Monday, July 22, 2013

One extraordinary and ten interesting things found in Kenya

Having stayed in Nairobi a month with the CSC Kenya 7 Team. I found 1 extraordinary and 10 interesting things. In fact, it is more than ten but I would like to pick the top ten for my closing.

  1. Friendly Kenyan: Every Kenyan I met was friendly and kindness. It was not only adult but children. The children have cheerful smiling, they wave hands when they see you. I don't feel any risk while I walk alone.

Ten interesting things 
1. Traffic:
Traffic in Nairobi is really challenging. It is not only in a busy hours but happen anytime during the day. You would better reserve 1-1.5 hours even a short distance.

2.  Traffic Light:
In Nariobi, only a few traffic light installed in the city. However, none of them are working. They don't install the traffic lights because the light would be stolen. Someone steal the traffic light!!! Isn't it amazing?

3. Roundabout, Speed breaker/speed bump setup:
To slove the traffic light problem, there are many roundabout build in the main road. Most people think that the roundabout creates traffic.

When you are on the road, you'll feel the car hitting on speed bump because there are many speed breakers installed. So be expect!

4. Kenyan Walk:
Because of the traffic, people are willing to walk rather take a car. Walk could be faster than car. No wonder Kenyan good at marathon.

5. Dusty Road:
While you are walking on the road, you will experience lots of dust. Some cars have black smoke. You can really see and feel it if you use tissue to wrap your face. I always feel my hand dusty and black along nails!

6. Selling
6a. Selling on the road
Due to the traffic, it creates business opportunities. People sell newspapers, fruits, leathers, bags, pillows, tools e.g. screwdriver, wire, sign board etc. Even Kenya President's photo is also available. I'm always in doubt if they make business on the road.  I tried to take pictures from them but it is difficult.

6b. Selling along the road
Besides people selling things on the road. There are different things can be find along the road such as clothes, shoes, suger cane, furniture, lawn, plants, wood, bed stretcher, pottery, tire etc. You can choose whatever you want to buy.

7. Wood Chopping
One of the things that absolute can't find in Hong Kong is wood chopping. People chop the wood by axe and sell them.

8.  Night Walking
In the night, there is no street light. People drive rely on car light. I have trouble walking in the dark. So I always carry my little torch with me to walk in the bumpy road.

9. Task-driven not Time-driven
We have to adjust ourselves to task driven not time driven. You could properly take times to meet with your client even you set the time. When client said 20 mins, it could equivalent to an hour. One hour could be equivalent to few hours. So, be patient and bring something to work before meet with client.

10. Cup of Tea
Kenyan serve tea and coffee to their visitors. It is also part of a culture serve in the mid-morning and afternoon. They serve coffee, tea bag and millo with a bottle of milk. You can choose what you like to mix with milk. Snack always go with tea such as Mandazi (like youtiao/deep-fried breadstick in HK), cake, arrowroot, sausage etc.

If a Kenyan bring along with a wash basin and a bottle of water and ask you wash hands. You're lucky. This is the way they serves their important guest. My buddy, Pauline was very kind and serve me when I visit her home. I was lucky being serve as their VIP.

I hope you can experiences these extraordinary and interesting things when you travel to Kenya.

This is the end of my Win@Kenya blog. Thank you for taking time to read my blog and hope you like it.  It is a wonderful and unforgettable experience in my life.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Friday is a relax day. We did some shopping in the morning and then go to IBM office in the afternoon for closing.

The farewell dinner was hosted in the evening at the most famous and must go restaurant called 'Carnivore'. The restaurant serves different kinds of meat include some exotic meat. This night, they served Crocodile and Ostrich meat ball. Of course I tasted them. The crocodile meat taste like chicken and Ostrich meat taste like beef. Good try! We all have great time and took a lot of pictures.



After all the fun and joy, it was the time to say good-bye to Mildred, Muriuki, Eunice & Steve at DOT and some CSC members.

Time fly really fast! The four weeks assignment in Kenya ends with joy, happiness and satisfaction. Recall four weeks ago, we were curious, struggling, uncertainty and feel lots of challenges. And now, all works have done. CSC is really a great experience.

Mission Complete

After 4 weeks hard working, our project finally come to the end with satisfaction. We had a final presentation with client on Thurs and IBM CGM on Friday. Basically, it is about completed. However, we shall keep in touch with our client and there will be a follow up call in one month to check with client progress.

On the final presentation day, the key stakeholder invited over 30 Curriculum Developers. We presented our recommendation and approach. Everyone was quite satisfied.

In the evening, the CountryHouse Inn hotel director invited Olivia to his bar. We all joined together with the hotel colleagues from reception, housekeeping and kitchen. This night, every member was so happy because we finished our project. We ate, drank and danced. There was so much fun!



Monday, July 8, 2013

Approaching to the 4th week

This is the last week for CSC assignment. It is also the most critical week because each team has to finish off the assignment and do the final presentation to client and IBM leaders.

Our busy work started this morning. The hotel network is hopeless. We can only go to a Dorman café to work. At the beginning, we have trouble in network connection. Lucky I have my travel hub and it bring us connected.

This is our working table. We have been seating in this table all day long. And it is time to go to the hotel. Before I leave, I shall update my blog first. :  )

I am not in the picture because I am the photographer.  : )


Visit Pauline my Kenyan buddy

On Sunday, Pauline invited me visit her home and have a dinner. I was glad to have a chance to visit the Kenyan family and feel the Kenyan culture. Pauline pick me up from the hotel and drive to her home. Lucky there was no traffic and takes only 15 mins.

She lives in a 3 stories apartment. It is a big apartment. I believe the size is more than 200m2. A big dinning room, open kitchen, 4 bedrooms with 3 big balcony. Her bedroom is same as my flat. Her kitchen store room is same as my bedroom. Her sofa is double-size as my sofa. So nice! I should take pictures of her home but I didn’t.

Pauline showed her wedding video and shared her wedding pictures to me. Their marriage was using Kenyan traditional wedding ceremony. Since the couple is from two tributes. They have two culture celebration plus Catholics’s wedding ceremony. I can imagine how wonderful in her wedding. Her photo album captures the joy and happiness in wedding ceremony and parties. It is totally different from HK. I am glad to be able shared their joy.

Pauline cooked a traditional Kenyan dinner. The food is simple. Beef, vegetable and something call Omali. It looks like a mashed potato. The tastes like flour.

This is my dish. The eating format is hand. It is my first time have meal with a hand. Not bad. I didn't mess up.

Here is Pauline's family. Pauline, Nobert (her husand) and the boy behind us is Sean (her son).
The baby is her niece.

I have a wonderful time at her home. Thank you Pauline.

Little free time from the busy 3rd week

We had a successful presentation with client last Thurs. Originally we planned to meeting with 2-3 directors. Our client invited more than 10 people to join. The feedback was positive. It gave us confident continue to build our recommendations to the final stage.


During the busy week, we took 1.5 hrs for rest and visit a 'Bead factory' which near the hotel. The factory manufactures beads and pottery. You can't imagine how the lovely beads made of. Let me bring you to a manufacturing process tour through the following pictures.

Although the beads are beautiful, it is too big to wear. Not my style. I could hardly choose small bead. So, I only buy a few pairs of earring. My teammates bought many to themselves and family and friends.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Approaching to the 3rd week

This is the 3rd week of the CSC project. Each team member is working hard in preparing thier mid-term review.

Our KICD team work all day today in finalizing the presentation and prepare to review with client. Hope our client agree on our findings, conclusions and draft recommendations. This is an important milestone for us approach to the final stage and enhance our work.

All the best for our team!

Since this is a busy week, no photo or any excitment yet. Hope tomorrow will be a breakthrough!