12 Jul “GIMME THAT NUT! You’re not even using it!”
So we know it has been a while since the crew from OGEA put up a post, but we’re going to try to do a much better job! We have tried three times this week but Kenya seems to run into another power outage every other hour so hopefully we’ll get through this one! With the discovery team back home in their cozy beds Rachel and I headed back to Maragoli for a week of intense planning for our next team to arrive, and just as we were getting to that point of “GIVE ME SOME TEAM!” They arrived in five amazing groups to Nairobi on July 4/5. This time we’ve got quite the crew, and we’ve had an unbelievable time so far. With the last trip being our time to figure everything out, we had a few up and down’s, but knock on wood, this time so far everything has gone absolutely perfect as our team huddles close and spoons under the Naivasha stars! We started the journey out in Nairob’s, which was sunny for all three days of Orientation, a first for an OGEA trip! The warm sun gave a super-positive outlook to orientation as we hit the streets in backpacker style, eating chappati and sukuma at the famed Police Station Kanteen and then hitting up the Market where we grabbed t-shirts for printing and quite a few pairs of really epic boxers. That night we hit up the Kanteen again, for a quick bite and of course to watch out favourite Mexican/Kenya/Badly Dubbed English soap called Soy tu Buenna. After a tusker, some hot Kenyan drama, and some Beyonce (Girls Rule the World/OGEA Political theme song) we headed home for some awesome politics talks under the stars on the roof.
Nairobi also saw us hitting up Kibera, the second largest slum in the world to see Solo 7’s crew at the Maasai Mbili Art Studio. It was truly amazing to see Kibera in sunlight (the past 4 times Rachel and I had been there before it was cloudy) and it gave us a really optimistic and positive impression of the slum which was really great! The team also shared in this, and we ended it off with an amazing tour and political talk about the 2007 post election violence as well as a lunch at our favourite Kibera hotel. We ended our time there by speaking with Solo 7 about messages of Peace, and were later informed that our dear friend was involved in a fire that resulted in him losing his house. We felt the need to contribute to the cause and ended up purchasing a huge “Peace Wanted Alive” painting, and cutting it up into twelve pieces for everyone on the team. We’s so connected!
Kibera, was one thing, but after this we rented a matatu (p.s. WE HAVE HAD THE BEST LUCK EVER WITH MATATU’s on the political trip) and hit up the Mathare Slum to meet up with the Mwelu Foundation. Mwelu was epic, and they equip children with cameras to document their lives in the slum, and use the money from these photos to pay for school fees, the community library and homework center and other initiatives. Our group who is very camera savvy soaked in the spirit of the foundation and we think a few will return for ITT. While here we took a tour of the slum, avoided being hit by the local Changaa (illegal alcohol) producers who threw rocks at us thinking we were journalists, and ended the day with a huge game of “WHHHAAAAAA!”
Quote of the day: “Until I was 18 I thought the slum was the second best neighbourhood on earth. If I were to die I would hope that there was a slum in heaven.” Julius, Mwelu Foundation
We then left Nairobi for a few days under the beautiful Naivasha stars/rain clouds and went on a seamless 4 hour hike/bike ride through Hell’s Gate National Park. The place never fails to amaze me, and this time we all decided to get cozy in the gorge while our guide climbed a cliff to take what is hopefully: THE FIRST AND OBVIOUSLY MOST EPIC OG SPOONING PICTURE EVER! We spooned where Angelina Jolie once stood to film Tomb Raider, beat that!
Right now we’re in North Maragoli, chilling with the community in the OGEA home base. We’ve been the local Brazza to hear project proposals and meet the chief, and today we spent the entire day working with the Muungano Foundation at the special needs school. It was so inspiring to see these children with all sorts of special abilities play, and share and just be crazy amazing! We will be spending much more time here, and hopefully we will be able to help out alot!
For now, we’re going to be safe and get this posted before the power is cut!
But Peace Love and Tusker
(And Gimme’ that NUT! You’re not even using it! – Our slogan for the trip and customizable in an endless number of different ways!)