4 weeks left: Challenges and positive outcomes!

Now, I must say that the sunshine really peaks out from some earlier thick clouds.

Last week, I was suppose to get a new stamp in my passport. At the airport in Nairobi when I first arrived, the man that checks the e-Visa and passport only wrote 1 month/holiday next to the stamp and said that after one month I needed to get another one. Something that I haven’t yet understood why that is needed, as the e-Visa holds for 3 months and there is no information about this one-month-stamp in any official websites (only personal stories etc). However, I did what he said, of course. Easier said than done.

So, went to the immigration service office in Kisumu. When I came to the desk, I got interrogated like I was in a Miami Vice episode. The man asked me for 15.000 shilling (around 1.500 sek) and claimed that I had the wrong visa. I was sure this was not the case, but whatever I told him, he got more and more angry and said that I claimed that he didn’t know his job.

Anyhow, after some calls to the embassy, and some other people that I needed to consult this with (as I did not know what the consequences this man could give me), I left and hope to renew the stamp this week instead.

So a tip for anyone in the same position: Go with a man if you need to go to a local office if you feel you need support (as this I heard was one of the problems).

Yes, there can be challenges in these scenarios, or it will go smooth, as I’ve heard others just going in to the office and got a stamp without questions asked.

Anyhow – let’s leave this behind for now. I have been talking to friendly strangers around the community, randomly when taking a short walk around my house. Things comes together of why I am here, and in regards to the community-based organization’s influence in Wagwe. To meet these people and to hear their point of views of various things such as corruption or sustainable development brings me back on my track and the goal of my visit.

On Thursday, I just got noticed that I will also meet a women’s CBO group that works together to encourage and support all from helping orphans to older women, or other “everyday issues” that challanges the lives here.

Am very grateful for being here and to get these stories out.

All the best, Isabelle

My first week in northern Kenya

Welcome to Lodwar (see photos)! This is my new home, at least for the first two weeks (as I will be going back and forth to Lokichar), and in this post I will introduce to you my first week in this town.

I have now been at my study destination for exactly one week, and I have experienced both difficulties and progress. My first two days were fairly quiet and were used to try to get to know my surroundings and how to make my way around everything. I quickly noticed that everyone is very curious of me and walking around in central is not done discreetly. Everybody is starring (in friendly ways) and many come up just simply to say “Welcome!” and shake my hand. Those who do not come up still wave hello from a distance. So, during my first couple of days here I was taking in the whole picture of my new environment, locating myself, finding places to eat and finding my permanent boda boda/piki piki driver (motorcycle taxi) as it is easier to have one or two you can call when you need to go somewhere.

Although its rain season in Kenya, we experience very little of this and temperatures reach up to 40c every day in the sun, and approximately 33-35c in the shades. There are two hotels here where there is access to swimming pool, and one can pay a fee (500 ksh/43 sek) for a full day access to the pool, and this is where I spent my weekend :).

I had my first meeting with a girl I got in contact with through the project leader I am cooperating with. She works at an NGO here, and I am very pleased with how successful this meeting was. Other than this I have had a bit of a slow start but things are falling into place and I am getting more and more prepared to head out and commence the actual interviewing and field study!

In the next post I will write about my meeting with Friends of Lake Turkana that I have on Wednesday and our potential cooperation that I hope for!

Lots of love, Emma B