Kibera Revisited

Blog-Photo-16Kibera – Nairobi – Kenya

It is like the new suburbia in a way. A very distant way for sure. You have dwelling after dwelling  one right next to another, close enough you could touch your neighbor through a window (if you had one). All of them look the same, or same design, same materials. Slight differences can be accounted for by those who have enough money for upgrades. Here in Kibera, the dwelling is smaller than the size of the smallest child’s bedroom sans closet space. There is no grass, no side walks, no streets, not ones a car could drive on anyway. There are only dirt roads or perhaps they are more aptly called trails. They do remind me of the steep thin trails that I take walks along with PJ near Land’s End, but with much more trash and the smell of the ocean is replaced by something else. I am lucky to have a guide walk me every day because no matter how many times we make the walk, there are no street signs, no land markers that would stick out to my untrained eye where I would be able to lead myself out of Kibera, the largest slum district in Africa and one of the largest in the world. Population estimates have been given at 200,000 to just under 1 million people living in the space of less than 6% of Kenya’s space.

This is where one of the projects I would be photographing was. I have no pictures walking through this area this time around (my original visit with broken links to photos unfortunately)  partially because this time the 45 minute walk was up a steep “dirt” hill. The walk up which involves jumping and leaping over streams of garbage and liquid that I do not want to be juggling a camera as well working with my uncoordinated legs. The other reason was because my guide (a teacher from the school) has highly suggested against it (several times).

The GOPro camera would have come in mighty handy here. There have been several times already that I have wished I had brought that one extra gadget just so I could strap it to my backpack straps and go about my way unhindered and more unassuming.