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Thoughts from category: Travel

the day job

JT in Kenya

My brief whilst I am out here is to spend time setting up a computer network for the office staff in Kola. The office manages the operational functions of EDK (Excellent Development Kenya), they are broadly split into Finance, Admin, Logistics, and Training. Here’s most of the EDK team, John wore his shades especially to look cool, I reeled out my cheesiest grin and strangely Mbutu stared at the tree; good job the others knew how to behave on camera.

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Left to right – Kyalo, Christine, John, Esther, Peter, Mbutu, Me

Right, if you are at all bored by IT talk I advise you to stop here.

The challenges to IT work in Kenya are based around getting quick access to the right hardware and software. The nearest place with a choice of IT equipment to purchase is in Nairobi, which is a good 2 hour drive. Being prepared is important as you can’t just pop down the shops to get another network cable. Also I am used to downloading the software I need from the internet, whether it is Windows Updates or new applications. You need a speedy and reliable internet link for downloading large files and this isn’t always the case in Kenya.

In remote areas such as Kola the only possible way to get internet access is by using mobile broadband (the USB sticks that are getting popular in the UK) which the mobile companies are rolling out across the country. Unfortunately the service can be unpredictable. However it is very impressive how the mobile companies are using a technology like mobile broadband to reach customers and bring the internet to such remote places. If you consider that there is no mains electricity or running water where I am staying.

It will be great if the mobile companies can get to the level of coverage and reliability they have with voice calls as an improved service will mean better communication and hopefully benefit Kenya’s communities and economy. Every man and his cow in Kenya have a mobile and the advertising for the mobile companies is everywhere. I heard a story from a visitor to EDK saying that she was out in the Maasai Mara with one of the warriors in his full ceremonial dress when his mobile went off. It’s good to talk.

By JT.

gav's got far

Our Gavin has now made it as far as Bolivia.

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Here he is with a beard, his bearded friend George, and a fruit salad smoothie with yoghurt and a biscuit, in the first place in Bolivia he found that do smoothies.

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And here's a zebra in the middle of the road in La Paz. La Paz seems to be teaching its residents the meaning of their newly painted zebra crossings, by employing someone in a zebra costume to dance across the street when the lights turn red Gav tells us.

He's just started working at the Inti Wara Yassi organization in Bolivia. Expect more updates to come.

a short film about andrew's trip to malawi

andrew in malawi

You may remember back in April we waved goodbye to our Andrew and packed him off to Malawi to visit and help out at an innocent foundation project. Well as the culmination of his trip he has just finished editing a short film about his experience. And here it is. It's well worth watching to the very end if only to witness his unique dancing talents.

climbing to new heights

There was a bit in Sunday's Observer Food Monthly on our acai farmers in the Brazilian Amazon.

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Photos by courtesy of Gary Calton/ eyevine. Great shot Gary, thanks.

All of the acai berries that we use in our smoothies are grown sustainably from palms native to the Amazon estuary. These palms only grow within 25 yards of the Amazon in the mineral-rich tidal wetlands, meaning that they're naturally irrigated twice a day. What's more, our acai supplier is certified as organic, and is working with the acai collectors to preserve biodiversity, address social issues such as adequate nutrition and develop other sustainable local industries, such as making jewellery made from acai seeds.

The acai berries are collected by scaling the acai tree using hemp tape looped around the climber's ankles to give a good grip.

It's easier said than done though, as Rich found out.

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"Just crop the photo below my feet and it will look like I nearly got to the top."

The berries are then threshed from the branch, and placed in baskets for transportation.

If you fancy trying a whole 35 of these hand picked, antioxidant rich acai berries from the banks of the world's biggest river, then why not have a go on our detox superfoods smoothie.