My Granddaughter Meggie

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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:46 am

I was really getting worried, since Megan had not posted in about two weeks! But here it is, and on a good day since it is my first grandsons birthday and tomorrow would have been my dads birthday. A truly thankful Thanksgiving for me. 8-[

‘Isli’ Market
Posted on November 27, 2010 by nairobi2010
On Saturday we went to Eastleigh, a neighborhood within Nairobi. To note, I thought the place was called ‘Isli’ until I saw it written correctly on the side of the bus and put the pieces together. Our target was the Eastleigh Market, which is over a square mile (if not two) of streets and buildings filled with all variety of shops. It’s Somali run (which means that 98% of the women we encountered had undergone FGM–type 3–per my last post) and is the greatest place to find what you need. When I told my host mom where we were going, her first comment was ‘oh, it’s going to be crowded,’ and while it wasn’t quite as bad as I had imagined, there certainly was a lot of hustle and bustle to it. We took bus number 6/9 (on which I learned the slang that ‘MauMau’ means 20 bob. Bob means shillings, which I already knew, but apparently there is also slang for each multiple of ten). I had never been in the direction that this bus goes in (knowingly, at least) and, as perhaps the slang lesson depicts, we were traveling into the unadulterated part of Nairobi. That is, we were certainly getting out of what is typically called European Nairobi (which generally consists of the eight or so square blocks bordering the University), and we were entering a market that many many Kenyans use for their daily functions, in a neighborhood where a substantial number of Kenyans live, beyond the well-polished and higher class city center. The streets were exceptionally dirty, narrow, and crowded, and some of the old buildings were beautiful. I plan on going back, probably more than once, and I’m hoping to bring my camera along on one of those returns. This time, though, I opted to only bring what I could fit in my pockets, for security purposes. I’m really struggling to describe the beauty and exhilaration that came with being in ‘Isli’. To just step back and see all of these people, many of them covered from head to toe in the black burqa going about their way, this seeming chaos in pure function, with an old c. 1900s four story red brick building in the background…

Actually, perhaps the best part of this market is that because it is so functional, we don’t get as ripped off as we do in the markets around the city center. We’re obviously white, so usually prices get jacked by 2 or 3 times what things are actually worth and it’s frustrating because we’d almost be willing to pay those prices but we know we’re being lied to and manipulated. You try to bargain and they act insulted for going so low, but you feel insulted because they’re clearly labeling you as a rich tourist. Some of us have agreed that we really wouldn’t mind paying more (since they need money more than we do), but it’s the principle of the matter, especially since we are residents, and even Swahili has its limits (although it helps). But in Isli! We had one person the whole time try to toy with us, and otherwise we got the best prices on things we had ever encountered. And the Muslim community is generally exceptionally welcoming, a claim to which even Christian Kenyans will attest.

Unfortunately I had forgotten to put on sunscreen (yeah…sorry to all you folks in the cloudy land of winter…), which I realized as soon as I left the house, and consequently my nose has become sunburned. Luckily only my nose, but I knew it was happening while we were standing on the edge of the road at a tshirt stand. (I got a cool old-fashioned Adidas shirt for about a dollar–I needed at least one new shirt because, well, lets just say some of my clothes have had a rough go at it). While we were standing there, getting jostled by passers-by in the busy bustle, getting honked at by busses trying to pass and trying to wiggle away from the oncoming tire-bumper-lined, two-wheeled, hand-pulled carts that weave in and out of cars, a poor elderly woman accidentally stepped off the curb into a mud-filled hole that was at one point a functional part of the storm drain. The grate was missing (like usual) and the hole was surrounded by debris and people of course, so it was hard to see. We all said sorry to her in typical Kenyan fashion (they always say sorry when someone else does something wrong, I don’t understand) but quickly realized that she was actually stuck, literally knee-deep in mud that wouldn’t release her. Eventually I slipped my arms under hers and with the help of another literally had to lift her out of its squelching grasp. We had been hovering around this hole for at least fifteen minutes and it’s amazing none of us landed in it ourselves, but you’d have never known the mud went that deep.

The markets of Kenya, like this one, are so far some of my favorite places to be. I’m not talking about the tourist markets, like City Market or Massai Market, but the ones that are purely functional, the ones that are daily Kenyan. (That’s not to say that there aren’t functional natures of the other ones, or that Kenyans don’t frequent them as well; rather, there are markets that aren’t typically touristed, and those are the ones that I like). They are different, in their style, in their purpose, in the very air that surrounds them, and it is quite an invigorating feeling. It‘s a way to meet Kenyans on a more equal level, around the common humanity of daily life.


http://nairobi2010.wordpress.com/2010/1 ... t/#respond
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK

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Marie
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby Marie » Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:12 pm

Well written as always. Glad you finally received something, Janet. Meggie must be on your mind all the time.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:20 pm

Marie wrote:Well written as always. Glad you finally received something, Janet. Meggie must be on your mind all the time.

-Marie-


Yes she is 8-[ I can't wait for the end of Feb when she is coming home. So mush shit happening right now it makes me crazy Marie. I wait for those posts to come, just to know where she is, just in case. I don't have any control over this and I just can't stand it. I know this is a great experience for her, but in any other world it would be fine, but not this one.
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK

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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:27 pm

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http://nairobi2010.wordpress.com/2010/1 ... ictures-2/

New post and pictures. Megan is having a wonderful time. She looks so good.
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK

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dejapig
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby dejapig » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:36 pm

Wow! Those are some fabulous pics!
Be who you are & say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind. --Dr. Seuss
Keith Olbermann rocks! --dejapig

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keithaddict
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby keithaddict » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:26 pm

Your granddaughter has cool glasses. 8)
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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:13 pm

I like her hat and her smile! :grin:
Her pictures are awesome. Can't wait to see more of them.
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK

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keithaddict
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby keithaddict » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:22 pm

Hey man I've always wanted Woody Allen style glasses but all they ever have are the small rectangles with wire frames like Keith has. Damn "fashion!"
"Debating [Brooklyn] Billy is a bit like pissing in the wind-sure you can technically do it...but what's the point?" - Philbert

"I take my role as a troll very seriously, a good part of that job is to be irritating." - Brooklyn Billy

http://www.dailykos.com/user/ProgressivePatriotPA/

http://www.twitter.com/progpatriotpa/

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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:33 am

Meggie sent a very brief post today. I heard that Nairobi is getting to be a hot spot and I'm really getting worried about her. althought she sounds Okay, the posts are not coming like I think they should.

http://nairobi2010.wordpress.com/2010/1 ... comment-61

Hey Folks! Exceptionally brief because I need to catch a matatu and lunch in thirty minutes, but I’ve caught a minute back in Nairobi to update you all. For three weeks (one of which has passed) several of us are traveling around the country for the holidays. We spent five days camping in the rainforest, dodging monkeys, midnight drums, and thunderstorms, resided in a Hindu temple for three days over Christmas cleaning up, and are now off to Embu to spend some time with our prof Roseanne at her tea farm. Thereafter we will be heading to the coast, in Lamu. Pictures and stories will follow. Hope the holidays went smoothly for everyone!
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK

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IrishEyes
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby IrishEyes » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:15 pm

Will say a prayer that she gets home safely. I know you'll feel so much better when you get to see her.

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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:50 pm

IrishEyes wrote:Will say a prayer that she gets home safely. I know you'll feel so much better when you get to see her.


I love that Meg is such a go getter and I love her upbeat personality, but I sure as hell can't wait for her to get her ass home!

Thanks for the prayer Irish. O:)
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK

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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:31 pm

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A windy day on Shella beach, Lamu

Phew, nothing like 17 hours on a bus and thirty hours without sleep to wear you out! We returned from our grand adventures around 5 am on Friday morning, lugging our dirty packs just a little farther but with a slight spring in our steps none-the-less. After the hot and humid coast of Lamu and Mombasa the cool crisp air of Nairobi’s 5000 feet was almost awakening. Like I said…almost. Unfortunately at 5 am my matatu was not yet running and being as a taxi to travel half way across the city would have cost the same as the bus that took me half way across the country I walked with everyone to the final split of our journey and then headed for the K room at the university to begin the mountainous task of sorting through the last 3 weeks. You see, while I may have stood still, in a way, the rest of the world was swirling around in a furry, depositing messages in my inbox and starting winter quarter. Having said that, I will do my best to make some prompt-ish posts in this upcoming week about our travels, though I have a couple other things nagging at me (like a research proposal–AHHHH, What!?). None-the-less, I have already managed to get the pictures off of my camera so hopefully you’ll see them soon!

Hey Folks! Exceptionally brief because I need to catch a matatu and lunch in thirty minutes, but I’ve caught a minute back in Nairobi to update you all. For three weeks (one of which has passed) several of us are traveling around the country for the holidays. We spent five days camping in the rainforest, dodging monkeys, midnight drums, and thunderstorms, resided in a Hindu temple for three days over Christmas cleaning up, and are now off to Embu to spend some time with our prof Roseanne at her tea farm. Thereafter we will be heading to the coast, in Lamu. Pictures and stories will follow. Hope the holidays went smoothly for everyone!

http://nairobi2010.wordpress.com/2010/1 ... li-market/
http://nairobi2010.wordpress.com/2011/0 ... one-piece/
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK

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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 pm

http://nairobi2010.wordpress.com/photos ... comment-67

The first of our four stops, we spent five nights camping in the last remaining portion of rainforest in Kenya. We took a morning bus that lasted around eight hours, and arrived in Kakamega town wherefrom we took up our packs to engage in the search for the matatu enroute to Kitale. The next thing to happen was probably the most stressful event of our entire three weeks. After finding the hub (about a 20 minute walk away) we were inundated with touts and drivers. The four-thirty evening sun is beating on our faces, the buses and vans are squeezed up to each other as tight as they can, piled high with people’s stuff, and tons of people on their daily commute are moving around us, obtrusive rocks disrupting the flow of the swift river that folds itself up around us as if we had hardly been there at all. Our packs were suddenly taken off our backs and heading in three different directions, each vying for our business. Did we take them off? Or did they just get caught in the current? Eventually we found a matatu with three spots, and started loading our (retrieved) packs underneath in the back. Took some shoving and convincing but phew, we got it…just to discover that 3 people had swept up our spots in the process, chaos clashing with routine. Finally we did make it on one, our packs thrown on the top, several people in our laps. Now to find the road that will lead to the entrance of the park. With typically wonderful Kenyan help our fellow passengers got us off at the right spot, another 20 or 30 minutes later, and off we were, sort of. Swarmed by people on the road, we had to regroup ourselves, insist on our independence (“No, I don’t need a taxi. No, I don’t want you to carry my bag. No, I don’t have any money to give you. No, I don‘t want any fruit!”) but just as we began to walk away--the best way to get past the hawking--both straps on Mims’ pack gave out. Left then right, one after the other, and her pack was on the ground. Shit! Some quick thinking and fast knot-tying we were up and out. Some kids, boys at that wonderful think-they’re-better-than-everyone-else age of 14 or so, followed us along the whole road to the park, asking for money and being belligerent, but we made it to the gate, paid for our tent and campsite, got a ride to the campground just as dusk and rain were staring and were left with five days of doing absolutely nothing--decompressing from finals--in a beautiful environment with monkeys, rivers, and good food. I could tell you all about what it looked like and all the things that we did, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. They’re up and you can find them at the right, the link that says “Kakamega Rainforest Photos” (or here: http://nairobi2010.wordpress.com/photos ... st-photos/ ).As for the boys who followed us on the road, I find that I’ve learned much about the people of Kenya just by who I meet when I walk off the beaten path. I won’t pretend to make this small encounter more than it was (this time), but often we encounter kids who have experienced more in their 13 or 14 years than many of us have lived through in our 20 or 30. Emotionally we may all be on the same footing, but they are children in an adult’s world often. In Nairobi I’ve seen 10 year olds drunk on the street. I’ve seen 3 year olds, trained by their parents to ask for money. 12 year olds asking for cigarettes. But what can we do, walking into the rainforest, to help these kids? In the moment, nothing. But in how we live the rest of our lives, much. We can decide what stores we support, we can decided to do the moral--albeit inconvenient--thing, we can sacrifice our cars or our washers and dryers, and we can find our political voice.
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK

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SusieQ
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby SusieQ » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:28 pm

I won’t pretend to make this small encounter more than it was (this time), but often we encounter kids who have experienced more in their 13 or 14 years than many of us have lived through in our 20 or 30.


I would venture to say even those of us who are like 53 have not experienced as much of the hard side of life as those young kids in Kenya. Nice blog from Meggie. Which daughter in your user picture is her proud mother?
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs, who, however, has never learned to walk forward.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt


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jwolfbauer
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Re: My Granddaughter Meggie

Postby jwolfbauer » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:12 pm

SusieQ wrote:
I won’t pretend to make this small encounter more than it was (this time), but often we encounter kids who have experienced more in their 13 or 14 years than many of us have lived through in our 20 or 30.


I would venture to say even those of us who are like 53 have not experienced as much of the hard side of life as those young kids in Kenya. Nice blog from Meggie. Which daughter in your user picture is her proud mother?



Monica is front/middle. Little dark head doll. She had plastic surgery for 20 years on her face. I think I posted once she was a cleft palate child, with many deformaties. She was a very strong child and now a very strong woman.

Glad you liked it. Lots of pics this time. Counting the days til she comes home.
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort & convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy."- MLK Jr.
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.'" JFK


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