Cannon King Walking With Africans July 2014

July 11th

- Friday, July 11, 2014

Today we visited a group in a town called "Machinery". They named it Machinery because it was where the highway workers stored all their big machines (most Kenyan city names are a bit more creative than this). We crammed into a crowded matatu, which this time uncomfortably squeezed in about 23 people. For the first time this trip, the group leader greeted me in very solid English. He was a "retired" teacher who now was now dealing livestock in the market center. The group of 10 was extremely gracious hosts, and our meeting went off without a hitch. They were incredibly thankful to have the ability to expand their businesses. 

After the meeting they invited me to go take a tour of their businesses. First, the blacksmith of the group took me to his "shop": a hole in the ground outside with what looked like an overturned bicycle. He showed me how he rigged the pedals and wheel of the bike to turn a fan that fanned the charcoal into temperatures hot enough to bend the sheet metal. It was really an impressive invention. From inside a wooden box he proudly took out a cloth sack and unfurled it to show an assortment of about 10 different metal heads of farming tools. This sack consisted of his entire stock. In the survey, he told me that on a good day he made about 500 shillings (the equivalent of about 6-7 dollars). 

I then got corralled into another group members business, a "hotel". I put it in quotation marks because Kenyan hotels are actually what Americans call restaurants.  They taught me how to make chipate (spelling may be off, I sounded it out) which is almost like a pancake-tortilla hybrid. The entire staff insisted that I take pictures of them, which caused much excitement in the town as people swarmed to see my strange camera on a stick (I mounted a gopro onto a broomstick that was cut in half). All 10 group memebers insisted on seeing me off onto the bus and waving as I pulled away.

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