Archive for May, 2007

Some photos from Malindi (Mark)

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Bebeth taking a break

Bebeth setting up curios to be photographed

Miranda finding innovative uses for this hand bag

Pre-painted carvings

Sam and Miranda interviewing a master carver

A hippo in the making

One of the painters

Carver in the carvers yard

Me talking with one of the master carvers

Sam and Miranda taking a break

Sam photographing the carvers and showing them the pictures

If you are interested in seeing all of the curios we took pictures of you can head over to this link. These are all unedited photographs.

Enjoy, Mark
username: markandbebeth
password: peacecorps

Malindi Handicrafts (Bebeth)

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Last week we took a break from DrumNet to work on a project with another volunteer, Grover, who works for Malindi Handicrafts, the second largest handicraft organization in Kenya. They have over 600 woodcarvers that make anything and everything that you could think of (and some things you would NEVER think of.) Currently their main buyers are the tourists that come through Malindi, but they would like to expand into new markets. One possible option is to export to large buyers like Pier 1, Crate and Barrel, etc. The other option would be to allow people to purchase their products via the web and have it shipped directly to them. In order for either of these options to be viable, they need to have a much better website and a catalog. So…last week we and Sam and Miranda Roberts (2 other PCV’s that we’ve talked about before) traveled to the coast to get this project going. Miranda will focus on the content writing, Sam on the design and we will focus on the programming of the website. The four of us have just the right skills for a project like this.

While we were there our main focus was to get the visual content for the site. So….we spent 4 days taking pictures of every item they make, interviewing the carvers and management of the cooperative and generally trying to gather as much information as possible so that we’d have all the information we’d need to create everything once we return to our respective sites.

If you’re interested, take a look at to see what their site looks like right now. It’ll be a little while before we are ready to put up the new site.

This work took up most of our time, but we’ll post again soon with pictures and info on the “vacation” parts of the trip.

username: markandbebeth
password: peacecorps

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Yesterday we took another adventure to Nairobi National Park with Tony, our colleague at Pride Africa. This time we went to the Nairobi Safari Walk. It is essentially a zoo located on the grounds of the national park. Although it was a little weird to see some of the animals in a zoo when we’re in Kenya (and right next to a national park), it was still pretty cool. One of the neatest parts was how everything was laid out. In the main area if you looked out it appeared that you were looking at one very large grassy area without any fences. It turns out they had dug deep trenches which they put the fences in, so that from our perspective you couldn’t see any of the fences unless you really tried. Although we didn’t take a picture of how it all looked, here’s a nice shot of one of the zebras that was wandering around.

Another very cool resident was this Rhino. I don’t think that I had ever seen a Rhino before (even in a zoo) because I couldn’t get over just how HUGE he was. His rather small legs support an enormous body.

We haven’t been able to properly identify these bright creatures (our bug book is in Bungoma) but we thought they were good enough to include here.

And finally (we saw many, many other animals, but this will be the last one in this post) we saw a cheetah. While we were watching her, a family entered the cheetah area with some handlers and proceeded to pet her and take pictures. So, as we were leaving the viewing area, Tony asked the guys if we could do the same thing. They said yes and when asked, told us that it wouldn’t even cost anything. This clearly wasn’t a service offered by the park, so we’re not exactly sure why they were doing it. We figured not asking was the best solution. She purred SO loudly and, as you can see, was very docile.

username: markandbebeth
password: peacecorps

Mail (Bebeth)

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

As many of you know, we have been working on getting the software done and its taking forever. This means that we have been “temporarily” posted in Nairobi for 6 going on 7 weeks now. We don’t expect to get back to Bungoma till sometime in June.

As many of you know, I’m completely neurotic about mail…so if I think that there’s mail sitting in our box I’m crazy. As it happens there is always mail in our box because my family sends multiple letters a week. This means that I have spent too much time worrying about mail and trying to figure out how to get it. We’re finally giving up hope of going back to Bugoma soon and are having my family switch to sending stuff to Nairobi.

So…if anyone else happens to be thinking about sending us something via snail mail (if not, we LOVE email too) we are switching our mailing address to our office’s address for the time being. This should only be used for anything that can fit in an envelope…don’t send any packages to either address right now.

The new address is:

Bebeth and Mark Steudel
c/o Pride Africa
P.O. Box 39320-00623
Nairobi, Kenya

username: markandbebeth
password: peacecorps