Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Racing Through Bureaucracy

Well, Mandy had tons of meetings today with tons of different folks. Everything is going much smoother than we had anticipated. Everybody she is meeting with are completely supportive and helpful.

I spent most the day hanging out with our driver. Quite the interesting fella. Learned a bunch about the area and the history of Kenya. Here is a glimpse:
  • There are tons of security guards everywhere. I asked him why none of them had guns and he stated that the gun laws in Kenya are quite strict. Only the police have guns...and a very select group of private citizens that have applied for gun permits. Gun permits are extremely difficult to get as the applicants are severely scrutinized. He then commented and asked me to imagine what would have happened after the disputed December election if every Kenyan had a firearm or access to one. He stated that there would have been all out civil war and tons of Kenyans would have died. He said that instead of civil war, all the upset parties took to the streets with the weapons of past wars (machetes, bows and arrows, spears, etc.). This reality is what kept the casualty count down.
  • The price of living has raised close to 30% since the disputed election and the violence that followed it. A loaf of bread used to cost 25 shillings and now it costs around 35 shillings. The price of gas has also risen from 70 shillings to almost 100 shillings now. This increase in the price of living has really hurt local families. He then commented about how we all know that when a cost rises....it never falls again regardless of the circumstances. (I think the exchange rate is currently about 1 US dollar to 60 Kenyan Shillings).

For the record, Mandy and I are watching "Tusker Project Fame" at this very moment on the local channel....some kind of American Idol spin-off. (LEAH - SMS 8 immediately to 3263 to Save Jacob!!!) - https://www.tuskerprojectfame.com/index.asp


I got some good pics of downtown Nairobi so I'll try and upload them soon.

Kwa Hera! (good bye)
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