The Wild West in Samburu East

Duchies, wherever you are you will find them. On our way from Nairobi to North Kenya we often spot our nationals. They grow flowers, operate safari tours and are aid workers. Their profession reflects the changes in the scenery. From the fertile grounds around Mount Kenya, across the national parks with elephants to the dry lands of the Samburu. Wamba, the capital of district Samburu East is our destination for now. When we walk through Wamba we feel like we are on a western film set of Segio Leone. The main and only street of Wamba consists of bars, hairdressers and some questionable hostels. The wind from the mountains blows dust in each corner of every room. Wamba is changing, like it might have done throughout its history. It has been a year since the town was included in the electricity network. We wonder what it would have looked like without the loud reggae music at 6.30 in the morning. Nowadays people are watching Kenyan soaps or international nature documentaries about sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, but what used to be the entertainment in the past? And what about the guys who just opened the internet cafe, how would they have realised their dream without electricity? Wamba got electricity because they became capital of the district last year. The regional chief welcomes us in his office. With his approval and safety statement we leave Wamba. But not before Anne-Marie takes a local haircut. The hairdresser was supposed to trim only the tips, but he cropped it all the way; Samburu style. Let the fieldwork begin! Diederik  Veerman

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