‘Calvin, chapati is not the answer!’) and some sessions were beyond awkward. We had a group discussion between country groups and wrote down all the problems we all had with the other country group. Cue a presentation saying ‘you’re patronising, rude, you don’t know how to wash, your clothes don’t even match!’ Ouch!. Luckily we somehow managed to see past these petty problems and I do think we grew a lot closer for it. It was like burning down bridges to rebuild a stronger foundation I guess. Untitled Look at these LAAAAADS Untitled
‘LAADS’ has somehow been a running joke from sixth form, then in Namibia, Cape Town. It seemed to be missed with the frenchies and spaniards but fear not, I took it to Kenya! ‘Everyone say LAAAAAAAADS’

And I’ll finish off this post with a cute sunrise pic. Mountains and banana trees; what more do you need in life?
Hapa Kenya, hakuna matata
Here in Kenya, no worries.

Kenya photodiary – rafiki na familia

Africa, photography

We’re already onto part 3!
This is my Kenya photodiary filled with my film camera snaps from 3 months of volunteering with VSO.
I’m going to share some of my favourite photos of my friends and family in Ngare Ndare.

The most important friend you can ever have is your dog. This is Scotty. He was nameless before I arrived. He’s understandably not allowed in the house because he’s totally flea ridden and feral but I love him loads. VSO told us not to touch any animals while we were away but that’s a ridiculous and unrealistic task to ask from us.
UntitledWe had another dog called Bob but a few weeks after I left I got a text from my sister saying someone had poisoned him. He was foaming at the mouth, his eye had turned green and he couldn’t stand up. He was dead the next morning. Why would anyone do something so heartless? Poor Bob 😦




Sharlene. Oh boy, where do I begin?! This was my brother Moses’ daughter, I think she was 2. And a massive ball of unrelenting energy that no amount of games or dancing could calm. Like my Mama, she didn’t speak any English but she was the perfect tool for me to learn some Swahili.
Kuja – come
Kuja hapa – come here
watcha – stop
kwenda – go
habari gani? – how are you?
kwa nini? – why?
wapi? – where?
nakunpenda – I love you

We grew so close and I missed her big time when it was time to leave
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Kianda life

We lived on a dirt road in Kianda and when I arrived the kids from neighbouring roads they screamed ‘Mzungu!!!’ (white person) then hid in the bushes. I swear to God they were terrified of me. Even some of the adults couldn’t quite meet my eyes when I greeted them. Over time it got easier and I think they realised I was pretty normal (well….) and wasn’t there to hurt them.

This road outside my house was where I spent most evenings and all day Sunday. There was a group of about 15 kids who became my own mini cheer team. I naturally gravitate towards kids because we’re on a very similar maturity level. Seriouly, these kids were awesome. Always singing and dancing and when I gave them a few skipping ropes they were occupied for hours. As the evenings grew dark I’d tell them ‘nenda nyumbani’ (go home) and try my hardest to shake em off me.
Little Mary (omg twinz!), Vinnie, Ronnie, Mercy and the others were some of my closest friends when I was in Ngazza Ndazza. Untitled
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