On to Pallisa

August 7, 2017

At each checkpoint we have asked the Police how to get to Pallisa, even though the maps show the route very precisely, and taking into account the scale of the map, very clearly. It is obvious that none of the police can read a map (one enthusiastic sergeant tried to decipher it upside down and made it clear he knew where he was and where we should go) but they are keen to help. More to the point, if we have asked for help, and you have thrust a map under their nose, they are less inclined to ask you to open the vehicle for, while giving you directions you don’t actually need, the traffic is quickly piling up behind you and they rapidly feel the pressure to move you on. Gentle psyops in action. Read more

The Ugandan Express Pardon

July 17, 2017

Yesterday we departed Nairobi at 1209 and rolled out to Eldoret. We had spent the morning touring Kibera, the slum famous for being the largest in Africa and for being, well a slum. For many it is a place of convenience as they come into town to work, Kibera offering a place of cheap accommodation. It’s a complex matrix of people living on top of people and is as sophisticated a community as anywhere on the planet.

We depart Eldoret oddly enough at 0910. We have an uncommon series of ‘10’ minutes starts and finishes, without any planning. The road out of Eldoret is busy but eventually clears and the road, compared with the road out of Nairobi, is quite reasonable. We track our way via the map to Malaba which comes up on us more quickly than we expect. I ring the person David has put us in touch with (Keith) and not a moment too soon as we are swarmed by fixers offering to take us across the border. Read more