Andy McKay

Apr 19, 2009

Kenya trip (pt 1)

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As you may have heard if you follow twitter, I'm in Kenya at the moment. It's 4.30am, I'm really hot and can't sleep, so here's some ramblings about what I've been up to. A more coherent post on the project will follow once I get back.

About a week an a half ago an opportunity came up to help out on a Django project in Kenya, because a developer on the project wasn't able to go. First off I had to complete a prototype for a local company that's got a project in the pipe. It's a really nice company and a cool project, I hope it goes forward.

So once that was done (over the weekend) I flew out to Kenya on Tuesday night. Less than 5 days after the initial email. The amount of things we did in that time was silly, including moving forward the signing of the paperwork on our newly bought house (Danae got the key today), visiting the doctor for shots and pills, getting insurance for travel, house etc... the list went on.

Anyway the prototype seemed to work well and then I was able to fly out Tuesday evening. First stop Amsterdam 8 hour flight. Yay 9 hour layover there. Then 7 hour flight to Nairobi. I had one hour to change to a flight to my destination - Kisumu. Took 20 minutes to get off the plane. Took 20 minutes to get a visa. Ran over to the other terminal. Got stuck in a 20 minute security line up as a tour bus was let in before me. Got to the counter 5 minutes before the flight departed. Nope.

Next flight was at 5pm - its 7am.

Now I'm not a good person in crowds or around lot's of people. I'm used to very quiet, shy, law-abiding, British repressed Vancouver. It's wonderful, polite non-threating. Where people follow rules. Naples is the exact opposite. We were in Naples a year or two ago and it was hell. Nairobi airport is like Naples, but worse. I'm sure you can get used to it, but I found it intimidating and stressful. Not the kinda place I want to spend a day. Especially when I feel like a zombie.

In the end I got a cab ride to the national museum, found a fabulous but expensive cafe and hung out in that area. I went for a walk into the centre of Nairobi - not much to see. Got back to the airport with 3 hours to spare, just in case. Got into Kisumu about 6.30pm local time on Thursday.

I was knackered - I think that's the longest trip I've ever done (about 35 hours). And I lost my MacBook power supply somewhere along the way.