Lunch with the Governor of Laikipia

TIST/Kenya Trip 2015

We left Meru and headed towards Nanyuki for our last cluster meeting. on the way we were able to view Mount Kenya a little closer. It was strange to see snow at the top of a mountain when it looks like desert below.



The cluster meeting was held at a school so we were greeted by all the children screaming and waving wanting high fives. They made us feel like celebrities.



When we arrived in Nanyuki we had lunch with the Governor of Laikipia County (Governor Irungu) and the TIST membership council. I was one of the students who had the privilege to sit with the Governor and speak with him.

Governor Irungu is also the chair of the Water, Environment and Natural Resources Council that is comprised of all the Governors of KENYA. It was an experience I would never have been able to…

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Wifi struggles

NEC for Change

We can definitely conclude from the trip that it is extremely hard to find a good Wifi connection in the rural parts of Kenya. It is for the good and the bad but it has made us unable to post anything on the blog during the trip.

The trip has been great in all aspects and the memories we got will never be forgotten. Therefor during the upcoming weeks we will start to post pictures and stories from the trip to give you a chance to catch up with our experiences.



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The first day in Kenya

NEC for Change

We arrived late at Nairobi Airport. Without any bridge connected between the aircraft and the terminal, we stepped right out on the airfield. The weather was nice. Warm but not too warm. We got escorted from the plane to a bus and we made our way to the terminal (or what I rather would call a rebuilt garage). We entered this “garage” and got to customs and visa inspections. This line of people didn’t at first seem very long. But we soon realized that the line was very slow. People got dissy and a woman passed out infornt of us.

We chose to stand on the right lane of the 5 or so lanes. Which first seemed to go pretty well. But after a while a lady working at the airport approached us and told us that we should switch line to the middle one. So we did in the…

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The first day in Kenya

NEC for Change

We arrived late at Nairobi Airport. Without any bridge connected between the aircraft and the terminal, we stepped right out on the airfield. The weather was nice. Warm but not too warm. We got escorted from the plane to a bus and we made our way to the terminal (or what I rather would call a rebuilt garage). We entered this “garage” and got to customs and visa inspections. This line of people didn’t at first seem very long. But we soon realized that the line was very slow. People got dissy and a woman passed out infornt of us.

We chose to stand on the right lane of the 5 or so lanes. Which first seemed to go pretty well. But after a while a lady working at the airport approached us and told us that we should switch line to the middle one. So we did in the…

View original post 159 more words

First farm visit 

NEC for Change

Our second day in Kenya was spend on a farm. The travel there was amazing. There were so much to see along the road. The landscape in Kenya is incredible, and the people creatively solve their day to day tasks.

On the first farm visit we got thrown into the Kenyan farmers life right away. We asked questions and got a good idea of how the farmers operates their farm every day. They gave us an unlimited amount of mangos. I probably had four but was offered more once I finished one. The welcome we got is nothing I have ever seen before.

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First Day in Meru

TIST/Kenya Trip 2015

We finally made it Meru. It was a four hour drive from Nairobi. We stopped and visited a couple of TIST farms and finally got to meet the farmers themselves. The farmers were happy to see us knowing we are trying to learn more about them and market their carbon credits they are selling.

I tried a mango right from the tree and it was amazing. The Mango and avocado trees at this farm not only sequester carbon out of the air to help the environment but provide the farmers with fruit they can sell, replenish the soil and provide food for their families.

Wi-fi 

has been scarce so I will take more pictures with my phone from now on. But even then the photos don’t seem to be loading every time.

Tomorrow we will be breaking into three groups and heading out to different villages. We will be…

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First Cluster Meeting

TIST/Kenya Trip 2015

Today we attended our first cluster meeting with the farmers. They meet each month to discuss their progress or problems and receive training on sustainable farming practices. We sat down with approx 10 farmers and ask them questions developed by the Yale Students we are working with. This survey will be used as a tool to improve the TIST program and enhance the life of the farmers.



Taking a survey may sound straight forward but it came with its challenges. Only half the group spoke English and it was sometimes difficult to translate. All the farmers willingly shared their personal information with us so TIST can better serve them.

After the meeting we toured two farms, one being a school. This school taught up until 8th grade. The children were excited and nervous to see a van full of Americans arrive. They stood at the doors of their classrooms…

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A Lesson from the TIST Quantifiers 

TIST/Kenya Trip 2015

Today we visited another farm and conducted more surveys. These surveys have made me better understand what the farmers needs are. The culture here is very different than the USA. These farmers are concerned not only about making money from the carbon credits but more about creating benefits for their community.

TIST has provided these farmers with training on conservation farming, hygene, drinking water safety and more. These programs have allowed the farmers to stay healthy and not spread disease, a serious problem in rural Kenya. They are very proud of their farms and have shared the fruits of their labor with us under the shade of their planted trees. You cannot get a fresher lunch than what I had today. Avacado, mango, macadamia nuts and sugar cane all pick minutes before eating.

We met with TIST Quantifiers today and they gave us a lesson on which trees to count…

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Warm Welcome

TIST/Kenya Trip 2015

Today we were welcomed to the cluster meeting with singing and dancing and encouraged to join in. (Video to follow with better wi-fi connection). It was a very memorable experience as is everything I’ve seen so far.

We performed more surveys with the farmers to gain more insight into their everyday lives. One gentlemen I surveyed spoke very good English. We talked about our lives and their differences. It was nice to hear that his opinion of Americans is that we work really hard. I found that interesting since my fellow students and I have been saying all week that they were harder workers than us. The Kenyans we have seen, of all age groups, do the most physical work that I have ever seen. Small children carrying armfuls of wood or elderly people carrying large sacks of mangos are seen all over.

I was able to see the inside…

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A Fun Day Off

TIST/Kenya Trip 2015

Today was our day off. Some of the NEC students played soccer against a professional team for fun. They worked hard but it was hard to keep up since they are not used to playing in this heat.



I met some friendly people on the sidelines. I met this young man who attends the University studying computer science. He is learning about ethical hacking and wished to continue his studies Germany. 



One thing I’ve noticed here is that there are a LOT of plastic shopping bags. They are in the ground everywhere both in town and on the farms. People use them at the markets all the time. This is definitely something I would like to look into when I get back. Before I came I assumed they used cloth bags or baskets that they made. I’m surprised that the local villagers would spend what little money…

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