Our Life in Kenya


[Editor's Note: This post is completely out of order but since I'm already so far behind, whatever.]

I can’t believe it has already been 6 weeks since we arrived in Nairobi but it’s been nothing short of a whirlwind. We’re either working, adventuring, drinking, or commuting. It’s one thing to the next.

But what does that really entail? Let me share…

#1 Adventuring

We’ve been safaring, canoeing, hiking, and soon to be white water rafting. We’ve adopted an elephant, said “what-up” to a lion, and saw a pack of cheetahs take down a baby gazelle. Circle of Life.

Here are some elephants drinking water at Amboseli National Park.

Elephants drinking water

 #2 Working

There’s a growing social enterprise start-up scene in Nairobi. Not to sound corny but there’s an entrepreneurial vibe in the air. You either hustle or be hustled.

Sanergy is one of the most successful social enterprises in the world. We just won the Saphati Sanitation Award (beating out the founder of World Toilet Day!) and our growth is only continuing.

Which brings us to why Kyla and I are here. That growth doesn’t mean more money in corporate pockets (not a bad thing) but more people having access to clean sanitation. Or even more bluntly, an actual toilet to crap in. Flying toilets (pooping in a plastic bag and just throwing it…Literally.) are a real issue in the informal settlements and wreak havoc on the local welfare.

Here’s one of our toilets. See all that plastic on the ground? Yeah, they’re former flying toilets.


I’m not doing the “holier than thou” international development preach but it just feels good making a difference.

#3 The People

Pretty freakin’ cool if you ask me. Here’s us with two of our roommates.

From Left to Right: Flying Toilet, Beer Man, Prince from Chappelle Show, and 50 Shades of Grey

From Left to Right: Flying Toilet, Beer Man, Prince from Chappelle Show, and 50 Shades of Grey

#4 Drinking

Who puts sugar in their Beer? Kenyans. They love the stuff. It’s in so many beers that the export now smartly advertise that theirs don’t contain it.

Tusker is the national beer of choice and criticizing it in public would lead to a large confrontation. Besides being sugary, it’s also really weak – 3.6% alcohol?! It was the cause of an earlier Kyla “flu” problem but if it’s the only thing available, you drink it.

Thankfully, Kenya offers a pretty wide selection with Guiness Export being my beer of choice (And yes, I’m too much of a wuss to handle the real stuff). A local brewery (Sierra) nearby makes a damn fine amber and stout as well.


 #5 Commuting

The bain of our existence. When we’re lucky (and I’m lucky 4 days a week) the commute is terrific and only a 10 minute walk. But those other days are miserable. Although the Mukuru office is only 8 miles away, it can take up to 2 hours. I’ve commuted in Chicago. I’ve commuted in D.C.

It doesn’t compare.

I was actually able to find a handy chart that compares traffic around the world based on how painful it is. Nairobi is #4.


So yeah. That’s what we’re up to.

Future posts will be more specific as to the exact adventures (the Amboseli one is actually too long) and the craziness that always ensues.

If you made it this far, you’re awesome.

  • Margaret

    Go beer man! My hero!

  • Steven Carter

    Flying toilets! You know for something that you are trying to get rid of it does have a catchy, intriguing name to it.