Monthly Archives: June 2014

My best work trip ever..

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The work trip that i will never forget was to a little town called Ngara in North Western Tanzania for seven weeks. It remains my best ever trip to-date. Why was it the best ever.

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First the accommodation. We stayed in these ex-winter (Sweden) games containers. They were shipping containers converted to 2 bedroom cozy apartment of sorts. Fully equipped kitchen, heaters, air conditioning and a balcony overlooking one of the best views that side of Tanzania. They called the compound Afri Line.

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Food. They had this great cook who would whip up whatever the team asked him for and sometimes little unexpected surprises. Some of my colleagues opted to cook their own meals. That worked well too due to the fully equipped kitchens and easily accessible cheap local food.

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The views..every morning when we woke up, we found ourselves above clouds. Yes, it was that high as you’ll see from the pictures.

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Exercise. People could jog from the work-site which was 20 odd kilometers away back to base every other day, Jump off a bridge into murky waters of Ruvuvu River..Pure bliss i tell you.

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The road is the border, on the right is Burundi, on the left is Tanzania..simple

I learnt how to ride a motor bike in this place and rode over 300kms around the expansive area neighboring Burundi and Rwanda. We could hire the motorbikes from town for as little as USD 7 a day and fuel them for a similar amount. Some of my colleagues and me rode motorbikes to work a couple of times a week. Over weekends the guys would rent 5 or so motorbikes and ride around the area. We once rode to the Y axis known as ‘Mafiga Matatu” named after the 3 cooking stones used in the village.

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The Y axis..standing in Tanzania, to the right is Rwanda, to the left is Burundi..River Kagera separates the 3

Some of my colleagues took a week-end drive into Kigali, Rwanda (3hours) from here and had a great time there. I’d been to Kigali before and didn’t think i needed to make the trip.

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To top it off, we used to get ice cream from an Arab owned shop in town that sold everything from powdered milk to petrol and stationery.

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That cockerel standing in no man’s land..Tanzania/Burundi

Seven weeks flew by so fast and before we knew it, we were headed back home to Kenya on our lovely chartered Dash 8.

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Memorable time in the US..road trip Part 2

This is a continuation from my road trip adventures in the US..onwards from New Mexico

Crossing into Texas

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Cattle country North of Amarillo, Texas

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Downtown Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri

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Bikers just outside Kansas City, Missouri

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Downtown St. Louis, Missouri

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Downtown Cleveland, Ohio

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Kansas State into Colorado

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Huttling down towards Grand Junction, Colorado

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Interesting tunnels on the I-70

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Twist and turns on I-70

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Colorado River, Rifle, Colorado

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Madame Tussauds, Hollywood Boulevard, California

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Kodak Theatre, Hollywood

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Holywood

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West bound again into Ohio

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Downtown Columbus, Ohio

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Back to Indiana

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6 car pile-up near downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, Our semi was hit from behind

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A lady died in the mangled pickup

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Forcing the I-70 West bound to be closed for 2 hours with State troopers taking statements, checking documents, re-checking, drug tests and all..drama

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It was so much fun for 3 weeks around the country except the last bit about the 6 car pile-up. We were the first in the pile up which was caused by a semi at the back on the traffic queue. My friend had to send some documents within 10 days to the Indiana State trooper’s office or risk his license being automatically suspended..All ended well for us but poor lady in the blue pick-up van.RIP.

 

Memorable time in the US..road trip Part 1

I’ve been traveling to the US on B1/B2 Tourist visa since 2004 for upto a maximum of 6 weeks and a minimum of 1 day (once in Miami, never again. Jetlag back to Nairobi was out of this world), i was once denied a visa too but that’s a story for another day. These pictures shows some of my memorable times around the beautiful country.

My preferred mode of transport in country (Amtrak)

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My other mode of transport for the road trip through 25 states

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A  truck stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Casper, Wyoming

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Devil’s Gate, Wyoming

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Approaching Salt Lake City, Utah in October

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Las Vegas bound on the I-15 from Salt Lake City

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Downtown Las Vegas, LA bound

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Monterey Park, West Los Angeles making our drop

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A bit of shopping in Monterey Park

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Checking out the night life with my Riverside, California crew

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Meeting a Boston, Massachusetts based Kenyan out here in the Volvo..long way out from MA

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Near San Bernadino, California…Canton, Ohio bound.many days out

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Somewhere between Barstow,California and Kingman, Arizona

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Flagstaff, Arizona bound..

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Crossing Arizona state line

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Bush fire near Flagstaff, Arizona

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Alburquerque, New Mexico..351miles away

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Welcome to New Mexico

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Coming into Alburquerque

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To be continued..

Memories are made of this..

I’m currently traveling for work. My last trip with my organization. I’ve had a blast in this job. I love traveling and boy, i can’t complain..I will cherish the moments i have had with colleagues over the period I’ve worked at my current organization. I look forward to more travel in the future.

These are some of my memories of places I’ve been to..

Conakry, Guinea/Tropical Monsoon Rains

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Northern Ethiopia

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Dadaab, Northern Eastern Kenya

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Uvira, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

 

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Lake Kafue, Zambia

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Brazzaville, Congo/ Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

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New York City/ Statue of Liberty/Times Square

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Wrapping up

I gave notice to my employer, i have 3 weeks remaining. My last day will be in mid July. My flight is 4 days later. Life is short, sometimes its good to live on the fast lane. I gave my landlady notice to vacate. I’m in the process of disposing of my little possessions. I won’t be selling my car, i’ll leave it parked and will be using it whenever I’m in town.

I’m in the process of looking for a prepaid credit card. Nakumatt or Nation Hela (Kenyan prepaid credit cards) that can be loaded using M-Pesa (Kenyan mobile money transfer system), getting a Kenyan bank account that i can use for online transactions, investments and the like. I hope i won’t have to close my trusted Barclays Bank account that I’ve had for over 10 years but if the maintenance fees are crazy, it’s gotta go.

A few more goodbyes when i get back..

I’ve been given a work opportunity to travel to Addis Ababa Ethiopia for 2 weeks and i said what the heck..i’m leaving tomorrow. Everything seems to be on fast forward this last week but i’m enjoying it all and giving thanks..I’m blessed.

Counting my blessings.

Passport is back

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My passport took a very short time at the embassy. It was ready for collection from DHL in 2 days. No mistakes on the visa and the Not-to-be-opened-at-all-cost-package.

I took a leap of faith and put in my resignation notice a day before i got my passport back. I have to utilize that cheap British Airways offer. I have 4 weeks to finish up everything that is pending. Sell a few things, close bank accounts, bid peeps farewell, try get some pre-paid credit card and just be ready to bounce.

I paid the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) Green Card visa fees online over the weekend so i’m good on that front. They give you instructions on how to pay online for the issuance of a Green Card before you depart. They will not issue one if this fee is not paid.

The preparations continue..

Diversity Visa is approved..

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My DV Visa was approved yesterday, probably the day that will change my life forever for better or for worse..no,no not like a wedding..lol.But it hasn’t sunk in yet. It wasn’t so bad. It was just tiring psychologically. The wait wears you down, what-ifs start creeping in but all in all it went well. The actual interview took about 5-7 minutes. Basically checking out what i did after high school and how many times i’ve been to the US. This is the first time i’ll be entering the US with a different visa. I always use the B1/B2 Visitor/Business category. We’ll see how the relocation goes.

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International Organization for Migration have cheap tickets out of Nairobi and i checked yesterday. The cheapest it can cost me one way from Nairobi to Houston, Texas mid next month is Ksh 69000 (USD 793), not bad at all. I think i’ll take up the offer. I have exactly a month before that..so its time to put in my resignation at work and start wrapping things up..

Very long month ahead..