above is in Uganda but it's the same principle! The next picture
is from Kenya. Notice the bags on top.
Project: Take a look at the per-capita income of the average Kenyan
family. How much is it?
divide that number by 12. This is the income per month.
an exercise, try and imaging how you would feed a family of two
parents and three children with that income.
You may have
to ride a "MATATU" if you go to Kenya (or any of it's
neighbors). You will never forget the experience. Why? Well, you
can't really understand it if you don't ride it. I mean, we can
say that "MATATU" means "taxi" in Swahili but
anyone who's been to Kenya and traveled in a matatu knows that that
really doesn't sum up the experience of riding in one.
But what is a matatu? A matatu is usually a minibus or some such
form of public transportation in Kenya. Away from the cities, the
matatu transforms into a pickup truck, with a cover on the bed.
For a few shillings a piece, as many people as the driver can convince
to squeeze in (or "cram in" if we're going to be honest),
with their baggage, and perhaps some livestock, can get a ride to
where-ever they're going.
is placed on top along with animals such as perhaps some chickens.
A matatu is finally full when you have several people hanging out
the back door.
The reason for
all of this, of course, is because most Kenyans are quite poor and
transportation is expensive, so this is how working people attempt
to cut down on cost. Matatu, Matatu.
does not exist. You leave when the driver decides that the vehicle
is full. Hakuna matata - no problem!
you go along in your matatu you will pass many different scenes.
Let's take a
ride from Kenya's major city to one of its most rural provinces
so that we can see how the roads change!
So we start
in Nairobi. Did you realize that Kenya
had cities like this? Nairobi is the financial and political capital
of Kenya. There are many, many companies and organizations who have
One very important
organization that has offices in Nairobi is the United Nations.
They have several significant programs to help Africans all over
many hours of driving we might pass through a smaller, provincial
town like Kisumu in Western Kenya.
As you can see, the buildings are not as many or as big as in Nairobi.
the USA, which has a lot of investment spread out all over, in a
developing country like Kenya, government and businesses can only
invest in a few locations at a time. So, the further away from the
main cities like Nairobi and Mombassa that you go, the less investment
Of course this
means that many people try to go to the cities. But this ends up
causing overcrowding and congestion and there aren't enough jobs.
like this you may often see half-completed houses. As housing
materials are expensive for rural Kenyans, many will start out
with roofs and walls then add to the house over the years until
it is a finished structure. At least that's the hope that many
have. Unfortunately, the level of poverty that occurs in many
rural areas means that a house like this may stay in this condition
for years and years.
Here is one
of those roads we talked about. In the USA, there are still many
places where there are roads like this also.
And now, we've
come to the end of this particular matatu journey. This is a family
living in a village in rural Kenya. Some of the houses in this village
are quite modern and are built just like the houses you might see
in the USA. However, most of the people of this village are quite
poor-this is why they might take a matatu to get back home.
this family has huts that have been constructed using traditional
materials as well as a building that uses modern day galvanized
steel sheeting for its roof. From the picture, what kind of materials
do you think were used to build the huts?