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Review: greenspoon

One of the things I miss about life in New York is the convenience of things. You can walk to most places. You have public transportation for when you can’t walk. And you can order in just about anything.

In many parts of Nairobi, delivery is an option. For me, on the edge of the city, it’s not easy. So, I’m really happy when I find someone or someplace that can deliver to me. Enter greenspoon, my latest find!

Greenspoon is an online grocery and beer/wine seller. You simply go online, pick what you want, pay (various types of mobile money (I use Mpesa), Visa, or MasterCard), and then your items are delivered to you. You get it the next day if you order before 3pm. It’s that easy!

They sell a wide variety of items. Everything is from artisan producers and local farmers. Not everything is always in stock—but that’s part of the deal when you’re shopping from artisan producers, plus the site is well designed and it’s clear when things are out of stock.

If you’re in Nairobi and want to get great food brought right to your doorstep, check out greenspoon.

 

Kazuri Beads & Pottery

Kazuri means “small and beautiful” in Swahili. Kazuri Beads and Pottery is a bead and pottery company based in Karen (with several shops in Nairobi). They make amazing ceramic products that they sell locally as well as internationally.

They started out in 1975 with the founder and two single mothers. The business grew as they discovered there were many other women in villages around Nairobi who needed employment. Today, they employ over 340 people (mostly women). I was intrigued by their story so I went to check out their main shop and factory, which is located on what used to be part of Karen Blixen’s estate.

I got there in the morning and was the first “tourist” to arrive, so I got a personal tour! Here is some video from that tour:

It was great to see everything from how they prep the clay (which they get from Mount Kenya), to how they make the pottery and how they make each bead. I should have taken notes so I could describe every detail. Instead, I can give you a few photos of what I saw.

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Out of the kiln after glazing

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Glazed and ready for the kiln

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After the initial firing

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Molds for the beads

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Hand painting the beads

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Kilns for the beads

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Quality control for each order

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Hand painting the ceramics

If you’re interested in checking out the factory, they are on Mbagathi Ridge, Karen-Nairobi.

Phone: +254 (20) 2328905/6 / +254 720 953298

Email: info@kazuri.co.ke

Review: Brioche

Several weeks ago we went to the launch of Brioche, a little cafe tucked in the back of The Alchemist. It’s a cute place with a great brunch menu. I highly recommend it.

J. and I both had the shakshuka and it was amazing.

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YUM!

If Westlands is a bit far for you, they also have a location in Karen.

Yes…this is a short post. There isn’t much to say other than you should get yourself there NOW and eat!

 

Egyptian Red Sea Dive Trip Video

As promised, here is video from the dive trip. The footage is shaky…and I somehow didn’t get the school of squid I saw at the end of the last dive.

But, nonetheless, here is some video from our trip. Enjoy.

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!