Monday, May 7, 2012


As I said in a recent post, I went back to Kibera last weekend. It is different every time, it changes with the seasons and is growing daily. This particular Saturday morning seemed particularly active. I think with the rains it just takes more effort to move around and it takes longer doing anything-perhaps this is why it seemed busier. There were more children in the classroom at the Kibera Mpira Mtaani project too. Maybe with the rains people are less likely to want to stay inside there homes.

My friend and I were well prepared for the visit; we wore out gum boots (wellies) as there is no escaping the mud and water and whatever else. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to live there with the weather we have been having at the moment.

Work is harder during the rains. There are only certain parts of Kibera that cars can get to, from the rest of the maze is only accessible to foot. So all the materials for building work (like the new classroom for the project) has to be carried in or pushed on carts (tough in the mud), therefore labour is more expensive during rainy season.

On the other hand, the smells are not as pungent as when I last visited. (This was a relief as we were working, teaching the ladies to make cards, in the room above the latrines). The only smell was of the fish being sold.

I want to show you more of Kibera. The largest slum in Africa. But I can't. I don't have any more photos. I find it hard to get my camera out and take photos in such close proximity to people outside their homes, or working, busily placing the oval tomatoes back into position on their pyramid. I think it's invading their privacy and space. I know I could ask and some might say yes and even enjoy it and quickly pose for a stranger.

I wish I could show you images of the men gathered round, getting involved in the argument that promised to turn into a fight; as matutus stopped more men continued to gather round the crowd, wanting to know what was going on and join in the 'fun', but a man was taken away and the fight dispersed before it began, all done with good humour and spirit.

I wish I could show you the group of children gathered round a TV watching The Last of the Summer Wine standing in the mud and dirt that surrounds them.

Another time, perhaps. I will try to take more photos on my next visit.


  1. Thanks Melissa-think you are being too kind though!
    Andi-Yes, I am very lucky to be able to see how others live, but , honestly, I an even luckier to be able to go back to my nice wee cottage again!

  2. "children gathered round a TV watching The Last of the Summer Wine standing in the mud..." It sounds more than a little surreal! :-)

  3. So glad you stopped by my blog! Yours is so interesting- I am an avid traveler and I love how you describe the people and scenes around you.


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