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How to deal with KPLC when you have an issue

KPLC, also known an Kenya Power, is the national Kenyan electric power company. The company owns and operates most of the electricity transmission and distribution system in the country. (The Government has a controlling stake at 50.1% private investors have 49.9%.)

When you’re dealing with a power outage, brown out, or other issue, they are absolutely terrible. I have not discovered any ways to make dealing with them any less painful. However, I have found a way to get them to act a bit faster.

First, call right away, as soon as you notice the problem. Don’t expect your neighbor to do it. Don’t assume anyone else called it in or that the issue will resolve soon. Call them ASAP.

Second, start with your account number. Then you can tell them the issue. Giving them your account number will let them know exactly where the problem is.

Third, tell them it’s your whole area. Most likely, it’s not only your house, so it’s not a lie. Also, they won’t do a thing if you tell them it’s only your house. Tell them it’s a widespread issue.

Fourth, get the full name (and correct spelling) of the person you are speaking with—I’ll tell you why later. Fifth, get a reference number.

Then, after all that, keep calling to check until the power issue is resolved. Tell each neighbor to do the same. If you all keep up the pressure, they will act faster.

Ways to increase to the pressure:

  • Ask for a supervisor after you’ve called twice. Talk to the supervisor to get a better response. Get that supervisor’s full name (and spelling).
  • Tell your neighbors each time you call and update them. Tell them the name of the supervisor you spoke with and have them ask for that person when they call.
  • Get onto Twitter and regularly update there, including:
    • the full name of the people you’ve spoken to
    • your reference number
    • #KPLC
    • address the tweet to @Kenya_Power_Care, @KenyaPowerAlert, and to @KenyaPower
    • tell your neighbors to do the same
  • As many places as you can (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), publicly shame KPLC into restoring power, again, calling out the representatives by name.
  • If things get bad, start calling out senior staff. Find out who the regional manager is for your area and put that person on the hook.

Below is a PDF of the regional managers and their phone numbers—I got it from KPLC:

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Finally, don’t stop until the power issue is resolved. Note the last sentence of the main paragraph in the PDF: KPLC encourages customers to contact senior management via their call phone numbers. Do it.

Good luck!

 

Red Sea Egypt

Last year we did a trip to the Red Sea leaving from Port Sudan. This year we did the Red Sea again, but leaving from Marsa Alam in Egypt. We went again with AquaVentures from Watamu at the Kenyan coast. We did the St. John’s and South area. It was really nice diving.

We saw very healthy reefs, an abundance of marine life, and some sharks. There were canyon, really canyons, of coral and tons of swim throughs. At Elphinstone, about 15 meters below me I saw five sharks go by and then, a minute later, another three. I could tell they were sharks, but it was murky and I couldn’t tell what kind. I was told that most likely they were hammerheads, as they are the only schooling sharks in the area. (This was too far away to capture on video.)

Unfortunately, my camera housing flooded (not a total loss, the camera is still good) and so my photos and video are limited. I did get to use the GoPro…but I’m not a pro at that. I’ll have it posted for next week.

 

It’s Expats and Pets Awareness Week

“This week we would like to focus on the many expats that live in Kenya (and other countries) who are considering to get a pet or who have pet(s).”

Click the link below for the full story

via TNR Trust: Expat and Pets Awareness Week

Review: Emporer Divers & MY Jessica

In late May we did a dive trip to the Red Sea. Yes, we did this last year. This time, instead of Sudan, we embarked from Egypt. We were meant to my on the MY Elite, run by Emperor Divers. However, that boat had an accident on a reef. So, we were juggled onto the MY Jessica, run by a different dive company. This review is partly for Emperor Divers and partly for the boat and its crew.

The boat itself was fine. It wasn’t amazing, but it was nice enough. I liked our room, which had a double bed plus a single, which we used for camera gear. I also liked that the bathroom was good size for a live aboard.

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The dive deck felt a little tight, but then they always do. The platform for diving off the boat was spacious and had one rinse tank, which was meant to be only for cameras but various masks found their way in there. What I really liked were the little cubbies, each of which had an outlet for charging cameras, GoPros, etc.

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The rest of the boat was pretty nice with comfortable outdoor decks, inside saloon, and dining area.

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Nobody danced on the pole. No clear heels on this boat!

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The crew was really good. They were helpful, but good at backing off you wanted some space. They were friendly and a lot of fun.

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The dive masters from Emperor were fantastic. Musti and Saad were great leaders. They knew the sites well and managed the boat really well—when you consider that they had just met the crew, it’s really amazing how well it all worked.

Last but not least, the chef (from Emperor) was so wonderful. He cooked up the most delicious meals. Dive boats tend to have good food (or at least not bad food) but this was restaurant quality food. His cooking was the star of the boat!

Would I go on the MY Jessica again? Yeah, probably. Would I dive with Emperor again? Absolutely.

Facebook and the Expat…

…or at least this expat. After a lot of thinking, even more research, and then some more thinking, I decided to strip down Facebook. My reasons have to do not only with the security breaches, but also the fact that Facebook knew about these breaches, did nothing, and then tried to cover up.

These articles very clearly sum up why I feel enough is enough with Facebook. Click through if you would like some detail:

What does stripping down mean? First, I turned off all apps and platforms and really made sure my privacy settings were locked down. Next, I let my friends on Facebook know I what I was doing, why, and how to contact me via other means. Then, I unfriended everyone.

I would like to totally leave Facebook, however, I find that I can’t for one simple reason: the Nairobi-based groups. They are so helpful to me. I rely on them on a weekly basis. If there was another way to get the information I need, I would drop Facebook in a heartbeat. However, I need to stay for the groups.

I know there are other expats who are marginally holding on to Facebook for the same reason. There is not yet (yet being the key word) an alternative to the useful expat Facebook groups. For some other expats, Facebook is the only way they can really keep in touch with loved ones back home.

I am no longer able to stay in touch as easily. I can’t easily get a glimpse of the daily life and life events of a good number of friends on a daily basis. However, I was and still am willing to lose that for the sake of America.

In the meantime, friends know how to contact me directly. I know how to contact them. That will be enough, and quite possibly much more meaningful.