Monday, March 15, 2010


More about housesitting, coming home to goats on the front lawn, and an eagle-sized hyacinth macaw deciding we're friends. For now, some states from Africa Expat Wives Club:

"Comparing Development:

Wealth - Average income per person. Kenya: $355, UK $24,323

Food - Daily calorie supply as a % of needs (this one really got me!).
Kenya 89%, UK 130%.
(I know that these facts are pretty obvious if you think about it but put like this it's still shocking.)

Education - % of children attending secondary school. Kenya 20%, UK 83%.

Health - Number of people per doctor. Kenya 10,130, UK, 300.

TVs - Number of sets per 1,000. Kenya 26, UK 521.

Cars - Number of cars per 1,000 people. Kenya 15, UK 476."

It made me very sad. I know these numbers would look even worse if you compare Kenya and the US. I mean, look at number of people per doctor in Kenya - 10,130!!

It made me think about Haiti too. I wonder how Haiti measures up against Kenya. I think it might be much worse. This is why I get made when I'm 'trollin' facebook and see "f*ck Haiti, we should be helping people in the US' We should, but seriously? The disparities must be overwhelming between the poor in the US and even the middle-class in places like Haiti and Kenya.

I remember showing my parents a picture of Salaash's house in Kiserian. He lived in a corrugated tin shack that had multiple rooms AND a floor and furniture....a couch and an armchair in the "living room" with pictures of Jomo Kenyatta on the wall. He had built a kitchen off the house, and his shamba was well-planted, teeming with produce. His milk cow was fat and healthy, and his yard was full of chickens and a dog about to have puppies. He even had a wild bird feeding station that his wife kept stocked with seeds and fruit. He was "well-off," all things considered, and lived much more comfortably than many around him, yet my parents were horrified by the living conditions - the house itself and lack of running water and electricity. When I told him that he was well-off, they asked me what the "poor people" lived made me sad.

It made me sad when I showed Salaash a picture of my snow-covered house and he gasped at the sight of a lamp shining through the window. "Ah-lee-zohn," he said, "you have electricity inside your house?!"

Disparity indeed. Sigh.

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