After an interminable 27-plus hours in transit from Nairobi, punctuated by some dire experiences aboard Swiss Air, we finally made it back to Microkhan HQs late yesterday. Great to be back in sunny Atlah, though an enjoyable and productive time was had by all in Kenya. We’ll be posting plenty of East Africa-related material in the coming days, but let’s just start with a few quick observations as we recharge the mental batteries:
*The Kenyan drought is a true disaster—driving across the nation’s south, you just see mile after mile after mile of singed crops (primarily maize) and bone-dry brush. This Time dispatch blames the severity of the drought’s impact in part on a jatropha fad. Our sense, however, is that government incompetence is more to blame—it seems no Kenyans have kind words to offer about the way in which the troubled Mwai Kibaki administration has responded to the crisis.
*Nairobi traffic is quite likely the worst we’ve ever encountered. We were told that few, if any, improvements in traffic control have been made since the 1970s, despite the city adding untold millions of cars between then and now. As a result, matatus are forced to deposit morning commuters at the edge of the city; people then walk or run the rest of the way, often many kilometers. As a result, the dusty road shoulders on Nairobi’s outskirts are clogged with office workers at 6 a.m. Night owls must find it tough to compete in the Kenyan economy.
*Olive baboons are some of the coolest, craftiest creatures ever.
*Ketchup on pizza? Really?
More soon. Just have to readjust to North America for a short spell, then we’re back in the game.
(Photo by Microkhan)