August 31, 2005

Traffic jam…

Early morning walking in a traffic jam of pedestrians. Since the prices of matatus doubled about one and a half year ago, more people had to walk to their work. We call it ‘The Walking Nation’ in Kenya. So early morning you find yourself in a crowd of walking people. Some of them walk four hours a day. Although this is a development country, Nairobi also has a traffic problem with cars. Some people spend an hour a day in a traffic jam. At least car owners found some “>good news in the newspaper today
August 30, 2005

Work-shopping in Kenya

The usual early morning coffee at the beginning of a promising day in Nairobi Westlands.Leaving the coffee venue, a big hotel in Westlands, we were passing a few rooms. Inside the overhead projectors were ready: blue screens with the next NO SIGNAL. Video players were installed in all rooms as were the bottles of water, coffee, tea and muffins. The hotel is ready for another day of Four Star work shopping on how to help the poor.
August 25, 2005

I love camels

We all have dreams. Meeting a lot of people travelling the continent. This guy I met a few months ago in Laikipia, Kenya. He is a Turkana and his life is about… camels. He loves them. That day it was sunny, hot and we were walking through teh semi desert area with… camels. He sings and I tried to have a conversation with him. Listen here. One of my questions was about his dreams.
August 25, 2005

Massacre in Turbi

This is a fragment. I did some reporting on a massacre in the North of Kenya, recently. Listen to this fragment (by clicking here) of a teacher who tried to save four boys that were killed with machineguns. Full report will be online shortly.
August 24, 2005

Imagine, you are a girl in Kenya

Imagine: you are a girl; you work in a bar. The bar closes at around three at night. You live on a five minute walk from your home. You leave the place after work to go home. Police comes, asks for you ID. You have it. But then, they start making troubles. They say: “What are you doing here? Why at this time?” Yoy answer them, but they deny. “You are a prostitute!” You know it is not true. But you can’t show them your job ID. For many Kenyan Girls, this is reality. Walking along the street at night is often seen as prostitution. You will be arrested or/and you have to pay. It has to do with women rights. Months ago some members of Parliament were caught in K-Street using certain ‘services’ (the ‘non-existing’ Red Light Zone in Nairobi City Center).Imagine: the story was in the papers. People
August 23, 2005


Months ago I travelled to Netherlands. In the plane, just after taking of from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, I looked around me. I could not believe my eyes! Was this… just behind me…? I checked the picture of his book, that was in my bag (not by coincidence). Yes! It was him! Ryszard Kapuscinski! One of my heroes. The famous writer/Africa journalist. I looked him in the eyes. But he didn’t see me. I wondered how i could get into contact with him, less than two meters behind me. It took me hours, but if you are that near, you can feel as small as… So: I did not get into contact. When I left the plane about eight hours later, I went through the customs. Suddenly somebody was knocking on my shoulder. I turned my head and I looked in one of the happiest faces I ever saw. ‘Are
August 23, 2005

Hotel Rwanda

Watched the movie Hotel Rwanda about the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. It made me think of the interviews I did more than a year ago for a story about the New Rwanda, 10 years after the genocide. Anita, the girl on this photograph, is one of the girls I interviewed. She told me her story: the neighbours came in and killed everybody but her. She can’t forget. This picture was taken in the Genocide Museum in Kigali.
August 22, 2005

Kenya Police: a friendly experience

In the country where I was born we say (without any irony): The Police is your best friend. In Kenya, people could say police are worse then thieves. They misuse their power for robbing, arresting people, often with the only reason to get money. recently, i heard a story about a police man that refused to pay a matatu fee of 20 shillings. The whole bus started protesting and told him: ‘This is the fee, just pay.” Then the police officer in plain clothes decided to force the minibus to drive to the police station. He said everybody would be arrested. But things are changing. Reporting on the massacre in Turbi, me an my colleague got a ride from a police car over a 140 kilometer dirt road between Marsabit and Turbi, through the dessert, and I could not believe it when they said that the ride was free of
August 15, 2005


Sorry everybody that visited this Blog. From now on, I will be online more frequently. At the moment busy planning trips to Northern Uganda and/or Southern Sudan. Today working on a radio report on nomadic violence in Northern Kenya. At the moment the tension is still high in the area where a few weeks ago a massacre took place.

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