It’s been almost 3 weeks since I arrived Juja. First couple weeks we didn’t have too many things to do but just settled down peacefully.
The Airport in Nairobi
The first day when we arrived, Dr. Arnold arranged us a hotel for staying. The next day he took us to campus residence which is our formal residence for the following months. I really enjoy living in the house all by myself. It is a large house, and it normally can accommodate at most 8 people. However, this summer we don’t have other interns or international students here to share house with us. So, Yaoshen and I lived in a single house separately for each of us.
My Apartment – D16
We met the international office staff at the second day. One of the staff, Kenneth, took us for shopping the daily essentials in Juja City Mall and sim card. We got safaricom sim card and it can be used to make payment through the sim toolkit, which is really convenience and safe to use. You don’t have to take cash with you, just use your phone to input the till number (each merchants will have a unique till number) and the amount, lastly you need to put your own pin number which would secure the payment. This payment method can be used as long as you purchase the mpesa credit. However, the mpesa credit requires the national ID from the owner (I think it is the way that Kenyan to build their credit system and secure their payment) which we don’t have. At this point, Kenneth generously provided his national ID to help us. He also taught us how to use the safaricom toolkit step by step. At first, I found it was really complicated to use, but now I am getting used to it and more familiar with the payment function and airtime purchase (calling and data bundles).
Convenience Store in Campus – where you can buy snacks, water, and mpesa credit
The next few days we met with Dr. Arnold and Dr. Judith to discuss further about our project of sensory evaluation and our expectation of re-operating the Fiti kitchen. They really interested in the sensory evaluation and said they would fully support us. Dr. Judith introduced a master student in JKUAT, Eunice, to us. She would be the translator and community leader during the sensory evaluation.
During our free time, Yaoshen and I just hang out to the nearest market. There are so many stalls around and sell variety products, such as fruit, juices, snacks, and even clothes.
People on the street would always love to greet us because we are foreigners, and most of them are really friendly. Some people would just call us “Chinese”, or say “Ni Hao” (“Hello” in Chinese) to us. I always respond them with smile and greet them as well.
It was a fresh and joyful beginning and hope we all good luck on this project.