Friday, January 06, 2006

Dilemma, dream car, jobs, and stuff

Dilemma
I’d like to attend a wedding in Ethiopia next month, but my finances have been absolutely wiped out by unexpected car expenses in December . This will be my first true trip to another African country and it will be a nice chance to see some old friends who I have not met for years. It’s tempting, but wrong to borrow money for a holiday and I am hesitant to organize a campaign to finance the trip. Also, the wedding there coincides with a very important birthday here which I have been warned not to miss. The (lack of) cash factor will probably settle my dilemma as the clock is ticking...

Un-affirmative action
With the just announced standard 8 (KCPE) results and form one selection of students, many Nairobi parents are crying foul that their children who scored excellent marks are being locked out of national schools who are instead admitting students from rural areas with relatively lower scores. The selection system is based on the belief that a student in Wajir who scored about 350 in KCPE would likely have scored 430 if he/she had schooled in Nairobi and therefore is more deserving than a student in Nairobi who scored 420. The system has many supporters (outside Nairobi) and detractors (urban residents, private schools), but now many Nairobi parents are vowing to educate their kids in Nairobi, but for their last year, they will transfer them to rural schools to sit for their exams there – thereby improving their kids' chances of landing a coveted place at a National School.

Jobs

From Hawkins & Associates
Apply online for:
- Director of Operations at East African Development Bank
- Director of Legal Affairs at East African Development Bank

Others are;
- Sales Representative
- Marketing Research Analyst
- Graduate Management Trainees
- Regional HIV/AIDS Advisor

Government of Kenya
Over 980 jobs at various government ministries and the public service will be posted here soon. Closing date for applications is February 3 2006

Kenya Commercial Bank
KCB is hiring
- Head, branch network audit
- Manager corporate communications
- Sales managers
Closing date is January 20 and applications should be sent to the divisional director, human resources, KCB, P. O. Box 48400-00100 Nairobi

Trivia
- Week in ATM’s; Equity Bank’s ATM’s went live this week while KCB and other bank’s machines kept running out of cash. Happened three times when I was queuing.
- The Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC) plans to introduce a premium SMS service
- Hon. Kalembe Ndile as President.

Dream car
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 as reviewed by the NY Times.



Pros: Fastest, most powerful production car in the world with 1,001-horsepower, 0 to 60 MPH in 2.5 seconds & to 250 in 55.6 seconds, 4 turbochargers, 7 -speed gearbox, 16-cylinder engine, 253 MPH top speed, all-wheel-drive system. Verdict: A checklist establishes whether the car is ready for maximum speed, and if all systems are go, the rear spoiler retracts, the front air diffusers close and the ground clearance, normally 4.9 inches, drops to 2.6 inches.

Cons: Most expensive production car in the world - $1.2 million before taxes, Compact with most of the space inside occupied by an enormous engine, 9 miles per gallon city fuel economy and 18 on highway - at maximum speed, the car would theoretically run out of fuel in 12 minutes, has 10 radiators. Verdict: Embarrassment, injury, a big repair bill or worse await a driver who does not show proper respect.

Follow-ups
I finally sold my referendum newspapers but my expectation of only having 15 kilos turned out to be way off - and I was able to sell off 57 kilos of old newspapers netting 855 shillings (@15/kilo). Actually I had 62 kilos but the butcher admitted that his scale shaved off/under-weighed a kilo from each of my 5 bundles of newspapers.

The road to Mombasa is finally going to get repaired. I hope it is done by a reputable company and built well to last such as the Waiyaki Way dual carriageway which is still an excellent road 15 years after it was built, unlike some other roads which collapse within a year of opening.

6 comments:

Msanii_XL said...

Happy new year man,

1.2 mil, even for a toy that is high up there. i guess if it runs out gas they bring the gas station to you..

lmao@ kalembe ndile as president..i have never seen worse than the iranian president, even dubya with all his ignorance is MILES ahead of him...pathetic

R said...

About selection process for National schools:

I've always been torn about it. The year I went to form one, way back in 1984, was the first year that the system of apportioning places to various provinces for admission into National Schools was instituted.

As a result, only ten of us were admitted from Nairobi to my high school which was a national school, and our class included girls from far flung parts of Kenya like Turkana and Marsabit.

In the beginning, I was more than a little ticked off, many of us were. But then, after a while, I began to interact with one of the girls in particular. She was from Turkana, her name was Roslyn,she was in my house. The more I learned about her, the more I understood the odds she had had to overcome so early in her life and the more I understood what the newly instituted selection system was trying to achieve.

Sadly, the selection system still isn't perfect. It still doesn't, for example, differentiate between the child who's gone through their school in one of Nairobi's own hardship areas like Mathare, and any other Nairobi candidate.

But in the end, I get the parents who are taking their kids to rural schools in order to improve their children's chances of being admitted to national schools as well.

bankelele said...

Msanii_XL: That car is too expensive and not worth the hassle. Note, sales of the Mercedes Maybach ($300k) have been disappointing, showing that even those who can afford super-luxury are comfortable with and can live with cars that costs around $100,000 only. By my estimate, landing a Bugatti in Kenya after clearing with KRA would cost about 153 million shillings.

Also: the Iranian president is quite a cartoon character, but one with nuclear power.

One African Woman: Ultimately the system is cruel, but the reality is that almost half the kids won't gain secondary school places.

Ultimately it takes individual instituions to recognize true talent like Starehe schools which target under-previledged kids and the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation which has now offered to pay high school fees for orphaned kids who perform well.

But, as you said, the mixture/interaction/bonding of kids from different cultures, trines, and parts of the country is one positive benefit of the program.

Ms K said...

158 million!!!! WHAT!!!

Check out the Ariel Atom http://www.arielmotor.co.uk/. Technically, its not really a gari but it also does 0-60 in 2.5 seconds.

Ps/ You can go to Ethiopia by bus! I'll be in Addis for a bit, I can be your proxy. I will drink as much Tej and eat more injera than you possibly could!!

bankelele said...

Ms K: I'd take the Mclaren SLR (www.mbusa.com/brand/models/SLR.jsp) over the Bugatti or the Atom - which looks like a super-size go-kart.

Yes, 158 million for the Bugatti unless you can get it duty free (e.g. you're an MP)in which case the price would be about 88 million shillings.

Unfortunately, my Addis trip is definetely off, so please enjoy all the Tej and injera there. Well, there's always hurlingahm joints for me to sample.

Anonymous said...

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