déj? vu

The beauty of living in upcountry, rural & remote (really LOST) places like this kijiji (village) over here in Germany is that it sometimes reminds of the “Place of Cold Waters”, also known as the “Green Grey City in the Sun” or just the “City of Nairobi” in Kenya.
Back in those days when KBC aired boring tv shows and KTN only offered phoney BlueBand commercials, I would go to Sarit Centre and borrow one of those “brand new copies” which often turned out to be camera-copies from a cinema in Karachi.
I understand that things are a bit different today and that the media coverage in Nairobi itself is much better. However, having arrived at home with such a VHS tape back in those days, eagerly awaiting two relaxing hours of pure entertainment, something very common would happen – something, experts call “power failure”.
Kenya being the country of my choice, those power failures never really changed my mood and I often found other interesting things to do like going out and enjoying a Tusker in Waruku and talking politics with Kamau, Njoroge and Wachira.

Two days ago – after all those years of wondering how to do it – I eventually managed to succesfully connect my computer with my televisioni using this conglomeration of cables and cinch, svhs & scart connectors:


Of course, Murphy’s Law being the prevailing law of nature technology, things wouldn’t be that easy and I also had to download THIS great little programme to get things going with my older Nvidia GF3 Ti 200 video card (hey hey, NERD-content generates blog-traffic! :-) and a short test with the whole installation turned out to be positive.
So there I was: ready to enjoy “Hotel Rwanda” in JKE’s jua kali Home Entertainment System (JKHES®)!

Five minutes after the movie had started, my old friend by the name of “power failure” came back and switched off everything. For a second.
Well, I told my visitors something like “hakuna shida” – and that I’d be disappointed because I was expecting a longer power failure….
Just as said those words, power went off again, stayed off for about 2hrs and there it was again: the reminiscence of Nairobi.


meegan2.jpg "Then Where Is Your God?"

"Don’t worry, all will be well. It’s ok. This god is here. That god is in you. That God is what you’re going to do about this suffering. God is in this people. The more you live in Africa, the more you realize the power of faith in these countries. That’s the wonderful thing. You don’t leave Africa overwhelmed with despair, in tears. You leave Africa inspired, because you realize that this continent is so powerful. It’s so strong, has so much love, so much energy…"

Dr Michael Meegan, international director of ICROSS, in an interview with BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur sometime earlier in 2005.

I came home from a play at the theater last night and still had some energy left to be wasted in front of tv when I came across this interesting interview on BBC World with Michael who is said to be in Kenya since 27 years now. Despite of the interesting and commendable work he does in assisting the people living or even dying with HIV+, his words and content smile speak for themselves: the man has found his place.
In addition, I think his criticism towards international aid & dev. organisations and their ever changing policies is absolutely justified.

"I have always believed it is our actions, not our thoughts that matter. Tears have never fed a child, pity has never healed a wound. Unless words become deeds, unless dreams are lived, they are mere deceptions".
(Dr. Michael Meegan)

Interesting to note, btw, that people in Germany will be spending around 100 million EUROs on fireworks on the last day of this year (on a single day!). According to ICROSS’ donation information, that’s a lot of food, vaccinations or mosquito nets. Hmmm….

p.s.: ati, isn’t that mzee Thesiger? :-)


There are a lot of couples out there that are trying hard to give birth to a child.

And there are some women out there that have no other choice than to give their child away / leave it in a hospital because they just can’t afford it or because they don’t have supporting (and understanding) men. Like in many other countries, there are some committed people in Germany that have organised so-called "Babytüren" (~baby doors) [PDF overview] where young mothers can leave their child anonymously or get some advice and a helping hand on how to deal with this difficult situation. All that without being affraid of any prosecution by the government and in case they might change their mind, they have a right to reclaim their child within 8 weeks. As far as I am informed, there are about 50 such abandonments in Germany every year. Today I was told that in Kenya there are about 10 new born children "forgotten" in hospital each week.

I am not an expert on this, and as a man I will never even be directly confronted with this difficult decision – but as a member of this global society I feel responsible as well and I would like to appeal to everyone out there that all those children are a gift and that it is our job to take care of them. Of every single child.

Another friend of mine is working at a paedriatric clinic and just told me that she’s been witnessing this case where a father had raped his new born, less than a year old child and continued until a row came up and police was called in.

The reason I am mentioning all this is because such crimes happen and there’s nothing I can do about it for the time being except for talking about it and raising some awareness for such matters.