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October 1, 2012

Kenya: Week One

I've been trying to collect my thoughts about my trip so far and to figure out a way to write it all down without sounding like some doofy white guy who's never spent any significant amount of time out of New York State, but whatever, that's what I am, so here goes.

1) Poverty. It's one thing to know that it exists, but it's another thing to be thrown right into the middle of it. Just on my cab ride from the airport to my apartment, three different women with babies came up to the car and asked for money. This morning I saw a guy washing his clothes in a drainage ditch. And it's all not that far from decadent places that from the inside are indistinguishable from a fancy bar in New York. The funny thing is, people who have been here for longer than me say that what I've seen isn't that bad, so I'm not sure what to think.

2) Crime. My apartment building, and most apartments around where I live, look like fortresses. They have ten foot walls with barbed wire at the top, and a gate with at least one guard posted at all times. I've also been warned not to go out at night by almost everyone I've met. The severity of these warnings make it sound like zombies come out of the ground when sun sets. If you want to go somewhere after dark, you get a cab, and not just any ol' cab, because some guys will just kidnap you, so you need a go-to cab guy to call. My second night here I saw Nairobi Half Life, which is a great movie, and from what I hear, has a good chance at an Oscar for best foreign film. But damn, that is not the movie to see you your second night here. The movie basically paints Nairobi as a place where at any given moment, in any given place, a guy might just come up to you and take all your stuff, maybe kill you, and there's nothing you can do about it. But so far I've been fine, and I'm being careful, so don't worry.

3) Weather. Surprisingly tolerable. I wear basically what I would at home. Sometimes I even wear a sweatshirt. Since most of you are probably coming from facebook, you've probably already seen this, but here's me in front of the clinic with a donkey.

Also, in un-Kenya related news, here's the trailer for Movie 43, the movie that contains the sequel to Robin's Big Date. It's coming out shortly after I get back to the US in January.

Sadly, you only get a second of Justin as Robin in there, but here's an article from Entertainment Weekly, where you get some stills.

'Movie 43' co-director Peter Farrelly praises comedic Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts -- EXCLUSIVE

Interesting to note is that in the picture, someone digitally removed Batman's ears and replaced his logo with a 43. For legal reasons, I guess. Weird.

Anyway, lots more to say about Kenya, so stick around.

Posted by Will at October 1, 2012 11:29 AM