I’ve been working at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya for about a year and a half now. The institute is a fine place and all—big campus, green grass, fast Internet, smart people doing good science, lots to learn, etc—but it couldn’t be situated in a worse place (Uthiru). In the words of the security guard in my apartment complex: “Everyone in Uthiru is a thief” (he lives next door, in Kawangware).

Uthiru, just outside the Nairobi city limits, is just like any other small town in Kenya I suppose. Lots of people riding bikes, a roundabout with people playing music and dancing, a good fish and chips joint, etc. I ride in and out regularly during daylight hours with no problems. As the darkness approaches, however, the story changes. I don’t make a habit of leaving work late, but the atmosphere is much different as the evening moves on after about 7 pm. Unless you’re a criminal or a police officer, you probably don’t want to be in Uthiru after dark!

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