Butterflies in Nairobi

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Tilapia

A carp from Lake Victoria…

This fresh water fish comes from Lake Victoria. This lake is one of the collectively known Great Lakes of Africa, among which Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika are two of the most famous one. These great lakes are a result of a rift. The rift has created depressions which are filled with water, sometimes alcaline, like in the case of Lake Nakuru.

Other lakes such as Lake Nakuru or Lake Naivasha can be seen on this blog.

Lake Vitoria is named after Queen Victoria – like many other places in Easter Africa such as for instance the Victoria Falls This is subject to confusion because the falls are not at all located in Eastern Africa : they are located in Southern Africa at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. For now, Lake Victoria is a natural border between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

But here is one of the delicious fish coming straight from the town by the lake, Kisumu. The lake, like most fresh water areas in Africa, is inhabited by crocodiles and the fishermen risk their lives to get this fish for us.

In Nairobi, ladies like this one, set up a stove and fry it for us. Prices rage from 700 to 1200 Ksh (Kenyan Shillings) depending on the size of the fish.

 

Warthogs

Warthogs…phacochère in French…

before coming to Kenya I didn’t even know the word, not to speak of the animal… not even in French… They feed on their knees… so funny….They look like domesticated wild pigs, they look like cartoon animals! I see families:  the mother and the playful kids. They are never afraid of us…

more info click on the link to wikipedia

The weather in Nairobi

Nairobi after the monsoon rains

As I was packing I packed the same clothes as for Singapore: Nairobi is at the same latitude, but South of the equator, 80 km to be precise. Being so experienced, I knew excatly what to pack. ” Haha, this weather wouldn’t fool me”! I was expecting terrible heats and humidity and also a rainy season. When looking for a flat knowing about the high level of criminality I had wanted a flat with a pool. Thus I thought, after class I could have a lovely cool swim, and exercise within my building. I wanted a flat with A/C. The weather would be very much like that of Pune – an inland city of India at around 150 km from Mumbai : that’s to say terrible! In Pune I tried all the strategies I could think of in order to cool down: dressing with wet clothes etc…To me life there was an ordeal. I was really scared of the heat in Nairobi as my experiences on the equator had been by the sea. I had also brought my mosquito gear: mosquito net, repellants, and mosquito electrocutor I had brought back from India – my mosquito paradise.

When I arrived in my non A/C -non pool flat, I went straight to bed. To my great surprise the first morning I woke up with a runny nose! The second day it was the same, and I had to dress up warmly.

The students being naïve think that we the wasungus – the white people- can’t be cold. Then I told them that it had nothing to do with that, but more to do with our blood circulation.

After never being hot at home I thought that the buildings were built very in a  clever way, that this grey rock that made them seem unfinished was really efficient,  and that the walls were so thick that we couldn’t be hot. But a week later I noticed that it was actually cold outside in the open air too!

Finally when enquiring about the weather, I was told that Nairobi is located at 1700 meters above the sea level! The British had established the capital city here, because of the weather : the cooler temperatures meant hardly no mosquitos and no malaria!

What shall I do with all my summer clothes?

Of course I would have not been in such great trouble had I read the first page of Out of Africa first, where Blixen perfectly describes in one sentence the weather in Nairobi :

“The Equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt you had got up high, near to the sun, the the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold”.

Out of Africa, p. 13

Hello! Welcome to a thrilling new experience

Today it’s September 26th 2012. A new adventure is about to start for me in a few days.

I will be heading for East Africa for the first time.

Also to teach French as a full time teacher for the first time.

In a Military school, this is definataly my first time too.

And it’s also the first time I’ll be working in a country I don’t know at all!

Also the first time I’ll have only male students…

Getting information is not that easy. So I have decided to create an online report of the experience first of all to collect information and also so that the person who will come after me, will have all the information needed before coming and first hand!