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DID YOU SAY ENERGY CRISIS?

One of these days I’m going to get myself a solar powered cooker. This is a promise I have made to myself every year for more than ten years now, usually during the month of August. The month of August holds a special place in the hearts of the Akamba people. The Akamba are long-distance traders who live in south eastern Kenya between Nairobi and Mombasa, more or less along the railway line that was built at the end of the nineteenth century and which is still...

One of these days I’m going ...

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A TRIBUTE TO WANGARI MAATHAI

For as long as the majority of Kenyans alive today have been on planet earth, the name Wangari Maathai has been synonymous with the environment, trees to be precise. And yet it was not until 2004, when Prof. Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, that we finally began to appreciate this humble woman. As fate would have it, electricity was being rationed, and the little that did come through was billed at what we considered exorbitant rates. We were lacking, and paying handsomely for...

For as long as the majority of...

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WHY STUDY FRENCH?

I can’t think of a better way to explain this than to give you the benefit of my personal experience. When I first went to Geneva, I was thinking the same thing that you’re probably thinking right now: that the whole world speaks English; and that Geneva, being home to so many international organisations, would be cosmopolitan to a fault. When you get to the ‘palais des expositions’, everyone does speak English. But the process of going from the airport to the ‘PALEXPO’ happens in French....

I can’t think of a better wa...

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FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION

In my 10-plus years in the tourism industry, I travelled through Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Surprisingly enough, my most expensive stay was right here in Kenya, at the Mpata Safari Club in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve (costing approximately 1,000 USD per night). The Mpata Safari Club, like many other units in the Maasai Mara, provides accommodation to tourists who visit the ninth wonder of the world. In addition to the annual wildebeest migration, the Mara is also home to each of the “Big Five”...

In my 10-plus years in the tou...

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BILLBOARDS

No doubt there will come a time when posterity will look back at our age and wonder what purpose billboards used to serve. For the time being, however, they are on the cutting edge of advertising. Those who frequent Nairobi can be forgiven for thinking that adopt-a-light is part of the natural landscape. There are sections of Uhuru Highway, Lang’ata Road, and Waiyaki Way for example, on which a billboard flashes by every second; and they are so ingeniously mounted as to tell a story, a roadside...

No doubt there will come a tim...

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