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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Lenovo Vibe Shot in Kenya

Lenovo Vibe Shot: For Those Who Do

Lenovo Vibe Shot: For Those Who Do

I had been looking for a new phone for a while, because my phone was always getting memory filled up and after a firmware upgrade to jelly bean my phone had stopped working on 3g networks. And when it would agree to work, it would heat up enough to pop corn!

I started by identifying this Lenovo X2 Pro, it was everything I was looking for. But Lenovo were playing games, by pushing the release date. I then started looking for alternatives, that’s when I saw the announcement for Lenovo Vibe Shot, after checking the specs, I knew I had found what I had been searching for all along. I started following the vibe shot and changed my goal posts from the X2 pro completely.

Finally the release was announced first in China, Lenovo guys are mean, or rather home first ey?  The rest of the world version would take a while, and it sure too its sweet time. I decided I would buy the Chinese version and go to the Lenovo Russian forum to check if I could get a ROW ROM.

Alibaba

I start out at alibaba, and start looking for quotes. The phone is too damned expensive; I ask a local dealer how much they would get the phone for me at. They tell me to wait at least three months for the prices to stabilise. I cannot understand the logic at that particular moment but I am really desperate to get the phone. It is while I am rummaging through alibaba I discover aliexpress.

Aliexpress

The main difference between alibaba and aliexpress despite them being under the same holding company is, with alibaba there is a lot of back and forth as you negotiate with the buyer.  With aliexpress you can buy and checkout your item in one click. I bought some items to test whether the site would be legit and not give me problems like dx.com. My items arrived well after three weeks and now I was rearing to go. My biggest problem would be customs and I also had heard stories of things getting lost before they could reach the final recipients.

I remember that one of the amazing people I follow online, Savvy had mentioned she would be making a trip back to get her baby Jeremy. I reach out to her and sure enough she agrees to bring me the phone. I buy and use her address as I check out and then the wait. When Savvy was counting down coming back to reunite with Jeremy, I was also counting down haha. The day finally comes and She brings me the phone with a couple other stuff I had bought. Savvy is one cool lady from the first impressions I made that day :-).

Lenovo Vibe Shot

The main reason I got it was the internal storage, battery capacity and the camera. The additional details are as follows:

  • Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and back
  • Dual-SIM dual-standby capability
  • 5″ 1080p IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 441ppi
  • Octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU (4x 1.7GHz plus 4x 1.0GHz), 3GB of RAM, Adreno 405 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset
  • 32GB of built-in storage; microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 16MP laser autofocus camera, triple-LED flash; HDR, Pro mode, Panorama
  • 1080@30fps video
  • 8MP front camera, 1080p video recording; wide selfie
  • 4 LTE (150/50Mbps); dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, hotspot, Wi-Fi direct; Bluetooth 4.1 LE; GPS/GLONASS; microUSB
  • 3,000mAh Li-Po battery capacity
  • 5mm headphone jack, active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic

You can find the techie reviews on the phone on the leading review sites and can get it or arrange to get it from Avechi in Kenya.

 Here are some photos from the lenovo vibe shot.

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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Just Random, Opinion, Review

 

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Love between African men!!

I remember the first time when Henry told me I love you
Well we were drunk
And I thought maybe he is bringing out his gay ass out haha
So I never told him back
But it would nag me in my head
Then I came to realise something
You remember the four types of love you learned in school?
Agape, Phileo, Storge and Eros
Then it hit me, there were people I really care about whom were not family (Storge) or people I am attracted to sexually (Eros), there has been people whom are like brothers and sisters people who are there all through (Phileo) and most times we assume they are there by chance, we never get to appreciate them.

I think it our socialization, love is made to be a word that is used in particular situations or with particular people;as with the case with two of my friends if you are a guy they never tell you bye of goodnight, they always respond with “same” or “sawa” or “fiti” and I just go away laughing to myself. They feel that saying that to a guy is being soft or weak. Why am I writing about this, you ask. As I was watching straight outta Compton Dr. Dre only told Eazy E that he cared for him as a brother on his hospital bed, wouldn’t it be good if we give out flowers when people can still smell them?
Well I tried telling Henry back I loved him, it came out weird but I guess if I tell him “I don’t hate you man” it communicates yes? They should find a gangsta version of communicating love between same sex and people you are not sexually attracted to, I know adding no homo is meant to help but what if I am telling a girl whom I have no other intention except communicating I value the friendship? Because all those synonyms, I adore…, I am fond… will raise eyebrows… Okay I’m done

So this season, if you have someone who you feel has been there for you through thick and thin, go ahead and tell them. It might be someone who just listens to your troubles when everybody else has had it from you. Someone who helps out without you asking but you need the help (ego much). Whichever way they are there for you, just tell them…

 

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Kisumu – My first time to the lakeside city

Kisumu

When I heard that I was going to Kisumu I was super excited, it was first time to go to the lakeside city. It didn’t really matter that I would be working through my whole stay.  Our booking for the local budget flight was delayed so we missed out and had to take the longer route by bus.  We take the night bus to Kisumu and after we had finished telling all the stories we could think of with my colleague J we start dozing off. We are woken up at 4 am that we are already in Kisumu. There are so many taxi guys at the Easy coach offices offering to take us where we want in dholuo, but all I can say is adek, achiel, okay let me stop, we bargain(I could see the shock on their faces, apparently luos don’t bargain) which is unluo like and go to our hotel.

In the morning we had a meeting with our client for a briefing then we start our work. So here are some quick facts about Kisumu, if you are a first timer:

Weather

Kisumu is hot, and I mean hot and humid. You will need that bucket hat. The nights can get cold so do get a jacket if you plan to be up and about. If you are prone to sun burns and will be up and about please also do pack some sunscreen and lip protection.

Mosquitos

Kisumu is the mother of all mosquitos, I have never been bitten so much in my life, be sure to take some anti malarials before travel, otherwise you will be courting trouble.

Food

Kisumu being the source of most tilapia and nile perch in the country you would expect the staple food to be affordable at the source. This is however not the case, you will have to enjoy it at prices above those in Nairobi. If you are on a budget you can always try café naivas (we found this handy after we had exhausted our per diem on fishes… haha)

People

The people are in between friendly and contemptuous it depends on how you present yourself. Do not come off as “I am better than you”, that will bring out open hostility.

Social places

There is a java, and several watering holes in operation.

Shopping

There are several supermarkets in Kisumu city, from Nakummat, Uchumi, Naivas and Tuskys and Tumaini supermarkets among others.

So back to my story, we finish our work early so that we can get a feel of the town. I specifically wanted to go to the border town of busia and take a boat ride.

Boat ride

We went to KRA port where one pays 20bob to gain entry. They had these big boats carrying fertilizer form Tanzania being offloaded; we also got a feel of the some passenger boats which we learn are unfortunately underutilised. They would be used on special occasions say they are hired for an even like a wedding. We were left wondering how much revenue they would bring had they decided to be taking people on paid rides. We went to Dunga beach where we take a boat ride on a wooden boat. Our guide when we are in the middle of the lake starts telling us horror stories like how this part is the deepest in the lake and if you sink here you will get stuck in the mud below and die! I check the fastening on my life jacket and hold on tightly to the rails of the boat as I say a quick prayer. I still can’t swim to save a life and the thought of drowning is not one I need in my head especially in the middle of the lake. If these guys were unscrupulous and held us at ransom, I would have willingly given all my belongings to them haha.

Busia

Since it was early afternoon we decide to go to Busia. We go take a Nissan matatu that plays tricks on us. They ask for money and they then take the Nissan to a bus and tell us to board the bus. We make a lot of noise but these guys were really arrogant, they even tell us to call the police we won’t get help. This is how they get buses filled because people avoid getting in them. The trick is if you see guys charging before the journey, just alight and find another matatu, insist on paying once the vehicle is on the road en-route to your destination. We were getting to Busia almost six. We cross over to Uganda and do hurried shopping because we had been told that past 6.30 we wouldn’t get matatus going back. By the way things are way super cheap in Uganda, they don’t have so many taxes like us on the Kenyan side.  By 6.20am we cross over to the Kenyan side and since we know the journey would be extremely long we decide to buy some snacks. That was our mistake. Because we get out of the tumaini supermarket and the last matatu to Kisumu had departed. We find a bus to Nairobi that agrees to take us to Kisumu and that is where our adventure starts.

The bus leaves Busia well then continues picking up passengers on the way, at some point they stop and tell us that they had booked our seats to Nairobi bound passengers! We really cause a scene, thankfully because J is 6’5” they give us refunds chap chap because we were really spoiling for a fight, well I was because I knew I had back up lol. It is now 8 pm and we are in the middle of nowhere and there is no other bus that seems to be coming. We start thinking of finding a place to sleep when this long distance trucker stops and asks where we are headed. We tell him Kisumu and he agrees to take us. There were so many hyenas on the road which I came to learn are from nearby Ruma national park, occasionally you would meet the night runner on their trade followed by dogs, this was really new for me. As we are about to get to Kisumu we find a police check road block and our driver decides not to stop. Being unauthorised passengers we knew we were being setup to getting arrested. The cops threw spikes on the road and he had to apply emergency brakes on that thing, if the trailer were loaded we would have run through the spikes. The cops are now suspicious of us and come really furious at the driver. This guy was arrogant he really talks smack at the cops and they see us. J was the first to be told to alight and had cuffs put on him, I joined him and offered my hands for the cuffs and the cop opens one side from J’s cuff and puts it on me. They ask us who we are and where we stay. When I mention Milimani one guy comes and asks me if I am related to some senior bureaucrat in that area. I lie and say yes and that does the trick, we are let go. The driver was at this point talking nicely after being harassed to submission, they let us go and we tell the guy he should have stopped when he say the police check. He tells us how he never stops and we are left thinking this was a scheme whenever he carries guys to get them to pay bribes to the cops and they share the loot.

We get to Kisumu well past 2 am and we go to our hotel and sleep. In the morning after all we should be getting back to Nairobi.

 

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How to make soft chapati for Christmas!

By now you should already know chapati (aka chapo) warm my heart but despite that, I do not know how to make them. This coming Christmas will be be first I’ll spend away from home and from mum, (momma’s boy ni wewe!). I will be hosting a few friends and family over for lunch and chapati has to be in the menu. My options were to go the usual and go to buy them from chege my chapo guy or make them myself, but I don’t know how to.

I took up the challenge and decided I have to learn, how to make me some so that I can brag about it later, my first stop was wikihow and later these one and two sites.

I went through the motions mentioned in the websites above and I managed to make myself something that smelled like chapati, tasted like chapati and looked almost like a chapati so it must have been chapati :-D.

My process

My chapati making process

I shared the photos with my mum and some friends and these were their responses:

Mom's comment

My friends comment

I have so many perfectionists around.

So what were the key lessons I can share?

  1. You will burn your fingers! Use a spatula if you have one to turn them in the pan.
  2. Always keep checking the heat and regulating it, too hot your chapatis will burn, too low and they will not cook properly
  3. Do not be mean with the oil while cooking, because this is what will help coming out with soft non dry chapatis. Not being does not mean you pour all of it in there ey, chapos are not deepfried haha.

What else can you add?

 

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Why I stopped asking random girls for their numbers in matatus

I have been working on this project that had a short turnaround time, and the pressure was mounting since the deadline had been brought forward to meet some special requests from the client.

I wake up early, go through my morning motions on autopilot like always… When get to the bus stop I go sit near a window so I can stare outside as I think about many things in no particular order. Then I hear someone drop themselves next to me. I look to see who they are, somewhat annoyed and then I see this stunning girl who says I’m sorry cheekily. I tell her it’s okay and move back to my thoughts. When we get to halfway in the highway there is a bit of traffic and I mention how we wake up so early that sometimes you don’t believe how many hours you waste on the road. She agrees and tells me how she used to live in Lang’ata and how the jam over there was terrible now it was bearable. She tells me how much she paid rent in Lang’ata and how much she is paying now. The differences between the two houses, how she loved her new house. Being a person who listens a lot than I speak, I am wondering if she is oversharing especially on the details but I decide rather than listen to some two clowns on the radio, I’d listen to her.

I switch the topic to the teachers strike and she tells me she was a teacher by training, now my interest is picked. Her father had forced her to go to the teacher training college but after she finished she came to Nairobi and started a business. Looking at how things were going, she would never go to teaching it wasn’t for her. The bus starts snaking its way into cbd and I ask her for her number, which she gives and tells me to make sure I text her to make sure she gets mine too.

When I get to the office I send her a text of how glad I was to make an acquaintance. She asks me if this is Charles, I wonder how many people had asked for the number that morning haha *jealousy much ey?*. I tell her it is the other guy not Charles. I tell her to have a lovely day we’d keep in touch. In the next one hour I keep getting text messages (70 of them in an hour, yes I counted) and If I didn’t respond she would call, “sasa, kwani hujaona text yangu”. My work became answering texts, I told her we chat in the evening, still nothing. I just decided to block her when the calls became too many. It left me wondering how bad was biashara, were there no clients.

Now whenever I am in a bus, like I was here and here,  the conversation will not get to the part we exchange contacts. Have you ever had a similar experience where an acquaintance turned to be overly annoying?

 

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