Friday, July 17, 2009

Winding down...July 17, 2009

My morning started off bright and early at 4:30 a.m. I hit the streets early with Lucky, a team leader for circulation at the Nairobi Star. Asked him if his name was a nickname or his real name and it is his legal real name. He was born a month early, and back then, well, now as well, health care is/was spotty at best. Most babies back then died if born a month his older brother suggested naming him Lucky, since he survived.

The scrappy number 3 paper, Nairobi Star staff are scrappy and aggressive. There was quite a difference in his approach to relationship building and sales with his distributors and vendors from what I saw at the number one paper.

Tonight is African night at the restaurant here and I am getting a "to go" box so I can sample some real African food. Going out to dinner but thought I would leave you with a few interesting insights into Nairobi.

Everyone has a cell phone but no one uses or has voice mail! Think about all the calls you make and leave messages. Nope, wait for the return call or keep calling til you annoy someone enough that they pick up!!

Punctuation in conversations, generally on the phone, instead of "umhum, uhhuh" is the sound of a long "a" as in plate. So you will hear folks saying a, a, a, over and over again. Or they will say, "sawa, sawa, sawa, OK,OK,OK" and they do it that way. Three sawa's and three OKs. Kinda like how folks in Colombia finish a phone call by saying, "bueno, pues, ciao." Meaning...good, well, bye. Ciao or bye bye would do it. I enjoy these little language differences very much.

Because of the British Colonial period, much is English/British but not like we know it. For example, Tanzania, is pronounced here as Tan-zan-ya instead of Tan-za-nia. Little differences which make the language similar but not.

More later....decided to go back to Daily Nation because I ended up not spending the whole day as planned at the Nairobi Star...there was a bit of a scheduling issue between departments and bosses.

Looking forward to Uganda although, I still haven't heard recently from my contact there and hoping all is ready for me. I leave tomorrow morning so it may be a bit before you hear from me.


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