Saturday, 5 December 2009

Anecdotes from Kisii

I like Bob Marley, well, most of his stuff, anyway, so I brought along a few tracks on my PC to keep me amused.

I didn't reckon on Josephat (6 years) being totally in awe of the great Rasta. It is amusing, listening to this little Kenyan child, who speaks no English, singing in a Jamaican accent, "No Woman, no cry" and Buffalo Soldier".

He also loves Michael Jackson, especially "Thriller", although if any Michael Jackson is shown on TV, he immediately shouts, "Micheal Jaskshon, Michael Jackshon!"

Talking of TV, I thought I wouldn't miss the junk fed to us in the UK, but, it is prime viewing compared with some of the stuff broadcast in Kenya, which seems to comprise mainly of Mexican soaps, very old US cartoons and the odd US CSI, sprinkled with a few really good Kenyan programmes, such as Inspekta Mwala.

Mind you, Saturday morning Kids TV is, in part Kenyan, and despite my 59 years, I find it quite entertaining. So it would seem that Kenyans can produce really good TV. It is just a pity they don't produce more.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Methane Project

We should be reaching the final phase of our project to build a cheap anaerobic digester today.

We have the actual digester producing a gas of some sort, which I guess is methane, as it is flammable. Today, we connect it up to a calor gas table-top stove and we will see what happens.

We have been approached by an organisation in Bungoma that is looking for uses for the infernal menace, water hyacinth, which they harvest from Lake Victoria at Kisumu. So far, they are producing "charcoal" briquettes, compost, fertiliser and now they want to see if it will produce methane.

From what I can find out, it will, but due to the high water and gas content of the plant, it has to be crushed, pressed and at least partially dried, otherwise it will just float at the top of the digester and not rot down.

A bit more complicated than using slurry, but there is plenty of water hyacinth, which is a menace to fishing in Lake Victoria, so if we can find uses for it, so much the better. It is just a pity that it is not edible!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Internet in Kenya

As my reader may be aware, we have had a broadband connection problem since I arrived in Kenya. We had had a telephone line and broadband installed not too long ago, but as the cables are copper and unprotected, someone stole a length of cable along the road. It took Telkom 10 days to find the fault and it still hasn't been resolved. In fact since the problem occurred, more cable has been stolen (it makes very good washing line!).

Telkom have been sort of helpful - they have lent us a dongle whcih we have to charge up. But it is only offering a maximum speed of 236kbps, as against the Safaricom dongle we borrowed, which boasted 7.2 Mbps - big difference!

Oh how I miss my "no limit, flat rate" account at home!

Of course, as the dongle connection is not flat rate, we are being very careful  about how long we are connected. This means that apart from emails, we are doing little via the Internet. We pass a comment ot two on Twitter, just to let the world know we are still alive!

Oh well, I suppose we ought to be thankful for any sort of connection.