I had my last day at NMG today and am off to the Nairobi Star all day tomorrow and then, Saturday, off to Uganda. Praying that Chris, my contact there has a camera so I can shoot a few photos. Eddie, my friend from Tegucigalpa who is now in Kigali, Rwanda is coming down a week from now to meet me in Kampala and I cannot wait to see her. First Brady and now Eddie. Super to meet folks again on the other side of the world.
Had a great meeting with two young ladies who are working on a Science Cafe concept. A way to introduce residents, informally, to health content, conversations in a relaxed environment where they can talk to professionals about everything from personal healthcare, cancer issues, diabetes, birth control...whatever the theme might be. So we talked about how we could take the informal conversation and expand it to radio and television. Very interesting. Access to health care and health information is very difficult here. We are in the land of cholera, malaria, TB, jiggers and who knows what else.
I can tell you, I have never washed my hands as much as I have here. I am always feeling dirty and all of the restaurants give you hot washrags to wash before you eat. Pollution is horrid here...no emission standards and the vehicles belch grey smoke everywhere. And then, we have matatus, vehicle like vans that hold 13-15 people with someone standing at the open side door ushering low income people in and out. There has been at least one or more deaths daily from matatu accidents here. And there are tuk-tuks like they have in Guatemala...motorcycle cabs of sorts.
Went to Susan's house last night...former Associated Press Bureau Chief and African resident for more than 20 years in various countries. So heard lots of political background info on the parties, the displaced people, rigged elections and more. Very interesting and super great food. Which leads me to my cab driver.
Anthony drove me out to an early afternoon meeting in Lavington. The directions were complicated and he had never been there. So six conversations with my appointment later, John, the guy I was meeting, came to find us. Anthony waited for me and he didn't have change so he just told me to pay him that evening on the way to Susan's house. Now, imagine, dirt poor and he doesn't know me but he was willing to trust that I really would call him and use him (after we got thoroughly lost that earlier afternoon). Of course, I used him to Susan's and called him to come back. Looks 14, drives 100 km per hour in a 60 km area. Asked him what the speed limit was and he cheerily said...60!!