A Month In Kenya: Miscellany 2

Another assortment of random pieces of information...

1. M-PESA
This is the common method of payment in Kenya because until recently most people didn't have bank accounts. M-PESA is kind of like a prepaid cell phone: you go to a M-PESA agent, give them some cash, and they'll apply the money to your account. Then you just use your phone to transfer money to merchants when you want to purchase something. 

2. BABYWEAR
Almost anytime we see a baby, it's wrapped up in fleece and sweaters and a coat and a hat. Harry always used to tell me about this, but it's funny to see it in action. When Wambui and I were at the market on that blazing hot day, sure enough, there was a baby at one of the booths who was bundled up like this. Wambui and I were astonished, but the baby looked perfectly content. 

3. SCAFFOLDING
I've noticed that most construction projects, even those for buildings several stories high, use an intricate scaffolding of logs/branches lashed together with leather straps. 

4. LIFE ON THE CORNER
Many corners have little shops usually called kiosks. Many of them even cook stew and/or vegetables in big aluminum pots and have tables and chairs for people to sit and eat. Sometimes we'll see a group of women sitting near a corner (like the women across from our flat). Mark told us that these women are waiting for someone to hire them as short-term househelp, usually just for the day. He said that a lot of people avoid this kind of hiring, though, because it can sometimes result in theft. 

5. SWAHILI WORDS/TERMS IN REGULAR USE
Jambo: Hello
Asante sana: Thank you so much
Karibu: Welcome (or you're welcome)
Sawa sawa: OK, that's right
Ndio: Yes
Sindio: I hear you (this is often a conversation filler like "exactly" or "so true")
Kabisa: Of course
Kidogo: A little 

6. MORE GATES!
Had to include the latest gates I've spotted.  (And a couple of fences...)