4thMay: We phoned Charlie a few times.to collect us as we are going to look at a vehicle the other side of town, it was nearly midday and he hadn’t arrived so we phoned Innocent a young taxi driver who brought us back from the local supermarket last week. It was a long trip,(only 25k’s) heaps of traffic and Innocent didn’t have Charlie’s experience of life, but during our day with him we gradually started to see him come out of his shell. He was a motor mechanic, as well as using his brothers car as taxi, working long hours, and married with two children. (I remember it well). It was quite handy as we were looking at cars ay! As with most of the cars we looked at in dealer’s yards it seemed overpriced, and needed so many little things sorted out, to many unknowns.
During the return journey we saw our first wild animals, two wart hogs in the middle of Nairobi, just grazing on the grass with the tusked male pausing occasionally to look around. It could feel him saying” All this bloody traffic in my jungle.”
Innocent mentioned a car field sale that usually happens on a Sunday, we weren’t sure, we felt we had the vehicle for us coming in the afternoon on Sunday.
This evening,while I was writing Justus’s story my phone rang, it was someone called Alex (I think) who said he had a 1999 Isuzi Trooper for sale for 1.1million kes and it would be at this car paddock sale tomorrow. Ok, how did he know, we were looking?
5thMay: We didn’t get to return to the area where the slums are (wow, that word slum doesn’t sit with me well now), Charlie’s car was being repaired. So we asked Innocent, to pick us up, but decided it wouldn’t be the same with him in slum (there’s that word again) city, so we went to the car paddock sale. Apparently the vehicles are all private sales and we deal with the owners, this was a big field and filled with all makes of cars, we were looking for a ‘goldie’ coloured Isuzu in a sea of vehicles. Innocent is really looking after us, his thoroughness in the legalities is second to none (well may be Yeshua), he knows the system and scams and doesn’t trust until everything has been verified. We spent all day yesterday (6th May) at the revenue office waiting for the correct information to be transferred to the log book, everything is paper in that department.
We found the vehicle, but there was no Alex and it was 1 million, it seemed too good to be true, it was low mileage with everything working and arranged to go back later after we had seen the one Pastor Michael wanted to sell to us.
This afternoon when Michael arrived we knew his car wasn’t for us, it was in good nick for its age, but it might/would need lots of money spent on it soon. We were supposed to meet him though, divine intervention ay!
The rest of the day was described so well in P&K’s blog, The Car Baazar (link at the bottom of this page) and well worth reading. Nice work guy’s.
Now this word slum! Wikipedia says,
A slum, as defined by the United Nations agency UN-HABITAT, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing, squalor, and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from 47 percent to 37 percent in the developing world between 1990 and 2005. However, due to rising population, and the rise especially in urban populations, the number of slum dwellers is rising. One billion people worldwide live in slums and the figure is projected to grow to 2 billion by 2030.
The term has traditionally referred to housing areas that were once relatively affluent but which deteriorated as the original dwellers moved on to newer and better parts of the city, but has come to include the vast informal settlements found in cities in the developing world.
Many shanty town dwellers vigorously oppose the description of their communities as ‘slums’ arguing that this results in them being pathologised and then, often, subject to threats of evictions. Many academics have vigorously criticized UN-Habitat and the World Bank arguing that their ‘Cities Without Slums’ Campaign has led directly to a massive increase in forced evictions.
Although their characteristics vary between geographic regions, they are usually inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings vary from simple shacks to permanent and well-maintained structures. Most slums lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services.
I think that sums it up. For me it felt as the word was taking away from the people living there. It must be the way us westerners judge the word and what it implies according to our standards, because the people living there are doing the best they can with what they have and living in their reality. And as we travel around the city the are many variations of “slum” and often next to brand new apartment building, the contrast is bazaar and also saddening.
I can relate to many occasions when I have felt that judgement, often when people ask where I live and when I mention I have lived in a tent for four years the feeling coming from them implies squalor. I feel that they haven’t lived and may be don’t know how to or want to, personally I don’t like living in a conventional house at the moment, I don’t know exactly why, but how I live brings me closer to my reality and desires, or maybe to my true soul condition, but the connection to the land is beautiful.
Love to you all
God is Good