Saturday, November 15, 2008

Preaching and Hawking strictly prohibited

That was the sign on the bus yesterday going home, shortly before our driver got into a shouting match with another bus as they competed to remain the one bus on the road. My driver won.

Since last posting I visited with Caroline Maingi, the first Director for WYA Africa, and her 3 little kids. Her newest baby Rafael is adorable with curly hair, and he just wouldn't stop staring at me, I think I was the oddest thing he's seen in his short life... The other two, Victor and little Javi were so funny. When I first arrived two sets of eyes would appear from behind a doorway, and disappear the moment I looked in that direction. As the visit progressed they became increasingly less shy, and rowdier. By the end of the visit they were pushing tires throughout the house and running in and out every few seconds to give me "sweets". Last I saw little Javi he looked exactly like a cabbage patch doll. His body has grown quite a bit since then to match his head, although his eyes remain so big in his face - he is so cute!

Yesterday, Irene and I were media stars... We went in the early morning to visit the BBC. Once they found out we were travelling to Rwanda and Uganda they postponed our interview so we could come back with a field report. We then went to K24 and were interviewed about WYA. We were shown on primetime tv, at 1230pm that same day, with a 30 min. segment. We went to a nearby cafe to watch ourselves with the interns. Later in the day, we visited Pomoja radio station for a brief WYA introduction. Pomoja is the radio station which broadcasts out of Kibera slum - the largest in the world. The interview with Irene took place in Swahili and mine was translated.

On our way into the radio station we drove through Kibera slum, it was my first time visiting Kibera. We parked outside the radio station and two of the most adorable little boys were staring from behind a corner. I managed to become friend with them and we played soccer for a few seconds together until Oscar Beauttah and Irene dragged me into the radio station. After our radio interview they took us onto the balcony which gave a birds-eye view of the slum. As we peered around I saw my two little buddies, they also noticed me and waved at me from 5 stories below! On my way out of the station, they were still there hanging around, I wanted to steal them and bring them with me but managed to leave them there. One of the little boys had a sore in the corner of his mouth, I really wished I had something with me for him.

I'm a huge fan of signs in Nairobi, some of my personal favourites to date are: "car park under rehabilitation" (construction) "driver under instruction" (student driver) "do not urinate here, it is unethical and prohibited" "don't hoot, driver is sleeping". More will come...

Gotta run now, the interns are all waiting patiently for me to finish so we can all go home tonight.


Anonymous said...

from a medical perspective, the Hippocratic oath should be amended to include "thou shall not urinate here; it is unethical".

i'll get to work on that asap.


Mathew Omina said...

Hey Mary.You really are having an awesome time. Makes me wish I was over there :-(