Monday, February 12, 2007

Catherine & I at Lake Naivasha

"if you pray for rain, plan for a thunderstorm..." - I just heard this on the BBC Africa this morning on my walk to work... I love how I have a little FM radio on my cell phone. It's actually keeping me up to date with the world news and the interesting debates and opinions. Like last night, they were asking people about Senator Obama and his presidential bid - while the commentators kept pushing for this media-generated, "can he represent African-Americans", the people phoning in kept telling them that it has nothing to do with race and in fact, it's just exciting to have a new face interested in taking leadership in America. By the way, the Kenyans LOVE Obama because his father was Kenyan-born and word on the street say that the Luo tribe (where his father was from) are attaching 'Obama' to the name of their children. Wicked.

There was also BBC debates on the Dixie Chicks and how they just won 5 Grammy awards even after the media exploited their words against Bush and the war and making it seem like the state of Texas was completely against them. Then these callers were saying how it was unfair that the media did not show the Texans who actually were completely against the war and supported the anti-war messages by the Dixie Chicks. I love the BBC Africa radio station, so great!

This last week has been eventful; went to Lake Naivasha for a staff retreat that focused on "stregthening institutional capacity" and noticed themes of integrating montioring and evaluation of programs are still taking a back-burner for many projects when it is always brought up in terms of importance. The lake was nice with hippos in the back and deer wandering the grassy fields. The hotel was incredible with a gym, tennis courts and delicious buffets.

On the weekend, I tried out an Ethiopean restaurant which was very tasty and not too expensive. I also took an afternoon to go to the nearby Nairobi National Park. The park was not too busy but didn't see too many animals. Lots of giraffes and butterflies but the grass was so high and trees so green and lush from the rains. It made it impossible to follow an animal once they entered the dense bush. Midway through the trip, the rain started to fall and our 9 passenger van slipped and slid through the wet soil. It was madness; we didn't get out until 7pm at night (6:30pm was the closing time). Mental note: go to NNP only at winter.

On Sunday, I went with my Japanese neighbor and her 1 year old son to this massive outdoor mall called the Village market. Nice shops but very pricey and nothing that I could really say I wanted to take back as presents except for some of their cool handmade glasses shaped like elephants for $10 USD. The really interesting part was the diversity of people entering the mall. It is this middle to upper class group with their families from all around the world just enjoying the patio atmosphere on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the international food court. That was nice to see.

No comments: