Sunday, March 15, 2009

Update on Protests

Despite recent protests and riots, school has run a regular schedule, with the exception of extra curricular activities. Additional police on the streets and an occasional email from the US embassy are really the only remnants from the events that took place almost two weeks ago. Life seems to be back to norm here in the city.

The following are some snapshots from the "Daily Nation" (our local newspaper). The front page shows where we drove through on our way to Dagoretti, the day of my last post. Never seems to be a dull moment here in Africa. I thank God for his protection over us.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mungiki Protests

Last January (2008), riots broke out here in Nairobi in response to tribal differences in the presidential election. Ever since it has been fairly quiet, that is until today.

Nairobi and Central Province commuters were left stranded on their way to work this morning. The Mungiki tribe, who runs most of the matatu transport within the city, suddenly announced protest to two men being beaten and then burned alive. Police say the two men were suspected to be harassing motorists and traders passing through the town of Naivasha (roughly an hour away). As a result, riots broke out in several locations.

Meanwhile, before we were aware of the happenings, myself and the eighth grade class, traveled to Dagoretti Childrens' Home, just like any other Thursday. But today was different. On the bus ride over, we came upon the remains of a recent riot. This photo doesn't capture what I would like it to, but I didn't want to get caught taking it. Burning tires, police officials, and army trucks flooded the streets. We thankfully only had to stop once to talk with an official. Other than that, there was no difficulty passing through the town, though it looked like we had just missed out on most of the excitement.

After school, everyone left immediately, following each other home. There is a possibility of no school tomorrow, depending on what the US embassy has to say. I will keep you updated.

We had a great time with the kiddos today. My favorite moments were watching these Junior High boys fold and iron laundry, and also feed the little ones at meal time. They are all so macho until you hand over a baby, and then it is hard to pry them away when it is time to go.