2. How Ethiopian Airlines made me age by 10 years or A Day in Africa

    My last day in Kenya turned out to be an extremely long day…

    I ended my fellowship at Kiva with the Kenyan traditional cake feeding procedure. One of my colleagues birthday coincided with my last day in the office. So I got a typical coffee cake with cookie monster blue colored frosting. Not the most delicious cake but definitely more fun! Pascalia, one of the Kiva Zip full-time staff had brought her son to work. Cutest kid ever! So energetic! The office was continuously filled with laughter. Especially when it was Warren’s turn to get cake. We headed out to a fancy hotel right next to Nairobi National Park to get some cocktails overlooking jumping buffaloes. Afterwards, I sent the last e-mails before a week offline and had to pack up my stuff from three month in Kenya.

    Nairobi’s international airport got destroyed by a huge fire just a week ago and all the operations got shifted to the domestic airport which obviously hasn’t the same capacity and security requirement which requires the arrive three hours in advance. So we stayed up all night, got picked up by my fabulous driver Saidi around 2am. At the airport there was some issue with my ticked which I had changed earlier to an week-long layover in Addis Ababa. While I was bargaining with the Ethiopian Airlines manager I learned about how challenging the Airport situation is for all the employees. Every passenger needs to checked twice, much of the operation takes place outside in the freezing Nairobi cold and it requires a lot of overtime. Flight went well, we arrived in Addis almost on time.

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  3. Check out my post about clean energy on Kiva.org

    #kiva #kenya #renewableworld #accessenergy #impact #cleanenergy


  4. Kiva Fellowship - Trough of Disillusionment and Slope of Enlightenment

    During our Kiva training we got introduced to the hype cycle (yeah, it was developed for technology adoption but why not applying for an fellowship or MBA summer?). I guess I’m currently somewhere between the Trough of Disillusionment and the Slope of Enlightenment.


    Slope of Enlightenment because every day is packed with new discoveries and wow-moments. Nairobi’s music scene, for instance, is insane. Blankets and Wine was happening yesterday. It is better known as Woodstock of Nairobi and features awesome African live-music, many colorful blankets and lots of wine. On Sunday we are going to see Habib Koite and Bamada who’s guitar sounds might make you cry.

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  5. #islandfaces


  6. Kiva Fellowship - the eyes and ears on the ground

    I just came back from a crazy week of travels and I have so many new memories and impressions that still need to be digested…

    Part of the my fellowship with Kiva Zip is understand and analyze the impact of the microloans we helped funding. Our target is to reach the “underbanked” with Zip loans.

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  7. Weekend #4 - The source of Nile

    Wow! It has been four weeks already that I have arrived in Nairobi! Time is really flying by and there is still so much to explore. So why not visiting another country? We took the overnight bus to Jinja in Uganda where River Nile has its source.

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  8. One of Nairobi’s must-do’s is a trip to Karen (named after the Danish writer Karen Blixen who is the author of Out of Africa).

    At the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage you can get very close to baby elephants and watch them get fed and play around. Visits daily between 11am and noon only unless you adopt a baby elephant for $50 a year which allows more flexible visiting hours…definitely something to consider because who can call themselves an ellie-dad or -mom?

    Next stop for us was the Giraffe Center. When you are brave enough to deal with very slimy spittle in your face…some of the giraffes are up for making out with their guests…

    #giraffespittle #babyellies #outofafrica


  9. Wandering Bizarre Bazaar @Karura Forest | Met Bootie Shake Queen from last night’s concert @Alliance Francaise | Beautiful treasures from metal craft designer Nyokabi (friend of Bootie Shake Queen)


  10. Let the music play!

    (Source: Spotify)


  11. One day in Nairobi

    …far from a developing country experience…indulgence at its finest…

    • Started the day with a delicious latte at Java House - weird having that Indonesian link in a coffee-producing country like Kenya
    • Got to the office with bus and matatu - of course the cashier wanted to charge me more just for being a mzungo who doesn’t know it better
    • Worked for a while on my reference check experiment for the Kiva Zip trustee acquisition
    • 7-minute workout before lunch - yes, I’m a cardio person, my arms didn’t recall that I have bi- or even triceps  
    • Real African food at Strathmore’s cafeteria: Kachumbari (tomato-onion salad), spinach and veggi pizza - all for $1.50
    • Some more crazy Kiva office activities 
    • Taxi ride through notorious Nairobi traffic - not so bad because Joseph is the nicest driver ever
    • An amazing Chinese hot pot at the Little Sheep next to the Greenhouse on Ngong Road 
    • Dolce Vita! Italian gelato at the Osteria del Chianti
    • Talent show at Kilimani’s hottest bar Casablanca - we got to see some serious dance moves; best jokes came from Lagos, Nigeria



  12. Kiva Fellowship - the 3rd

    Let’s do a little bit of recap about what has happend so far in my professional life in Nairobi (no, it’s not all about travels).

    We started the first week off with an intense Zip Kenya orientation. This included the handover from the previous fellows, getting to know systems and processes Zip currently operates with and most importantly meeting some Kiva Zip borrowers and trustees.

    We started with a day about Kiva Zip trustees and visited RefugePoint which is a great example for an organization that endorses borrowers and by that facilitates lending through Zip.

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  13. Weekend #2 - Hiking Mount Longonot

    After a packed week of Kiva Nairobi Orientation we took of for the first hike in Kenya. Not far from Nairobi is the Rift Valley which has a couple of awesome volcanos to hike. We picked Mt. Longonot which is an about 5 hours hike where you hike up to the volcano rim, walk around the crater, up to Longonot’s summit on 2780m and further along the rim and back down. 

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  14. Karibu Kitu Kidogo and Kaya Kinondo!

    The first weekend in Kenya we spent at the Kenyan coast close to Mombasa. South of Mombasa you can find beautiful beaches with stunningly white sands and perfectly clear water. We stayed at a little cottage called Kitu Kidogo which means basically “a little something” in Swahili and describes the place very well. We soon became close friends with the other inhabitants of the place.

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  15. Nairobi - the technology hub

    Yesterday I met the President International of Microsoft, today I tried out the new Google Glasssssss! So exciting. Nairobi is definitely advancing to be the technology hub of Africa.