Sunday, June 9, 2013

APTC-Embakasi stories

Most mornings I have to go to the camps to work(field work) and we share the vehicle so many of us and on some days very interesting stories are told.This week as we travel to Dagahaley a colleague tells us of his time at the Administration police training centre in Embakasi and the small part of me that thought maybe being in the army would be interesting died forever.

Day 1 you arrive at the training school first you'll have to have shaved your hair bald and in case you did some fancy 'hair cuts' at home all the hair will be shaved off in the most crudest way.Once you are checked at the gate and allowed in you'll carry your luggage on your head and you'll shout your new name(mimi ni kurutu)  and the name of your Barrack(Naishi Kenya Barrack) hoping that one of the officers in the camp will hear you and direct you to your barrack.So you'll be shouting Mimi ni Kurutu Naishi/natafuta Kenya Barrack until someone is kind enough to show you and no you are not allowed to ask for directions.

Once you are settled in you'll be introduced to becoming an officer(kutoa uraia ndani yako) so you'll be asked to cut grass with your bare hands,do very long morning runs, be taught how to do drills and such military stuff.If you are a trainee(Kurutu) you have no opinion what so ever and you cannot ask any questions.Anything you are asked to do you'll answer at the top of your voice YES SIR and do it everything is possible and no can never be an answer.The trainers have every right to beat and abuse you and you can do nothing about and no you can't quit once you are in you'll have to finish the training afterall wewe ni mali ya serikali.

So he graduated as an AP cadet and the trainers were so impressed that they gave him an inspector rank however this required him to go back to APTC in Embakasi for another 6 months.He couldn't handle 6 additional months of training and he quit and I ask after all that suffering 6 months couldn't have been so difficult.He says he couldn't imagine another six months of being a kurutu and anyways he is much happier now than he could ever have been being an inspector or something like that.

Everything works out for the best in time now he is this awesome programmer and soon to be Livelihoods advisor for some agency............... who would have been  maybe in the very far future inspector general police.

Truly valuable lessons taught at the APTC(very many) but for me bestest lesson learnt is crowd control.If there are this striking/ demonstrating people and they are making so much noise all you have to do is to look for the crowd leader and hit him a bit on the head with those anti-riot police rungus when he reaches to touch where you hit him,hit  his hands and he'll feel so much pain and be weak so you put him down and handcuff him.The crowd seeing their leader in handcuffs will automatically(Or so its hoped) disperse.

If he ever uses any of what he learnt at APTC I'll be sure to  find out on those morning rides to the camps.

Dadaab Beach Resort

I never knew Wilson airport had more than the usual terminal we sit at when waiting for the ECHO flight back to work on Mondays and Thursdays mostly.From watching the Saitoti's story on Jicho pevu at least I know there is a VIP waiting lounge and now I know apparently there are also other waiting lounges and I get see one when I was traveling to Dadaab.

The flight I was on was scheduled for 2 PM(good I get to stay home longer) I wondered what humanitarian flight leaves Nairobi at 2 PM on Monday but was quite happy that I didn't have to be in Nairobi overnight :-). I arrive in Nairobi at 11 am from Isiolo and check in is at 12 noon so I have a lot of time to get to Wilson.Time that I should maybe use to just sit and have a look at Nairobi for sometime.

The villager in me always loves the streets and the beautiful buildings in Nairobi and every time I'm in Nairobi I always think this place is soooooooo beautiful.I keep on asking the driver if he knows the ALS terminal and he says yes but kumbe he is not so sure where it is but at least we both know where Wilson is. we can always ask for directions when we arrive.

After asking around we finally reach the ALS terminal and it's a bit classier than the one I'm used to for boarding ECHO flights and the people sitted here look like tourists.Picture this like 95% have sunglasses and are wearing very casual outfits(Jeans,shorts, tights,t-shirts,canvas shoes and for the ladies sleeves tops- mostly really casual outfits).

I'm looking at all these people and I'm thinking they surely can't be going to Dadaab there has to be other flights they are waiting for and to my shock most work for different agencies in Dadaab.Some are going to Malindi and Mombasa but very few(I know this because their flights were before ours)

So the call for boarding the WFP flight is made and all of us carry our carry on luggage and go to board as we are walking people start asking each other-so since most flights are going to Mombasa and Malindi where is ours headed (just playing because we all know where we are going) after some discussion it's settled that we are heading to Dadaab beach resort.If the dress code and the general look of the people boarding this flight is anything to go by then Dadaab might just have an element of being a beach resort(even if it's in just in our heads)