Sunday, 15 June 2014

Two weeks later

I've now been home for two weeks and it's of course very different from my adventure in Kenya. The best things with home is my family, friends, colleagues, the fresh air, jogging in the wood and getting our sail boat ready for Midsummer. Our Kenya team still keeps in touch through our Whatsapp group and I think we all appreciate that easy possibility.

With some distance from my time in Kenya, I would like to share my top 5 during my month in Africa in no specific order.

* The possibility to get to know a country beyond the traditional tourist tracks. By going to the WEF office every day, we got to see and experience something else, more everyday life.

* Sailing a hobie cat in the Indian ocean with my friend Malena with the warm winds and warm water splashing over us.

* To see and experience the energy, drive and passion of the people we met in Kenya. They are building up their country and have a goal, vision and purpose - something to work for together.

* My first safari to Amboseli. Fantastic to see all the animals out there with Kilimanjaro in the background. A dream come true for me.

* Our field trip to the women groups in the outskirts of Nairobi. This was an amazing day! To meet and talk to the women and also to see how they live, what they work with and how their lives have been impacted by the possibility to borrow money and start their own business.
#ibmcsc kenya

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Home sweet home

I was able to bring the nice weather from Nairobi with me home :-) so today I took a walk in our neighbourhood...something I really missed in Nairobi.

Thanks CSC Kenya 8 team and DOT for a great month! I'll miss you!

I was happy to meet my sons Erik and Hugo again

Street life in Nairobi

Before I close this blog, I would like to share the street life in Nairobi with you...and I didn't get it all on picture. What I missed is all the people that went in the middle of the road and sold everything you had no idea that you needed. This could be really handy those days we got stuck in traffic and could buy bananas or chips. Below you can see different kind of "stores" along the roads I went by in Nairobi.
#ibmcsc kenya

Our last...

This has been the week of our last of a lot, and a busy one. Therefore you’ll get it all in one chunk from the Kenyatta airport.

Our last weekend in Africa
Luke took us to Gatanga where he lived and worked about 10 years ago. This is appr1 hours drive north of Nairobi, up in the Aberdare mountains. Up here it was really green and the air crisp and clear. A nice change to the diesel and smoke in Nairobi. We met his former colleagues at YARD (Youth Action for Rural Development) that told us about their great work, especially with the children infected of affected by HIV. After coffee and tea, we filled our bus with people from YARD and went even further up in the mountains to where they grow tea and to the artificial lake that provides Nairobi with drinking water. A very beautiful area!
Luke, Sebastian (the founder of YARD) and Nancy

Tea plantations. Look close to see those that pick the tea.

Listening to the stories of the women
We also visited two women groups and were welcomed with singing and dancing. The first group did woven baskets and the second one did farming and had cows and pigs. The second group invited us all for lunch. I was so overwhelmed by the large portion so I totally forgot to take a picture…and more and more was added to the plate. The last group was a customer of WEF and had invested in a green house.

Indian restaurant in the evening and then dancing! The last place, Tamasha in Hurligham, was amazing – great music, semi outdoor and a lot of locals.

Bargaining at the Masai market
Sunday was shopping day starting with the Masai market where I bought a lot of gifts after serious bargaining. I’m getting good at this :-) We also went to the Village market to eat lunch and go to the Kazuri store. I think this place was in the expat area because there were so many white people – more than I’ve seen since I came to Kenya.

Our last out of assignment work - Career fair at Strathmore university
On Monday I was back in my comfort zone. Jackie and I did a presentation on Business Analytics for the students as well as hosting a break out on the same topic. They had a lot of questions like if predictive would have helped Lehman Brothers and if predictive can see when the next recession is coming.

Our last cultural evening
Daniela had this great idea, everyone makes an appetizer from home to share and we meet in her place. So we did. Heli and I made a joint Nordic effort with “gubbröra” and salmon on our appetizers. This was a great evening with lots of delicious food and drinks and laughter.

  Our last days in the office + the final presentation
After a lot of work and a couple of dry runs, we were ready for the final presentation on Friday where we delivered our 12 recommendations to WEF. It was a good meeting with great discussions and a last Kenyan lunch to finish our work together. I was sad to have to say good bye to Millicent and Rosslynne that have taken so good care of us at WEF. Our IBM colleagues were also present and together we went to the IBM office to update the executives on our findings and recommendations in our respective projects.
Luke choosing what to eat at Originelle
After we have finished our presentation

Our last dinner
Helli choosing which part of the turkey to eat

We all went together with DOT and Mildred from IBM to Carnivore. Previously, you could eat meat from the game hunts in the parks here, but nowadays the most exotic meat is crocodile (tastes like a mix of chicken and fish), ostrich, and sliced ox balls. I also tried the local drink Dawa which is like Caipirinha but with vodka instead. After a lot of laughter, we met at the pool at Riverside to listen to and together sing a farewell song provided by Dominic. The night finished with a lot of hugging….. I envy all that will go to Masai Mara together tomorrow, but I also want to go home to meet my family, friends and go out sailing – mixed feelings! I wish I could take everyone incl. the project with me home :-)

 #ibmcsc kenya