8 Mar 2010

The beginning of the end?

I actually wanted to avoid doing this. But I have come to termes with the fact that it is unavoidable. Yesterday was the 7th of March. And for me, this marked the beginning of the end. With only one month left in Kenya, the country that has become my second home, it is time to look back and reflect on my time in Nakuru.

I've just realized that is has been over a month since I last updated my blog. I'm sorry about that, but let me look back and show you what my last months have been filled with. After Christmas we moved from Nairobi to Nakuru. We stopped doing community development work and started student ministry. I won't even try to tell you that the transition was easy. Because the whole setting was so different and people were so different. But now, as I see the end of it, I feel that this has become a part of who I am and I don't want to leave it.

I've been experiencing things and situations that I never tought I would find my self in. To mention a few, let me tell you about FOCUS day. A lot of the students in Central Rift region was gathered to have an annual meeting. Miriam and I silently tried to sneak in on one of the back rows, but let me tell you, that didn't work out to well. After sitting there for one or two minutes one of the ushers approached us. "I'm sorry, but we have some seats for you in front", she said. We looked at each other and the silently moved with her. We got seats at the front row, together with the General Secretary of FOCUS, the speakers and other important people. After some minutes, the same lady approached all of us. "I'm sorry", she said. "I've misplaced you. You are to sit at the podium. We will ask all of you to move up there after this session". Miriam and I laughed. The situation was so strange, but when the end of the session came, we all went up on the podium and sat there for the rest of the meeting.

Miriam and I together with the General Secretary and wife
Photo: Bonface

Another time, I was with some students at Njoro Campus. That is where we are based. I was attending something called inreach. During inreach the members of the CU goes from door to door , sharing and preaching the word of God. I was to join them, just to see. And I was surprised by the openess of the students and their willingness to listen. We could really share and they responded in a positive way. After that I was persuaded to come for Bible Study. I didn't really want to go, but kenyans can be very persuasive. So I went, after being told that it would end at 21.30. That didn't happen. It ended at 22.15. There was a black-out so it was very dark outside. We called a taxi that was to come within 3 minutes. But it took closer to 15 min. By then, the front gate where I live had been closed. I had called Hellen and she was waiting for me to arrive. But that didn't happen. After driving maybe 500m the car broke down. I couldn't do much than to call some of my friends at the university, ask them to come and pick me and also find a place where I could spend the night. I ended up spending the night with Caroline, a lady from Kongo. All though my evening didn't end up as I had expected it, it was an experience that I'll remember for quite some time!

All these great experiences is one of the things that really has made my time here in Nakuru, and especially at Egerton University, Njoro Campus. But there are definately other aspects to it as well. Because I really feel that I've made good friends here. I don't know how my time here would have been if it hadn't been for Hellen!

Photo: Miriam

Hellen is the Campus Staff that we have been working with. Other names for Hellen is "the Queen". This lady has really managed to get a special place in the heart of the two Norwegians. She might seem like the silent type, but just wait untill you get to know her. She hardly shuts up, and loves bossing us around. We have really had a great time with her. One Tuesday we went for a safari. We saw lions, rhinos, a hippo, zebras and quite a lot of other wild animals. But the best trip we had with Hellen was the trip to Kitale. We visited her home town. (If you want to know more about the trip to Kitale, visit http://miriam-celine.blogspot.com)

Meeting Hellen`s family
Photo: Audhild

The Campus staff
Photo: Steve

Hellen and I

Photo: Miriam

Getting to know the students has also been a great experience. When I first came here, I felt inferior to them, due to my age. Being so much younger than them was a challenge, but after interacting with them and spending time with them, I felt that things became easier. And now, when time has come for me to leave soon, I truly feel that these are people that I'm going to miss spending time with. But in stead of focusing on that, I'd rather focus on all the great moments I've had with them.

Learning how to cut the sukuma wiki, f.v: Hellen, Dan and me
Photo: Miriam

Celebrating Miriam's birthday., f.v: Ponga and Noah
Photo: Steve

Making Mandazi, f.v Steve and me
Photo: Hellen

Antony and Loyce
Photo: Sam

Joseph and Miriam
Photo: Steve

Photo: Audhild

At the leaders traning for Njoro Campus
Photo: Steve
The time I've had here in Nakuru has been great and I'll enjoy these last days. And I'll try to remember what my wise, reflected and amazing team member, Miriam always tells me. "Remember, that this is only the beginning".

4 Feb 2010

Let it rain!

Today, I would like to take a shower. A long and hot one. But I can't.
I would also like to do wash my clothes, but I can't.
And when I use the toilet I would like to flush, but I can't.
When we prepare food, we have to be careful to make just the right amount, overspending of water would be bad.
After cooking, I would like to wash the utensils but I can't.
Photo: Audhild Rue
In Kenya right now there is an on going drought. For the three weeks that I've been in Nakuru there hasn't been a single drop of rain. The sun is burning outside and it is hot. Last week the janitor started rationing the water. Now, we only have running water two days a week.

Photo: Audhild Rue

I look at the place where we store water. The situation right now is as following, we have twenty litres of water. That water is needed for cooking, washing and other things. We don't have anymore water than that and we don't know when we'll have running water in the taps again.. A natural solution would be to go to Njoro river and get more water from there. But it has been badly polluted. The river comes from the Mau forest. The forest that is supposed to have the hightes rate of rain. It hasn't anymore.

Photo: Taken from the internett
The two photos here are from the same place. The difference in huge!

Photo: Audhild Rue

So, what to do next? For Miriam and me, the answer is simple. We go to the supermarket, buy 10l of fresh water. It only costs us 220 shilling. Maybe we buy two bottles.
But then, what about the other ones? The families that can't afford bying water, that either has to wait for the rains to come or use the water in Njoro river.
What about them?

24 Jan 2010


Driving is alway something I enjoy. Back home in Norway I have my driver's lincence. I enjoy it! Also here in Kenya driving has been a joyful experience. Sitting in the Matatu's. The noice is so loud that sometimes I wonder if my hearing is getting bad. But it is enjoyable. The times when the Matatu is SO crowded that if it you wouldn't move an inch if it were to stop suddently.. And the times when we have long drives and you plug in the i-pod and open the window. The lovely nature that passes by, at the same time I can't stop wondering "How fast are we really driving?!?". Also the times when visit Campus and drives Boda Boda. That is some motosyckle that drives around campus. Sitting there, feeling the wind blow in my hair and almost jumping of the seat everytime we drive over a speedbump.

But there is one thing that we have discovered here in Nakuru. A thing that really makes our trips into the city not too enjoyable. The first time I really noticed it was last sunday on our way home after a trip to one of the other campuses that we work with. I was sitting in the back of the Mat, just relaxing. We had just turned off from the high way and were on our way up to Njoro where we live.

Suddently there is a lot of movement in the Mat as everyone rushes to put on their seat belts. I tried to do the same, just to find out that in the backseat the seat belt wasn't installed. Ahead of us I saw the police. Overconfident as I was, I thought to myself "Who cares. I won't get cheked". I went back to just relaxing. Then a policeman knocks on my window. I open it and he asks "are you wearing a seat belt?". I answerd honestly that I wasn't because the one installed here wasn't working. He answered me that there was no worry and we could continue.

I felt a mixture of relief and worry as we drove on. Relief because I wasn't in trouble. But how on earth could he tells us just to keep driving. The answer was so obvious.

After that incident I always put in my seat belt the moment I enter the Mat. But the thing is that the police haven't checked us after that. They stop us, the conductor talkts to them and at the same time they slip them 100 Shilling. This happens almost everytime we travel to Nakuru. It's is safe to say that Miriam and I get quite provoked everytime they stop us. The questions is why do the people put up with this for years and years.

I read in the newspaper later that week, that if you pay 100 shillings a day in transportation, 30 shillings of the goes directly in the poket of a corrupt policeman. If you do that for one year you pay the police almost 11 000..

13 Jan 2010

Time to move

To all of my followers in Norway. Starting from now I'm mostly going to write in English in my blog, so it is time to start practising. If not, then I recommend to use the google translator gadget on the right side of the webpage.
I have now moved out of Nairobi and ended up in the small town, Nakuru. It is a nice place, but I can't help missing Nairobi and all the great people we met there.. But this will not be a sentimental farewell-blogpost, because I know that I will return to Nairobi shortly.
But instead, let me take you around in my new room.
As some of you might have heard Miriam and my room is purple. But the most facinating thing about it is that not a single corner is 90 degrees. I hope that the photo will show the space that is between the wall and the bed.
This works as our kitchen/work place. Here we store a bit of food and also we have our school books here. The fact that we have a desk will come in handy when it is time to write the schoolpaper.
Here is Miriam's little hut. She got the corner. We have decorated the place with the Kenyan flag, to feel a bit like Kenyans. Miriam will be my team-mate for the next two months as the two other have gone to different places.
This is my bed. Yes, to all you who know me. This picture is taken shortly aften we had cleaned the room.
This is the door to the washrooms.. We have decorated it with friends and loved ones.
This is our "Mathare mirror". On both sides of the mirror we have lots of pictures of the children from the daycare and also the friends we made while working in Mathare. Everytime we look in the mirrior we will also remember all the great times we had.
This is our front door.

Welcome into our washroom. The walls are green. Quite a disturbing color when you want to take a relaxing shower. But we have decorated it with postcards from Norway.

So this is where I'll be spending the next two months. I'll be working with students at different campuses around Nakuru.

31 Dec 2009

Godt nytt år!

Året 2009 er snart over, og me skal ta imot det nye året, 2010. Over heile verden blir denna dagen feira. Det gamle er forbi og det er igjen på tide med ein ny start og nye muligheter. For min del kommer detta også til å bli ein annerledes nyttårsaften. Det kommer nok ikkje til å være raketter og kalkun er det tvilsomt at eg kommer til å spise. Men takk og lov for at eg har gode venner som skal være der og gå inn i det nye året sammen med meg.

Det er jo også tid for refleksjon. Hva gjorde det gamle året spesielt og hva vil eg prøve å forbedre i det nye? Eg har gitt opp nyttårsforesetter som "Eg skal spise sunnere, Eg skal trene meir, Eg skal bli flinkere på skulen". De fungerer i 2 måneder og så er de glømt. Det sier vel kanskje mest om min sjølvdisiplin.

Men først og fremst, takk til alle de som gjorde 2009 til det spesielle året som det var. Detta året føler eg at eg virkelig har sprengt mange grenser. Eg har vært på to kontinent eg aldri har vært på før, eg har flytta til et annet land, eg er ferdig med videregående og russefeiring. Det har vært et år der eg føler at eg har vokst masse og sett nye sider ved meg sjølv. Noen vil eg prøve å endre på, noen har blitt endra og noen vil eg beholde.

Året 2009 har i alt vært et godt år og eg er takknemlig for mange nye venner som eg kommer til å beholde i framtida, eg er også takknemlig for gamle venner som er der for meg hver gang eg trenger de.

Så hva ligger egentlig foran i året 2010? Det eg veit er at det er nye utfordringer, sorger, gleder, lærdommer og utvikling. Der eg er nå, kommer eg ikkje til å være ved inngangen til 2011. At mye ligger foran er det ingen tvil om. Så hva tenker eg egentlig at mine nyttårsforesetter skal være?

Eg ønsker å inspirere og å bli inspirert.
Eg ønsker å opprettholde gode vennskap, både de nye og de gamle.
Eg ønsker å hjelpe de som trenger hjelp.
Men mest av alt ønsker eg å være et Guds redskap som Han kan bruke.

Godt nytt år, alle sammen og takk for det gamle!!

26 Dec 2009

Ein litt annerledes julefeiring!

Snø, kulde, julegaver, ribbe og familie. Det er ord som pleier å beskrive den vanlige julefeiringa mi. Det er det trygge og vante, det som eg kjenner til.. Denna jula, var som mye annet detta året, litt annerledes. Med gress, varme, sol og Chapati tok Kristina, eg og noen gode hjelpere å ordna til ein julefest for venner, kollegaer og barna i daycare'en.

Etter å ha blitt kasta ut av kjøkkenet, satte Kristina og eg kon ned for å vente. Spente på hvor mange som egentlig kom til å dukke opp på juleaften. Rundt kl 1 begynte me virkelig å bli spente på om folk kom og i såfall, hvor mange? Plutselig bryter Kristina ut "OJ!!". Spent snur eg meg rundt og ser at ein heil matatu kommer kjørende inn på gårdsplassen. Ut av døra kommer de, ein etter ein. Eg blir satt ut.. Tenk at så mange ville komme! Me blir fortalt av ein kompis at detta er ikkje alle og at fleire er på veg. W-O-W. Eg var heilt satt ut.

Rundt halv 3 var det klart for middag. Ris, stuing og chapati var det som stod på menyen. Detta falt godt i smak. Etter middag var det klart for leik og morro. Og med jevne mellomrom datt det inn nye personer. De fleste satt rundt om på plenen og koste seg med noen solstråler, mens de små og litt større hadde det gøy med fotball eller andre leiker.

Men nå skal eg endelig fortelle dikkon hvor mange som faktisk dukka opp. Me hadde grovt beregna 100 personer. For min del ville eg ha vært fornøyd med 30 - 50. Så du kan tro eg var glad når det på det meste var 120 personer der!

Rundt kl 5 satte de aller fleste nesa heimover. Alle virka som om de hadde hatt ein fin dag. Detbeste for min del var det å få dele julefeiringa med gode venner. Få være sammen med noenandre, de som kanskje ikkje ville ha fått et skikkelig julemåltid. Du trenger ikkje ribbe, snø, kulde og julegaver. Det viktigaste er gleden ein kan ha, er gleden av å gi!

18 Dec 2009


Fra 14.-18. desember har det vært infield her i Kenya, med team fra Uganda, Madagaskar og Kamerun. Det har vært ein flott gjeng på 13 personer og besøk av lærere fra Norge. Me har gjort mye gøy og det har vært flott å se igjen andre Hald-folk!

Infield begynte på mandag. Det var mye glede og latter etterhvert som de forskjellige teamene ankom Den Norske Skolen i Nairobi. Da Kenya -teamet ankom blei me møtt av Kamerun-jentene og de fire fra Madagaskar. Seinere på kvelden kom også Focus Uganda teamet og infield kunne offisielt begynne.

Det har vært noe undervisning og mye praktisk. På tirsdag og i dag har vi hovedsaklig vært på DNS. UNdervisninga har gått mye på bearbeiding av inntrykk, samtaler om veien videre og informasjonsarbeid. Onsdag var dagen da vi i Kenya-teamet viste fram arbeidet som me har gjort i Mathare og de fikk ein rundtur nede i slummen. Etter noen timer der, reiste me videre og besøkte den største slummen i Nairobi, nemlig Kibera. Her besøkte med ei kirke som dreiv med forskjellige prosjekter, der ein tidligere Hald-student nå jobber. Han kommer fra Kenya, men hadde aldri vært i noen av slummane. Etter oppholdet sitt i Norge bestemte han seg for å reise dit og innvolverte seg i prosjekter der. Tror og håper at det blei ein dag med inntrykk som kan være med på å forandre mennesker.
Så på torsdag var det på tide med den store turistdagen, til min store fortvilelse. Etter over 2 måneder i detta landet var det hardt å blir tatt for å være ein turis etter å ha kjempa for å bli aksepter av vennene mine i Mathare som ein Kenyaner. Me reiste på safari til Lake Nakuru. Det var ein flott dag, men mange artige opplevelser. Me såg ein flodhest, sebraer, bøffler, sebraer, giraffer, enda fleire sebraer, neshorn, bavianer, impalaer...... og ENDA fleier sebraer.. Men alt i alt så var det virkelig ein flott tur med mange gode opplevelser.

Alt i alt, ein flott Infield!!