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Home at last

After a final overnight bus ride from Nairobi in which the bus only broke down once, I am home at last.

The initial bus ride was uneventful though the Kenyan road need some serious work. The bus weaves between potholes and most of the roads are painfully bumpy. It was very nice getting to Nairobi because it is nice and cool there. The temperature felt very similar to what I was used to back in California. It was amusing to see everyone huddled in their winter coats and blankets as we arrived. Everyone was talking about how cold it was when it was probably a nice 65 degrees.

Our first order of business was working with Women Economic Empowerment Consort (WEEC) and we spent a few days training them on the Kiva website.

The highlight of the entire trip was heading out with them to visit some of the women who have received loans through Kiva. We travelled about an hour outside of Nairobi to an area that they call Maasai Land as this particular group were Maasai women. As I think Jon put it...We travelled on the paved road until the paved road ended, then we travelled on the dirt road until the dirt road ended, then we walked along a path until the path ended, then we just kept walking through the bush. There was only a faint glipse of a house or two in the distance otherwise the place was empty except for the occasional wildebeast.

Finally we spotted a lady carrying with a very big knife, luckily she was the person we were looking for.


This area was hit extremely hard by the drought last year and is just now beginning to come back to life. Almost all the cattle died and the women have used the Kiva funds to buy new cattle to try to rebuild their herds. For this woman, all but three of her cows died and I believed she used the Kiva money to buy 6 new cows.

We then headed off to find the other two recipients who live near each other (and by that I mean within several kilometers). It took awhile but we eventually found them.



They were very nice and invited us to see their homes. Each had a traditional mud house called a manyatta and also a house next to it made of currogated steel.

Here is what the manyatta looks like:


and inside the steel house:


We went out in search of their cattle and along the way the ground was littered with the bones of the cattle that died last year.


All in all, it was a very interesting day and it was nice to meet some of the people who are benefiting from the loans we are providing.

Lots more pictures here.

Jon & Cale have a video of our trip here

Next stop...Tanzania and the bus ride that wouldn't end.