Sunday, January 16, 2011


Beware, here comes the largest post I have ever done. I promised to put up some photos about Eldoret and accompany these with some comments. It was long time ago and since I haven't posted anything in my blog. Basically the delay was because one day I started thinking that as we soon make a real photo exhibition, I shouldn't publish any photos before that. Well, now it is so that in our exhibition there are only about 20 photos per country (Kenya and Nigeria), meaning most of the photos you anyway don't see at the exhibition. Therefore I now finally publish this post about Eldoret.

Most of the text is my own and credit for most of the photos goes also to people from our Wazungu Africani family, but I took also some from Skyscraper City forums posted by guy who calls himself Kisumu Ndogo. His photos though are many years old and much has built in the town centre since, probably also in outlying slums/estates. I also take some information from Wikipedia. I still lack some information and would like if anyone can assist me in places where I ask something, but also if some Kenyans read this blog and find mistakes or old information, then comment and I will update the post.

Eldoret town centre from top of the KVDA plaza

Eldoret is a town in western Kenya and the administrative centre of Uasin Gishu District of Rift Valley Province. Lying south of the Cherangani Hills, the local elevation varies from about 2100 metres above sea level at the airport to more than 2700 metres in nearby areas (7000–9000 feet). The population was 193,830 in 1999 (census), and it is currently the fastest growing town in Kenya, and currently the 5th largest in Kenya. (wiki)

The name "Eldoret" is based on the Maasai word "eldore" meaning "stony river" because the bed of the nearby Sosiani River is very stony. The white settlers decided to call it Eldoret to make it easier for them to pronounce it. At start of the colonial era, the area was occupied by the Nandi, before that by the Maasai and before that the Sirikwa. (wiki) Ok, tell me people, how the hell is eldore harder to say than Eldoret. I have seen that a lot in Kenya that when writing etymology of some names they say that in original tribal language it was so and so, but then came white people and made it easier by changing one or two letters, adding or losing.. really minor change and weird especially as at least for me the original names doesn't seem any way more harder to pronounce. Sometimes I think that locals just wanted to give some reason for the changes colonists made, even though there were none than maybe just hearing it wrong and then writing it up as they believed it to be.

You could basically consider the area before 20th century into prehistoric era, as then really privitive tribes there didn't hold any written records. In 1908, fifty eight families of Africaans-speaking South-African settlers (aka. Dutch -comment by Juwarra) "trekked" to the Uashin Gishu plateau from Nakuru after a journey from South Africa by sea and by rail from Mombasa. They were followed by sixty more families in 1911 and more later. Eldoret was established in the midst of the farms they created.
The official town site of Eldoret itself started in 1910 with a Post Office on what was known to the white settlers as "Farm 64", "64" or "Sisibo" to the locals because, at that time it was 64 miles from the newly built Uganda Railway railhead at Kibigori. Willy van Aardt owned the farm. The Central Lounge in Eldoret is all that remains of Willy's farm.
When the governor decided to establish an administrative centre, the Post Office was renamed from "64" with the official town name as "Eldoret" in 1912. Becoming an administrative centre caused an enormous increase in trade within the prospective city. A bank and several shops were built.
The Uganda Railway extension, from Kibigori toward Uganda, reached Eldoret in 1924, starting a new era of prosperity and growth. In 1928, a piped water supply from the Sosiani River was installed. In 1933, the East African Power and Lighting Company installed an electricity generator plant. By that time, Eldoret had a small airport, and low-rental housing had been constructed.
Daniel arap Moi (Full name Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, arap meaning mister in Kalenjin language; comment by Juwarra), was born in the neighbouring Baringo District, and under his presidency, the town was developed further.
In 1984, Moi University was established by the government, and named after the country's 2nd president Daniel Arap Moi. (First was mzee Jomo Kenyatta where mzee means old man in Swahili, but unlike old man in English, it holds much more respectful and very similar meaning to bwana - mister in Swahili. Third and current is Emilio Mwai Kibaki; comments from Juwarra) (wiki)

Eldoret has become the centre of Kalenjin people, but town also holds great number of Kikuyus and Indians, who hold many businesses there. Although it is recovering from it, most notorious event in the recent history of Eldoret was the 2008 post election violence. Eldoret was hit by it worst, exactly because it holds both Kalenjin and Kikuyu populations who at these elections were the greatest rivals. On January 1, 2008, a mob attacked and set fire to a church in the town, where hundreds of people had taken refuge during Kenyan massacres. As a result, up to 40 people, mostly Kikuyus, were burned to death. Violence spread around the town and even to the outer estates. Many houses were burned and some ruins are still to be seen - especially in Eldoret East Constituency. Also, mainly because of 2008 violence, Eldoret has greatest number of street children who lost everything then - home, parents, possibility for education and normal future. Many of them sniff glue to forget the horrors they had to see and horrors they have to live through now. Many of them still would like to be educated and get work, but there's not much opportunity for that. Without any help they deffinately will be lost to the hardships of life and carelessness and unfair treatment of town authorities. Many of these children say that they are suffering even today under the daily beating by bigger streetboy gangs (chokora) or by police. Girls are treated even worse.

Elgon View was the home for us and therefore I present it before the town centre. Actually I don't hold any special feelings for Elgon View. There are some other places in Eldoret where you can find similar or perhaps even better clean, green suburbs. Or even better, my own favourite place is away from town near the airport, where you actually can already see rural life. There would I like to buy the land and build myself a home and guesthouse. Near there are few amazing places, one place more special for me than other.
But Elgon View. It houses richest folk in Eldoret, there are some elite schools of Eldoret (that I fear still wouldn't be good for me to send my children, unfortunately, as I really don't like the mandatory "christian religious subject" or really propaganda), there is Eldoret Sports Club, Golf Club, home of the bishop, house of the Red Cross, or was it only USAid. And I don't know what else. Pretty boring place, but yes, it is fine living place. Close to the centre, fairly safe, as already said, pretty much clean and green, quiet, and good for sporting youth or playing kids.

Unlike me (as I made a little research) our living accommodations were good surprise for most of our group. It was fine for me too, but just not a surprise for me.

Usual housing in Elgon View, some being more modest, some even greater and richer with many houses in the compound.

But peculiar is that even in Elgon View there are places where by general standards poor people live and/or have set up their small businesses, small "farmfield" or having farm animals. And of course there is some garbage still laying around. Yet, good thing about it is, that you don't feel like some elitist brick separated from common folk. I bought everything I can specially from these small merchants, and when opportunity presented itself, I talked with poorer people rather than rich naighbours.

And without protective "mean" walls and personal nightguards and maybe electronical security systems, these rich people wouldn't have security either.

You see on this picture the beautiful garden as much as you can see over the wall, but yes, this high wall with barbed wire..

There is no bus or matatu (mikrobusses) transport from Elgon View, only motorbikes and those dreadful tuk-tuks. And after dark even not these.. so you have to go to danceclubs or pubs with taxi or kwa miguu (by foot). But I really liked to walk, and I also really liked to ride to city with motorbikes.

As I have understood, this crossroad down from the "Indiana House" (have got its name because it accommodates or have accommodated many students from USA, University of Indianapolis.. at least that was what I heared), crossroad that I named as a maize corner, isn't anymore part of Elgon View, but whatever route you take you still see higher wealth residentials. If you turn to the town centre, then there are lots of residentials for hindu families. The road that takes you away from town, seemed to have even greater manors than Elgon View. I don't know if this name is right, but that is the name I found now in internet - Hospital(s) estate or ward, and yes, as three great hospitals - Moi teaching and referral, Eldoret Hospital and one another hospital that I don't even name anymore as I got the worst experience there, border the area, it seemes also logical.

Eldoret Town Centre is almost completely economical zone with shops, central market for both groceries and clothes and other things, offices, services, banks, many matatu stations, bus stations (last ones are pretty hard to find for newcomers unless you come with bus), operahouse (I actually don't know if it really have operas or other theatrical plays), hotels, restaurants (that as already said in earlier posts, also often carry the name hotel), pubs, danceclubs, townhall - the place for town and municipal goverment, central policestation that you really should avoid, dairy factory.. and forgive me if I have forgot anything else worth mentioning. Enough to have good time and get everything you need. Some people from Nakuru say that it is small and boring town, but I liked it.

Main road/Uganda Road, view from east, approximately from the front of Eldoret Hospital. It is the road that to the east goes to Nairobi and Mombasa and to the west into Uganda, basically connecting East-Africa with Central- and North-Africa. Only way that is said to be good enough for journying and big cargo transport. Roads to Sudan and Ethiopia through Northern Kenya, as we also saw by ourselves when travelling to Turkana and Marsabit, are desert roads that in some places at the times of rain period, will be unpassable. Also roads in Pokot before Turkana, that pass through the mountain valleys, are terribly washed away and very risky for travelling. Then again, Pokot and Turkana are areas worth visiting, whatever the risks. Ok, now but now I wandered off from subject..

Eldoret Hospital at the east end of Eld. Town Centre. Probably best hospital, if things are serious, but there are some private clinics and dentists in town that may be even better. I think, wherever you go, ask for some American or European doctor. One European said that he purposely come to dentist in Eldoret, European dentist, but it is still cheaper than in EU. Just recommending, take care of your health, but then again, if you want to see real Africa, if you want to advanture and live like locals, then probably you will need medical assistance.

On the corner of Uganda Road and Ronald Ngala Street with the view to the last (there are no street names marked for that street anywhere and therefore even locals don't know that name unless their business is registered there - so if you for example take a motorbike ride there, then use some building or business name or simply ask somewhere close. And basically it is first of the streets from east past the Eldoret Hospital). Anyway, this business complex on this photo had quite hard name to remember, but I went there many times.

I think this is the church that was on Uganda road opposite the Eldoret Hospital. Thanks to Kipkosgei I can now say that this is Eldoret Fellowship Church, biggest church in Eldoret. Thanks for information!

KVDA plaza, highest building and highest valued commercial ground in Eldoret.

On Uganda Road, view to the new Nakumatt supermarket that was finished when we were there. Now instead of old Nakumatt, only day and night shopping opportunity in Eldoret. Behind Nakumatt is I think second highest building of Eld, that belonged to some bank. And sorry, I don't remember the pub/eating place that we were visiting, where we took this photo. Didn't seem like best place of the town.. nor the cheapest.

Photographed from the same place as the last one. This is Eldoret Post Office, right next to the new Nakumatt.. to the east I mean.

And next building to the east from Post Office. It has great wallpainting of Ukwala on the end, but I don't know if it ever has held a Ukwala shop or is it just a commercial. Anyway, it seemed one of the few buildings that had appartments in town centre, as most buildings have even third and fourth floors captured by offices and in some cases, by shops or restaurants.

Oginga Odinga Street in front of the old Nakumatt and Equity bank (it is in Western Union chain, but bank itself and ATMs are usually crowded. When I remember the names of better banks, then I edit this).

As you already can read from my drawing, such a view is from KESOFO office on Oginga Odinga right next to old Nakumatt. Over the street Zul Arcade with few cybers where you can check your e-mails and few shops where you can buy computers, computer stuff (DVDs for example) and some other electronics (probably best places too.. seemed trustworthy), but cybers are more or less all the same.. meaning with slow internet. We often prefered Lucky Mouse on next street, but why, about that later. And also over the street ABC (African Banking Corporation) bank. We never went there, so I can't say if it is good or not.

Same view, just a little bit wider. BTW.. Bata that we all know by footware selling shops, means duck in Swahili. So, buy shoes and walk like a duck!

Oginga Odinga street again. Mariann at her blog wrote (and now also I), that it is quite good moment in traffic captured, as usually there is also lots of pedestrians walking or if they really have to, running between the cars. If you haven't been to Eldoret, then try not to plan your rides through the town between four o'clock and six or even maybe seven. Especially Uganda Road is just a big traffic jam. There is no traffic lights in Eld and if jams happen, then policemen don't help much, as every driver tries to fit wherever they can. No Euro-American order of right hand (or as in Kenya traffic is left sided, then no left side order). No any other traffic politeness. And if you really need to get through the town at that time, then take motorbike or even bicycle or just walk.

I just know that I took this photo on Oginga Odinga.. otherwise it is pretty much "whatever" shot of meat transporting car that curiously reminds the ambulance van for some reason. I really didn't mean to ruin anyone's appetite.

Eldoret roofs on Oginga Odinga. View to the corner of Oginga Odinga Street and Uganda Road. Under these roofs was also the small pub where really none of the whites go, but this pub was the first one some brave of us visited in Eldoret. If some of my mates remind me the name, then I will write it here. At first it seemed cool kind of crazy place, but after a while not so enjoyable anymore. Anyway, something to remember. As Love said, something like that pub in Star Wars movie - all kinds of creatures there, drunk very obtrusive yet friendly fellas, some who look at you and then just do their own business, some prostitutes or truthfully said ugly mums with their also ugly daughters whom they want to couple with you, some pool players, occasional cripple who really seem more like an alien, all of them surprised for such guests. But they are not offensive, yes, your wallet may be in danger, but if you guard it well, then not as dangerous as some streets we walked at the dusk time. There was local live band whose music also in some way reminded the music played by the aliens band in Star Wars.

On Oginga Odinga, Mykolas playing guitar after buying it, and streetkids taking all the pleasure from it. There is a small music shop (Well, shop for musical instruments and technology, not music, nothing very good, but enough to buy a guitar to play for yourself) at the lower end of the street. By the way, I would say for tourists that actually most of these streetkids are nice and friendly. I know you will get sometimes tired of their attention and asking for coins, but sometimes in some unexpected way, thay may come to your aid. So really, be nice to them. Actually, be nice to everyone... this is how world and humanity should be.

I'm not really sure if this is on Oginga Odinga, but I believe so. Anyway, it is good as any opportunity to write about the places you can find on Oginga Odinga Street. Additionally to old Nakumatt, these few banks, Zul Arcade, there is also dance club/big posh pub called Grill in Safaricom house. Of course there is also the Eldoret Safaricom (possibly best phone service provider, and Zain perhaps best for internet.. but I'm not sure completely) Headquarters with a big shop and service area. But if you want to buy a phone then probably you can get cheaper from small shops. On Oginga Odinga there is also pretty fine hotel - Hotel Klicque (I think this is how it was written) - with good pub if you want highly priced drinks in comfort and peace... and high society company. There is also good shop to buy alcohol next to that hotel, some good pharmacies and many quite good eating places (Delicious for example. Don't fear checking out the small eating places, some have good surprises).

View to the north, to KVDA by Oloo street from front of one of Ukwala shops. On this road are danceclubs named Spree and Signature, otherwise quite nice party places, but foreigners, watch your wallets. In both sides of the street there was also place called Black Ball, at least the one next to danceclub was a pretty nice pub where to take a Tusker (really good local beer) and watch a football game from TV. Past the KVDA plaza is Sirikwa Hotell (about that soon), small tourist kiosks and immigration agency or how it was called, I don't remember, anyway place where you have to go if you want to extend your visa.

This picture is also on Oloo street, and if I remember correctly it is in front of another Ukwala. Right over the street crosses Market street, where naturally is the central market, but by that street you also get to the central matatu station. And on Market Street is also Tuskys - basically four floors of shop/supermarket, but about that later.

View from the front of KVDA to the crossroad of Oloo Street and Uganda Road. Pretty much on that crossroad with the facing to the Uganda Road, is Will's Pub. Big place with nice restaurant room, where I think also live band plays sometimes, smaller pub for drinkers behind that, and outer inner yard and open to the yard, but with roof, a place where to play pool. On this crossroad is also Eldoret Police Headquarters.

North from KVDA is big, white Sirikwa Hotell, that is often visited even by some wealthier locals to relax, have a swimm in the pool or take a really good quality lunch for example. It is nice place. Don't know how are the rooms or their prices. Over the street to the north from Sirikwa, is really cool oldschool partyplace called Wagonwheel again with live music in weekends at least, and possibility to play pool. Really, really liked that place, as it is not so crowded as main danceclubs, it has some spirit and locals tend to interact with visitors really normally.
Sirikwa swimmingpool. I think for those who don't stay in hotel was only hundred shillings to swimm there, but I may also be mistaken here. Really cheap anyway.

Between the Oginga Odinga Street and Oloo Street is Kenyatta Street, where on lower end are Transmatt shop, one pretty good shop where you can buy school stuff or paper to draw on, or office materials. Then there is cyber named Lucky Mouse that wasn't with signifficantly faster internet connection or better computers or cheaper prices (perhaps only little bit better computers), but there was possible to use headset and I think also webcam. Possible was also to be behind a computer in a private room. And little secret, there is also backroom with small sound studio for beginner DJ's. Pretty nice, eeh? Upper part of the street has few banks, one most used by us, but again, sadly I don't remember its name. There was also one partyplace, quite hidden, where we went for one reggae party, but it didn't seem like very popular place. But anyway name was Woodhouse I think. It simply was only place where we knew a reggae party was held. At the upper end of Kenyatta Street, over the Uganda Road is Town Hall.

Extension from Kenyatta Street over the Nandi Road to the riverside, held a little industrial zone (probably as it is comfortable to dump to the river). Only industry worth mentioning is Dairy Factory where you can buy cheap cheese and icecream. It is right beside the river. How things are organized is pretty weird and actually there's really no good cheese in whole Eldoret, maybe even whole Kenya (I think anyone used to Northern European cheeses like Dutch, Estonian or even Russian cheese, would agree with me). Same way, although there are bakeries, you can't find real good cakes and although some imported sweets are fine, you still probably don't find your favourites. Most sweets are imported from Egypt, some Arabic country or India. And possible is to find Polish chocolate. But Kenyans have some fancy for yoghurts and sometimes even cocoa. Oh, still, you may find some really good crackers in bakeries, and in the good side I can say that Europeans just can't get any so good fruits or pineapples in their home countries as it is possible to find in any market in Africa. Yet, I have made my mission to bake a real good cake to my friends in Kenya, when I come back.

Ahh yes, when you walk around the streets of Eldoret, then in many places you see some guy with scale in front of them and clinging coins in the hand. Everywhere you may measure your weight for only few coins. But why? In the Dairy Factory there is really big scale (on what Kristi and Mykolas are standing on this photo) and men there are friendly and happy to tell how many kilos you have gained by eating ugali so often.

Nandi Road, parallel to Uganda Road. This is the east end. East from that point is Anglican Church and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and further east the entrance to the Eldoret Club and finally Nandi Road runs into Uganda Road. On the Corner of these two, there is little animal park, children's playground and place where you can see traditional homesteads of many tribes in Kenya - Place is known as Poaplace (Poa means something like cool or nice.. so cool place/nice place)
But west from this place on photo on Nandi road.. well, is the whole town.. Kittmatt Centre, Nandi Park (a small triangle of greenery where lots of locals lay down for a little rest.. well, me too), behind some kiosks a local buss stop, etc.
By the way, Nandi is one of the tribes of Kalenjin. Could be said that the main one, as once Kalenjin Language was called as Nandi Languages, but at some point was formed Kalenjin tribal union and also language was reformed and renamed as Kalenjin.

View to east by Nandi Road. Back there you see Anglikan Church and if you aren't completely blind then you see where's Kitmatt Centre, where you can buy some household goods, but I actually would recommend Tuskys on Market Street or new Nakumatt.

Anglican church on Nandi Road. Church probably has also proper name, but maybe not.. anyway, I don't know it. That church we even visited once, as our house aid Caroline wanted us to go with her at least once. I think if I would be church goer, I would prefer smaller, more local ones, but then again, most smaller, local ones have services in Swahili.

On market street (or actually I'm little bit questioning which one of two parallels is Market Street. Actually by looking the map, it seems that the one where's Tuskys may be Sosiani Street. Anyway, market is taking part of both streets) there is pretty good shop/supermarket to buy anything from razors to furniture, from bicycles to home technology, even food.. everything except what you simply can't get anywhere and that you at some point kind of miss badly from your home country's supermarkets. And from Tuskys you can't get any alkoholic beverages.

This is the Grand Vedgie Section of Central Market. There, if you find a friendly lady and promise to buy all your vedgies always from her, then you may get really good prices or quantities.

And this is the section for clothing and acessories. Most clothing here is absolutely terrible, better look at the shops and Westmarket.

To the west from Central Market, is Muliro Street (I think,.. but it doesn't matter as this is again the street unknown by name even to the locals. This street is absolutely creepy and together with Market Street, Sosiani Street and other nearby small streets and bypasses, they form the worst part in Eldoret. Well, by daytime it shouldn't be dangerous, but really new visitors should still go in groups to that part of the town. But at dusktime and in early night, it is quite possible to get robbed there if you move around too much and with too few friends or completely alone. If you come to town after dark with matatu or bus that stops in this area, then move straight to Uganda road - it is probably safest way to home or hotel. Or if you have lots of cash or stuff then take taxi. Even locals get frequently robbed there. It is chokora area.

Cave hidden with the entrance from Dhanna Road. Cave was one interesting place in Eldoret. There was very small eating place built in old hairsaloon (Extremely cheap food. All around was row of mirrors and same way under the mirrors was long circle of tables fixed to the wall. So you sit...... facing the wall and watching your own face instead regular cafe where you see your friends over the table), there was a little pub with pool table that wasn't exactly standing straight (place where we learned new interesting game - Killer), and there was also fundi (tailor) workshop with women always watching us, white guys, when we went to play pool and take a beer there. I really liked such small hidden places.

New house rising on the Ronald Ngala Street.

View from street that doesn't have name even on the map to the houses on Ronald Ngala Street. In this house with little red, is restaurant named Silver Power. There's really good food. On the Ronald Ngala Street there was also restaurant named Storm or was there some word before Storm also.. can't remember anymore. And on this nameless street, at both sides is small market for clothes and especially shoes. I got my football shoes from there really cheap.

Between the main streets, there are small and even smaller nameless ways. At first these seemed too creepy to explore, but afterwards we found many good eating places, many kiosks where you can buy cheap leatherjacket or shoes that you need as shoes tend to get broken at the rain season, or some music, etc. On one of such alleyways, was also Magna, eating place many of us visited probably most, as sometimes it happened that we were offered extra chapati or chai, and it basically just had good feeling there.

When you look the town from some higher building, you see as some houses would be completely surrounded. How do people get to these, but actually these smallest ways are hidden under the roofs. Narrowest pass I saw and went through, was really such, that two people just wouldn't fit past eachother and some bigger guy wouldn't fit through at all. But people used such passes.

Eldoret South

Kisumu Road that leads the town centre to the south, got a new pavement. At least the beginning of it. And it really needed that. It is very important road and yet was in a terrible condition. By that road you can get to Eldoret Polytechnic, Eldoret Sports Club, Eldoret Showground, Eldoret Airport, to Elgon View, to Kipkaren and Langas and of course to Kisumu City. So big up for Eldoret town council for seeing what's good and needed. Eldoret grows and gets better!

Sosiani river that you cross when going south from town centre, is nowdays extremely terribly littered and yet in places little bit away from town, little boys swimm in that river, women take water to do laundry and probably also wash the dishes, I only hope that nobody drinks that dirty water. People, really think twice when you are to throw something to the ground or to river... this is your home that you are ruining.

Not that I would say that they wouldn't deserve a car to carry firewood or other big things, I liked to see how these poor men pushed their bicycle up the road entire woodpile heaped up on their bike. It was just inspirational to see that they really do it... no matter how hard it is, they do it and do it all the time, and so they survive. Hard working people. RESPECT.

I don't know how this low wealth area south from town centre and Sosiani River, but before lower Elgon View is called, but there was some shortcut when we went to town from Elgon View by Kisumu road.

Washing cloths in dirty water in Kipkaren.

Yes, slums ain't pretty, but people there may be very nice, and people really is what counts. By the way, sorry to those who live in slums and take a word slum as offensive and evaluative.  I felt that some of my friends in Eldoret, who lived in slums, were bit offended when I always said, that it is slum not estate as some liked to call it. Think about it, this is what it is. At least in our culture, estate is the name given to one mostly high wealth residential lot, and I always say out things how I feel is right. I for one don't feel that slum would be bad word. Usually I call my own home place in Estonia a ghetto, and that has much worse meaning I think. Kipkaren was a mix of low wealth town/slum houses mixed with ones that were already like rural households. If there would be cleaner, I imagine, I would be content to live in such place, because I really liked people there. And why there is so much garbage... this problem is basically because town council's ignorance. They simply don't care.

Baraka Shop in Kipkaren. Many probably know word Baraka as title for a movie... a very good movie actually. I don't know if they gave the name to movie from Swahili word, but anyway, in Swahili baraka means blessing.

Main road through Kipkaren.

Some rural homesteads at Kipkaren estate.

One of the classhouses in Kipkaren Primary School.

Principal's office in Kipkaren Primary. They really would need someone to invest some money. But then again, it was good to see, that people can manage with little what they have.

Showground - Eldoret greeted president Kibaki on agricultural fair. I saw some fantastic tribal dances and it was rare opportunity to see old native clothing for ceremonial dances. Even old village people don't have old tribal outfits anymore. So I think I had a rare, and probably one of the last views to ceremonial outfits of Kalenjin. So often I feel sad seeing entire world globalizing and commercializing.

Eldoret West

Eldoret town ends in the west with Westmarket area and Stadium 64 that got name after the old Farm 64. Eldoret's western area also seemed to hold many moslem and hindu properties - shops, temples, who knows what more. But driving ahead to the west by Uganda Road, soon slum areas start at the side of the road. First Mwanzo (meaning beginning in Swahili) at the right side and then Huruma at the left. Between them are big plywood industry "Raiply" and Huruma football field. Both, but especially Huruma, are the dirtiest slums in Eldoret and Huruma has also quite bad reputation for being dangerous place.

Wall painting we did in co-op with a local "Youth Art Research Centre". They are group that tries to resolve the youth unemployment problem through arts and environmental activities. Really nice people. Painting is in Westmarket. Hopefully YARC people finished it, as we had to leave Kenya before we could see it done.

Pipeline Company. Oil pipelines come from Uganda to Eldoret.

Eldoret East

Actually, road to most of the Eldoret East Constituency's estates leaves the town pretty much straight to the north, but it turns soon. The road is called Sergoit Road. After crossing the railway, there's Kipchoge Stadium one of two main places for Eldoret's sport events (other is Eldoret Sports Club aka. Pioneer Club to the south). Very often you may see people drying their maize in front of it. Behind the Stadium, goes a small road to the right that leads to Eldoret Prison. But Sergoit Road goes still to the north, but after a little, there is small airstrip and piloting school, and there road finally takes a hard turn to east and eastern estates start.

Kapsoya was a estate with many faces. There is area with middle to high wealth residentials, there is also pretty clean slum area where some Sudanese people live and greater Kapsoya slum area that is like any slum. And in some places there are also some households exactly like in rural areas.

Jesus Power and Glory Church in Kapsoya.

Sudanese residentials in Kapsoya.

School children having physical education at Kapsoya.

Basically this place was called Jerusalem.. I think, but into what estate it belongs, I don't know. I found it amusing but cool that places around towns had names of world known cities and regions. I also liked all kinds of funny business signs on small slum businesses and "hotels"

Again, I don't know what estate this is. At the background over this field is Kapsoya and to the left would be Munyaka. Munyaka was a place where some local runner was killed at the time when we lived in Eldoret, so I felt like staying away from there. Well, we really didn't have much business to there anyway.

Scars of year 2008. But if you think about if it is safe to go for a vacation to Kenya, then don't worry, people now try to avoid old mistakes. Also, if you look my pictures of Eldoret and think that this place is not worth as vacation destination, then it ain't so. First of all, Eldoret town is not the prettiest place, beautiful destinations are coast with Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu, and of course Kenyan nature is just a wonder. But even Eldoret has it's own place. First of all, in Eldoret or also Nakuru, you can see some real African life and one of these towns can be very cheap centre for amazing trips around - to mount Elgon or to Kakamega rainforest preserve or to Rift Valley... all places worth the name of wonder.

Businesses - manufacturing rooms are so small that completed products are outside. Works like a display case. I rather like it.

Munyaka Environmental Group organized a cleanup and donkey-powered garbage truck to take the trash away. It is good to know that not everyone just throw things to ground but there's also some that care about the surroundings.

At the Junction.. I painted quickly a sign for my friend's just opened hairsalon. When I go back I will paint also a painting showing a nice hairstyle for her, if she still has her hairsalon open then. My dreads were made by her, so this photo is like an advertisement for her business.

Maize selling woman at Junction. Junction, as name already says, is place where road divides in two - continuing to drive eastwards you get to the Ainaptich after what comes one more slum area, but I don't remember the name, and if you want to go to Iten, Kabarnet or Baringo Lake, or see one of the best views of the Rift Valley at Kerio Valley viewpoint, this is the road to choose; but continuing north from Junction you get to Chepkoilel and Moi University.

I think this is not actually in Ainaptich, but it is close.

I really don't remember anymore, where this photo was taken, but I quess it was somewhere in Eldoret East.


Janika said...

Really great photos, showing different faces of Kenya. I admire Your courage to take out camera in some really busy streets - sometimes it brings unwanted attention and other problems like people asking money or even stealing your camera, so I avoided it most of the time.

Juwarra said...

I must say that in some places it was pretty crazy idea to take out camera. Mostly we were with a big group then. But you olso should already know that my own camera GOT stolen on one such a bad street. Well.. I can only blame myself.. and now I'm wiser. But it was only one camera of many.. so we still got pictures we wanted.

kipkosgey said...

the big church is called eldoret fellowship church. alot of people go there, realy social place

Anonymous said...

the big church is called sacred heart cathedral. and it is a catholic

Dhiren said...

I was born in Eldoret 50yrs ago. Superbly captured by you.

CKM said...

Reading your blog on Eldoret made me laugh at the level of your idiocy. Not only is your English pathetic (you can't even spell!) but also your level of arrogance and ignorance is glaring. You go to a country on a safari with freebies thrown in from an organisation because you cannot afford to do so from your own pocket; you couldn't even afford proper accommodation and instead you were staying in a guest house (for which you did not pay a dime) and then the first thing I read in your blog is how pathetic the place is. From your posts you have no respect for Africans; you keep referring to white this white that; you even have the audacity to say "I think, wherever you go, ask for some American or European doctor", then why do the likes of you go to foreign countries? If you think that the locals are beneath you, then why the hell did you go there in the first place? After you found everything boring in Eldoret, why did you even take pictures and write a blog about this?

Your photos make me laugh. The camera was obviously a cheap one. My highly educated wife, who is a foreigner, and I recently went to Kenya, stayed in Elgon View, toured Kenya (travelled by both public and private means; dined in both five star hotels and dingy restaurants) but her perspective is poles apart from the crap in your blog. She took some pretty amazing pictures of Eldoret plus the rest of Kenya, which her friends and family thoroughly enjoyed. On the other hand, the pictures you took portray Kenya in a negative way. What exactly are you trying to show the world? Kenya might not be as advanced as USA or Western Europe but you must respect the struggles of the masses, their hospitality and their humanity, which the likes of you will need more than a lifetime to understand.

There is a juvenile picture of someone's hand jutting out of a tuk tuk. What is the point? For your information tuk tuk operates in Elgon View because almost every household has a car or two at their disposal. Those who do not have one take tuk tuk, walk or call a taxi. From what I can see, you couldn't even afford a taxi. And after taking the tuk tuk you kept grumbling about how uncomfortable the ride was, instead of appreciating that you reached your destination.

Concerning the schools, I went to the same schools that you claim are "not good for me to send my children." It is from these same schools that I graduated and eventually got an ivy league education in Europe and America. Propaganda or not, the religious aspect never got into me but it instilled in all of us morals and values. If I were to do it again, I would definitely go to the same schools. It was worth it. If you think these schools are not upto your "standards," then there are schools such as Rift Valley Academy, Greensteds, St. Andrews Turi, Brookhouse Nairobi, Peponi School, Banda School, etc. that charge about $10,000 a year or more. Still cheaper than what it costs to attend Britain's Eton per year but in these schools you can get top-rated international education.....oops, I forgot you are used to freebies and might not even be able to scrape $10,000 together for an education (as you mentioned "we were offered extra chapati or chai," which is what makes you happy)!

You go to Africa, you have a warped view of the continent, but you are warmly welcomed wherever you go and you still treat the locals as if they belong to the dark come back and blog about your experience here, and then your ignorant friends and cronies, instead of correcting you, pat you on the back. This is definitely a vicious circle of ignorance and stupidity.

Juwarra said...

It is sad that you see my writing about Eldoret as offensive. My intent was only to show the view that someone can get, who stays there as a volunteer (meaning that you stay less than a year, but not as shortly as normal tourist - making you to really plan your money and getting you into some normal life problems).

It just was my oppinion. Sure, I find tuk-tuks uncomfortable, but I liked the walks or especially the motorbike rides there. But you see just my comment about tuk-tuks not about motorbikes. I don't understand why you took out only the bad things.

And of course, if you are just visiting the country, your money is limited... this is pretty natural. But telling about a place where they offer extra chai or chapati isn't even because I tried to hold spending my money. It is simply their friendly gesture that caught my attention. You say that I aint happy even though locals show their hospitality. Where did you read that out. And I certainly don't think that Kenyans would be beneath me. I have wrote in many occasions that I really love Kenya and people there. Even in this post about Eldoret. Sure, there are things that I don't like and bad things happening sometimes, but it is same with my own country, and I simply give honest overview of everything as it seems to me. But again, you just can't see how I write good side by side with bad.

Actually I love Kenya even so much that I intend to move there in the future... and that even though all the bad shit like no medical insurance and my bad experience with local doctor, etc, but good simply overweighs bad. If you would read what I have wrote and will write about Estonia or even other European countries, then this is really fucked up world. Sure, I like medical help here more, but in Kenya, where I have a possibility to choose a doctor, I CAN choose an American or European if I like him more (and that by the way without any interest of his skintone). And yeah, I have thought that possibly there are some private schools, where I could trust to send my kid, but again, when we were in Kenya, we visited lots of public schools, and I simply didn't like what I saw. I have studied to become a teacher and it was just hard to see what methods teachers use there... and of course the religion bullshit. You know ethics and all that you can learn also without religious propaganda.

By the way, my only friend commenting here is Janika, but here are other Kenyan people whom I don't know at all, but they still have found that my writngs are giving a good view of Kenya. So, either you just like to pick on anyone writing anything bad about Kenya, or YOU ARE the one narrowminded here, really not seeing why giving also view to the dark side is good.

CKM said...

Ok Juwarra... I re-read your posts again including the ones you wrote about Estonia. I still think that your account of Eldoret is a bit warped (I guess we can term it as Eldoret as per your eyes) but overall the blog is well balanced. There are a number of typos/misspellings on the blog on Eldoret like "Shirikwa" instead of "Sirikwa" Hotel but these can be corrected with time. Also the big church is AIC fellowship Eldoret (certainly not sacred heart cathedral). Otherwise all the best!

Anonymous said...

its a fair account of eldoret.. next time your around i will volunteer to take you to some nice places out of town my email is

Jesse said...

Great report about Eldoret. I think you have given a very balanced account of the Town, I was born and bred in Eldoret and completely agree with you. There are miles of ground to cover in order to develop and i know we will do it successfully with support from everyone else. your posting about Eldoret in the internet is part of the support you are giving......Thank you and Welcome again or "Asante na Karibu Tena"--I just have to say it in swahili

Anonymous said...

I like your blog about Eldoret. Congrats you did a good job. Bt the problem is you dint explore Eldoret well enough. You mostly talk about the negative side. An advice, if you are exploring a place try and bring out both its negative and postive side. Another thing, you have very poor english. You should check on your spellings

Juwarra said...

Sorry I have some misspellings.. because some spelling errors just happen... I think it is human to make errors. I actually see that your own comment has lots of mistakes, and I don't assume that your english is bad but rather that you wrote it hastily. And I am from country where English is completely foreign language, so my English may be tad bad sometimes.

About showing too much negative, maybe you are right that I should bring out good more, but my style is to take things side by side, good with bad. I think I had mentioned good things, places I had fun and so on, at least on the part of town center, but yeah, now I wrote a few things that I liked about other places too. I DID like many things and I do want my writing to be kind of advertisement for Eldoret and certain places there. But even ad must be honest. Ad that brings out only good and leaves you without warnings gets usually removed by customers defense initiatives in business. And my blog entry basically is meant for travellers. I think it is better advertisement for any country and town if traveller knows also places to avoid and places where things are cheap, etc. This may ensure good travel. In that sense it may be even more important to show dangers or problems of society. Yet.. like I said, I also want to show good, and I had already suggested many good places to have fun, to go to eat or shopping, but you are right, I could have given more throughout depiction of these places I liked. So, I fixed this mistake... I wrote at least a little bit more about good things now. LOVE, Eldoret!

Juwarra said...

Aye,.. I just forgot, and wanted to add now that actually I like developing parts of the world. I don't know, places that are pretty much ready.. well, they seem like too ready already... too orderly, too pretty, too cold. I like places where I could have a part of its development and where probably is always something bit chaotic and out of place. I mean, I really love Eldoret with that crazy streetlife and chaotic traffic, I really even like that my stupidity to go to wrong places gets punished, so I'm wiser the next day. I like to explore new places to find new interesting merchants, or better doctors. I have said bad things about many doctors also in Estonia (well, actually I'm pretty critical of most of the medical methods and doctors wherever I am), but I go to other place and if I find that this doctor justifies his name, then I can also praise him/her and advertise him/her to others. I think health isn't just such a thing where to make compromises. My experience with this doctor I had in Kenya when I needed him (who was by the way Indian not Kenyan), ended me treating myself, as I had already same thing before and knew surely that this is what is wrong, but that doctor just didn't treat the thing right.
As I said, I don't mind if there is something wrong in some place, it just makes me want to do to make things better or find alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Great blog for Eldoret i was born and raised there it is good when you bring more of the bad side of the town coz it will help the locals realize that they have alot of problems to deal with e.g littering. As an aspirant for Governorship in UG county i just recognized a lot of areas with lots of problems which God willing not if but when i become the Governor these problems will be solved in 3 yrs of my term.The town needs thorough planning and management something which most of the our African towns lack. With a degree in Public Adm and master in Urban Planning if elected am going to change not just Eldoret town but the entire UG county. Infrastructure will be my top priority. Some of the current and past authoritarians have opposed alot of projects that could have lifted the looks of the town e.g building of a five star hotel around elgon view and construction of a world class stadium a few kms from the town among others have previously been successfully opposed. The town also needs relevant industries. When i get the seat the municipality will wake up from their sleep and take care of all the littering and trash and our town will attract alot of investors. By the time my term is over the town will have quality roads with super highways with overpasses(to Iten,kisumu,nairobi and uganda)not passing thru the D-town, the current (Nai-eld-uganda,sergoit-eld and kisumu-eld)roads will be routes leading to down town, and awesome public transportation in place. The housing standards that will be set will 90% eliminate slums and poor housing( sad to say the landlords of these slums are rich and able to build nice houses)the govt will provide low cost public housing asst for those who will meet certain criteria.the govt will assign physical addresses to all residence of UG, this will help the gov to provide efficient and fast services. On littering all residence will be responsible and the gov will reinforce the law of no littering and all trash be taken to dumpsters for the municipality to collect and dispose off, this will be everywhere in the county. Hey this is not a campaign am just throwing in some ideas in a block which concerns my town.thanks for reading.

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Sadhana Kamatkar said...

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Anonymous said...

I liked your blog but I felt that it was a little harsh on the schools in Elgon View. All schools in Kenya have to offer a religious class to provide for the communities that attend the school. In my time, students could opt out of taking a religious class by doing a social ethics class. Please remember that you were in a country where 80% of the population is said to be Christian and probably 98% religious. I think you will have noticed that what you call ‘Christian religious propaganda’ -that you so hate- is a way of life in this small but populous town. It’s funny that you as an outsider feel the need to criticize and demean something on one issue –religion, without looking at the positives aspects that these institutions have had on their communities.
Institutions in the area include :-

Hill Primary and secondary schools - No religious affiliation
Mother of Apostles Seminary High School - Catholic
Testimony primary and secondary schools. - Christian School
Elgon view academy - No religious affiliation
Testimony School for example, is a Christian school which promotes Christian values, but it also provides free education to the orphans in the TFH children’s homes and provides a quality education to the community.

Juwarra said...

I don't hate Christianity nor any other religion. In contrary i respect everyone's right to choose their beliefs. In contemporary Europe we like freedom of choice and that our kids heads are not filled with religious beliefs before they have actually learned how to critically think. therefore i don't think that religion should be taught. i think every person should find religion on their own like i did. I found spirituality when i was already in university and my intelligence was ready for understanding different religious concepts. And i found spirituality completely on my own. My parents and friends are all non-believers, i never was taught any religion. such kind of teaching is a forcing of beliefs on other people. And when i come to live in Kenya I don't want my child to get religious teachings. if they want to believe anything they can find out about beliefs on their own though.