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.HENNEKE'S BLOG 

Whatever ... 2011 ... this must be # nine

 

 Coastweek   Kenya


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Coastweek -- Every day the 'pad' is beginning to look more and more like home.

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Local tailors vs mighty Oxfam

the shipments of second hand clothes
coming from 'Oxfam' and other charities
are putting local tailors out of business

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Coastweek -- I recently wrote about the fabulous tailors of Kenya.

My friend Jane tells me that all the shipments of second hand clothes coming from Oxfam and other charities are putting local tailors out of business.

You probably all knew this already, so apologies if you’re banging your heads against the wall screaming ‘tell me something I don’t know’.

Unfortunately my ignorance is a mirror reflecting wider ignorance in west – no one there knows this stuff.

The story about the bad results of ‘helpful’ charidees is slowly gathering pace – brilliant work by people like my friend Jane Bussmann ('The Worst Date Ever'), Dambisa Moyo ('Dead Aid'), and others is getting the ball rolling.

Here’s to them!

Meanwhile, I vow not to visit Kongowea, even though I hear it sells everything from designer gear to Primark and back again.

Even though I hear it’s GREAT.

Well maybe just one fact finding mission ...

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SEX: Mtwapa is a bit of a mirror ?

In a town where a number of foreign visitors are there for sex of some sort or another, Mtwapa is a bit of a mirror onto our sad sack souls.

I hear this tiny part of the coast is also known as 'America', I think because of its outlaw nature – when it comes to 'sex tourism', anything goes. 

With this freight of traffic, I certainly found that several native Kenyans in Mtwapa expected me to be after sex of some sort or another:

"You want boys?"

"No thanks."

"Girls?"

"Nope."

"Boys and girls?"

"Er no, just this mango thanks."

Turns out there’s a lot of people out there who will take someone much younger and better looking than themselves just because they can pay for it.

And all variations are in play.

People tell me this is just simple market dynamics.

Supply and demand.

But I’m in the market for style and grace and kindness and charm, and I’m willing to pay top dollar, yet the market for this remains more elusive.

I was at a bar eating lunch with Jane.

George introduced himself.

Hi, Hi’, we chatted a bit.

The food came – lovely cooked cabbage, tomato salad, roasted chicken.

I pushed a plate in Jane’s direction saying, "here you go darling."

"Ah" George muttered to himself as though hit by a revelation:

"Ah ’Darling’: that’s alright with me."

No, I wanted to shout: 'I Am Not A Lesbian'.

It was just a throw away term of affection.

I don’t even like her that much.

But really, where would I begin, when the evidence all around us suggested I must be into something?

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Coastweek -- Coconuts trees: I love them - the view from the door of our bedroom.

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