-- New Nairobi road:
The builders are making fast progress, but
itís a big job and the site manager tells
me the contract is for two years.
are my rough stones
a classic sign of the Kenyan economy, the
overall foreman, who appears from time to
time in light grey-green overalls, is Chinese
Itís a sign of
progress in Nairobi that they are finally tarmac-ing
my dirt road, and Iím all in favour of progress.
one, it means it will take me five minutes to get
to the main road rather than the current fifteen
as I pick my way over rough stones and distinctly
uneven ground (ignoring all the women sailing past
But still I canít help it, Iíve got mixed
Those rough stones are my rough stones.
That open crossing at the river, where you hope
you donít get bumped in by a passing car, makes
up my vivid memory of when I first arrived, in
April, to live in Nairobi.
Lazarus picked me up at the
airport at 7.00 a.m., and thanks to his intimate
knowledge of bypasses, we managed to avoid the
horrendous rush hour traffic and arrived at my new
apartment in 30 minutes flat.
From JKIA to Westlands in 30
minutes in rush hour Ė now that is impressive.
As we turned off the main road and
began our lurch along the dirt road (or bumpy road
as itís appositely known around here), he turned
to me and asked:
"Do you have roads like
this in the UK?"
"No", I replied.
"Ah", he smiled,
"then that is another thing we have in Kenya
that you donít".
The builders (who Iím informed
are an external company, not local) are making
fast progress, but itís a big job and the site
manager tells me the contract is for two years.
In a classic sign of the Kenyan
economy, the overall foreman, who appears from
time to time in light grey-green overalls, is
-- I wonder what will
happen to the little open air enterprises such
as this car fixing yard.
As I clamber over the mounds of
earth, avoiding the swing of the digger and hoping
not to fall into the river, I wonder what will
happen to the little open air enterprises Ė the
car fixing yard, the stalls selling tomatoes eggs
and sweets, the lunch stops, and the corn
What about the bike fixing shop at
the end of the road Ė the one that you only know
is there because suddenly one day there will be
four bikes upended next to each other, while the
next it will be just a bit of dirt road at the
I very much hope they can survive
you read it first at coastweek.com