Arrived in Nairobi!

Hello everybody!

I arrived in Nairobi, and I am still not robbed, so don’t worry too much J. I am having a great time here, and I think I will be having an even greater time in the coming 4 months that I will be here. When I arrived at the airport, I was picked up by a taxi driver. He immediately started to talk to me as if we knew each other for years and as if he was my best friend. When I arrived at the place I would be staying at, I met two people who live there. They were just going out for diner, so I joined them. We had a party with other interns from the UN. It was great fun. This weekend I was somehow alone in the house, since all of the interns were traveling. I decided to call Janneke, whom I had been in contact with before I arrived here. She invited me for her goodbye party. Up till Saturday morning I did not have the feeling that I was in Africa. Everywhere there are white people, everybody speaks English, the weather is quite like it is in the Netherlands, and the area I am living in is very rich, with lots of green around. Nearby there is the so called village market, which is a huge shopping mall with everything you can find in Europe AND in Kenya AND in India. So I am not lacking anything. In terms of housing, I am very lucky as well. I have a big bedroom with a bed for two, there are several bathrooms in the house, a swimming pool and two huge sitting rooms. And I am even paying less than I was doing in Wageningen!

Today I officially started working. I had to collect my pass. I am an official UNDP staff member now (see picture)! The PEF, the Facility I am working for, is very new. It is located in one of the compartments within the UN Compound, which is a huge green park (many trees, rivers and pools in it) with many UN organizations. The office of the PEF is very new, and I have a brand new working place with everything I would wish for: computer with access to internet, desk, telephone, printer, etc. Today I had to arrange most of the formalities and my installation here, but tomorrow I will really start working. I will begin working on the website of the PEF/PEI, and I will also get in contact with people from the Poverty-Environment Partnership, an informal network of NGOs, governments and other agencies working on issues that concern poverty and environment. Philip Dobie, the director of the Facility, is a really nice guy, and he told me I had lots of work to do. Let’s see!

This weekend I went to Matare, one of the slums in Nairobi (see picture). It was quite an experience to walk there. It was a huge area covered with small buildings built up by pieces of metal and wood. There were several flats as well. There was litter everywhere, and also dogs, goats, cats, ducks and chickens walking around. It was a strange experience, because it did not felt as if people living there were poor or to be pitied with. They were actually smiling a lot to us, and all the kids were shouting ‘How are you?’(even the smallest ones, who obviously did not know what it meant).

I went to Matare with another intern because there was a project of the YEP, the Youth Empowerment Programme, which is an organization run by UN interns. They are setting up a school in the slums, and also a kind of latrine for the people. Very interesting projects, I think I will be involved in the YEP as well.

That’s my stories for now. Hope I have updated you sufficiently.

Bye for now!
Dearest greetings,

2 Responses to “Arrived in Nairobi!”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Ey Marjan!

    Het klinkt echt heel interessant wat je allemaal beschrijft!
    Veel succes met het ‘a lot of work’ 🙂

    Ik ben gisteren weer de eerste dag naar school geweest, ik had gelijk ook ‘a lot of work’ helaas… haha
    We zijn in groepen verdeeld en ik zit bij 7 jongens en 1 meisje, 1 jongen is van canada, 1 van engeland en dat meisje is van china, dat is wel leuk hè?

    Oja, de foto(‘s) doen het nog niet, kan dat kloppen?

    See you next year!


  2. lotte Says:

    Wat leuk om de foto’s te zien van waar je zit! Echt super mooi huis, ik ben jaloers… Heb je al in het zwembad gelegen of is het nog steeds te koud daar?
    Werk ze!
    je zus