Monday, May 31, 2010

Hi. Hi.

Marianne: Gone. Erik: Gone. Suat: What's a Suat? Village Beat is back to the basics and back to our roots. Imaginary friends are only fake to others... Anyone wanna come? Please? Kenya's RAD!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photo of the Week #1: Cast Your Vote

We're a bit behind in posting our weekly favorite shots, but we're more ready than ever to show you our best. Here's a brief catch-up:
1. Face CLAP
2. Bohemian Club
3. "I haven't shat in 3 hours!"
4. Missing You

Photo of the Week #2: Cast Your Vote

1. Melon Therapy
2. DJ "Oh, I didn't know you were taking my picture"
3. Determination...hours and hours of determination
4. Austin's biggest smile in a photo yet...hmmmm.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Isiolo Soldier

"He is mad", says a jostling onlooker who peddles calendars from 2009.
The decorated "Colonel" of the Isiolo streets was once a cop. His grip on the bleak reality shared by most everyone else around town became slack and he's drifted into another plane. Although retired, each morning he reports to the police station and stands in salute as the young officers hoist the flag. Slowly making his way through a chaotic town that moves like it's frying, he keeps a rare, contemplative ease, smiling and nodding to everyone, surely taking it all in a bit differently. For the past few years, his friend (our ex-mechanic) has been taking care of the Colonel's late-80's Buick Regal, which sits on blocks in the garage yard, doubling as a tool shed until the Colonel feels like driving it again.
In a place like this, madness is a gift.

Bulapesa, Isiolo.

Thanks Kelsy

A very thoughtful Christmas gift: super-stylin-thermal-wicking-socks, meant to fend off the Brooklyn chill, put to good use in Mombasa as sweat receptacles under my anti-glue-kid armor.

Let's Hear It

The talent search continues...
After Mombasa gave our soundtrack some soul, we're back in Nairobi looking for knuckles.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

All Grown Up

We found Simon. He's about 4 inches taller, voice deeper, and...he's been nominated as Village Beat's first grant recipient. En route to Jomo Kenyatta National Airport last year, minds full of memories and hearts exploding, we received a final phone call to our Kenyan cell phone. It was Simon (Kalibo), borrowing a phone from the street, letting us know he made use of the cooking materials we donated to him in hopes he would fulfill his immediate dream: selling hard-boiled eggs on the street as a way to get up and out of Barachi Field, off the streets and closer to his goals of becoming a cafe owner. "I've sold eggs today! I made enough to buy for tomorrow." --Perhaps the best phone call I've received in my life.

Upon return to Mombasa almost one year later, Kalibo has sold enough eggs to get himself into a vocational school (he paid the first semester and a government org affiliated with Unicef picked up the second and third) where he is learning the craft of catering and is housed and fed. He's finished now, and in effort to be competitive (or have any chance of a job) and keep a roof over his head, he must enroll in a specialty course- 'cake decorating'. It's a 2 month-long practice, meeting 4-7pm, where he will learn to create the best frostings, fillings, and colorful lion and Kenyan pop-artist faces and designs you've ever seen. (Picture coming of my birthday cake in 3 months.)

To participate in the course, Kalibo needs 9,000 Ksh tuition, 200 Ksh registration fee, 4,000 Ksh ingredient materials, 1,700 Ksh kitchen utensils, and 1,200 Ksh uniform expenses. That's a grand total of 16,100 Ksh which roughly equals $206 US dollars.

Taking the course allows him meager room and board until December 1, an internship at the local hospital's kitchen, and the prospect of a job come Christmastime. Smiles and updates will be frequent.

Please consider helping us with this project. Kalibo will bake you a cake. :)

Big Red

Jeans In Your Dreams

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Parasites to Pink Eye

This trips been a little more rough on the body, to say the least. It's especially wonderful when the hotel is out of water for 3 days, your eyes are pussing and burning, and all you can do is roll around like a caterpillar aware of butterflyhood while taking in the sound from Mombasa's two tv channels: Aljazeera and Bollywood TV. As a wise man once told me...take a deep breath and say, "Oh, Kenya."

The Wishing Well

Backstroke in a slow, golden river.
Skating aloft, across a tabletop of raindrops.
Striding through grasslands of arms and hands in the impenetrable suede of a lion.
Grateful with each day, to be carried through the dark.