MamaMikes Blog

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Tuesday

10

November 2015

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Friday

16

October 2015

1

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EL Nino is here, what should YOU do about it?

Written by , Posted in MamaMikes

Today it finally rained.

For weeks, the weather-woman has been telling us to prepare for El Nino, only yesterday after questions were raised in the public about her predictions, did she come out again fists pounding telling us ‘STOP DOUBTING! PREPARE FOR EL NINO!’ ’ – almost like a frustrated preacher annoyed that the heavens have yet to fulfil her doomsday prophecy.

And then, after days and days of the hot sun, dust and endless open skies, this morning it rained. Could this be El Nino? Has he arrived?

 

Who is El Nino and why should we be concerned?

IMG-20150427-WA0006

The word El Nino in Spanish means ‘Christ’s Child’, so named because of the periodic warnings that come around Christmas time near South America. El Nino is felt across South America, North America and here, at home in East Africa.

 

The deadliest El Nino was recorded in 1997 – and this year, the weather forecast says we should brace ourselves for a strong El Nino, but less devastating than the El Nino of 1997.

 

El Nino Weather forecast

“Predictions indicate there is a likelihood of enhanced rainfall over much of the country during the “Short Rains” (October-December) season in Kenya. In some parts the rains may extend into January 2016. Heavy storms are likely to occur more so, during the month of November”

 

What does this mean to you?

 

The Good news

  • For farmers, the rain will be God send. Crops and animals will receive nourishment. And food supply will increase.
  • For the rest of us, prices for food will come down once the markets are full.

 

The Bad news

  • In Nairobi expect transport and logistical nightmares. It will be reasonable to expect to spend 8 hours travelling a distance of 10 kilometers. Like on Ngong Road for example.

  • Flooding and mudslides. (Remember receiving Whatsapp photos and video clips of floods earlier this year – expect more)

  • In some areas, there will be an outbreak of Malaria and other waterborne diseases

  • And most certainly we can expect an El Nino corruption scandal, like this one

 

What can YOU do to prepare for El Nino?

  • Invest in a good umbrella, and hold onto it through the rainy season. This should be your first investment. Buy a second, just incase you loose the first (if you are forgetful like me)

  • Invest in appropriate clothing – a good jacket to keep the rain off, and good shoes that will keep your feet dry

  • Ladies – let us get hairstyles that will will tame El Ninos attacks

  • At home, stock food. Avoid the last minute rush. And the inconvenience of looking for food in floods.

  • Invest in a power back up. El Nino will bring blackouts. MamaMikes can help you here

 

We have bright solar lamps that use LED lights up to 150 lumens (this means they are very bright in the dark). They can be charged using normal power, your laptop (with a USB port) or the the sun. These lamps also charge mobile phones. We will happily deliver them to you at a cost of 200/-

Philips Solar Life Plus solar lantern. By MamaMikes.Com

Philips Solar Life Plus solar lantern. By MamaMikes.Com

 

 

Pro 2 solar lantern by Green Light Planet. Available at MamaMikes.Com

Pro 2 solar lantern by Green Light Planet. Available at MamaMikes.Com

  • If you drive, or ride in a car/bus/matatu and you come across what looks like shallow water on low bridges or near river banks. Turn back. Avoid the risk of driving through. The water will sweep you away.

  • At home, if you see blocked drainage, open them now. Let the water flow away freely. Don’t wait.

  • If you have leaks in your home, fix them now. They will only get worse with the pounding of the rain.

 

Do you have tips on how to manage El Nino, please add them below

 

Thank you!

 

Monday

12

October 2015

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Sophisticated Kenyans turn to tradition when the lights go off

Written by , Posted in MamaMikes

Having started Kenya’s first e-commerce website, before the word e-commerce was a vocabulary known to many in Kenya or Africa, I am what some people may describe as pioneer entrepreneur. I always considered myself an enlightened and modern person, thinking of tomorrow before the sun set on today. In many respects that has been true, but in one respect regarding a certain habit that idea has fallen flat on its face.

 

black-out

Living in Nairobi means being prepared for blackouts. Although admittedly these days the blackouts are less than years before, they still happen. And in my world that depends so greatly on power, the first thing I do, especially when a blackout happens at night is to curse, and then follow a preset habit, turn on my phone torch, look for candles in my modern apartment and rely on these two gadgets until the light returns.

So strong was my habit, that despite having been engaged in the selling of solar lanterns from my company MamaMikes for several months, I for some reason never associated them as a product for me to use. But one day, out of frustration when the power went out and I had ran out of candles and my power hungry smartphone had died, did it click that I could use the very same gadgets I have been selling to others.

The next time the power went out I was ready. I was actually waiting for it to go off just to experience the sheer power of my new acquisition. And when it did, I switched on my charged solar lantern, which lit up the house and even plugged in my phone to get charged. I felt a sense of victory, but also wonder. Why had it taken me so long to make the change? I was surrounded by the solar lanterns at work? So why?

A marketing psychologist may say that most of the images I dealt with while marketing solar lanterns were targeted to a different type of user. A user whose dominant source of light at night is either a candle or kerosene lamp. And perhaps this is why it never occurred to me, that I could benefit from having a solar lantern.

Intrigued by my own behavior I decided to poll a number of people, a cross section of friends, acquaintances and family members on what they did when the lights went out. I asked this brief question

What do you use when the lights go out?

  • (A) Battery powered light
  • (B) Candle and light from my phone
  • (C) A solar powered light
  • (D) My power never goes out
  • (E) Other

Majority of those who answered, replied (A) and (B). Those who have similar lifestyles to myself answered (B). Very few answered (C). Others said they used inverters or petrol/diesel generators. And others said they simply go to bed.

There are varied reasons why option (B), remains the most popular option for sophisticated urban dwellers in Nairobi, such as the cost of candles vs a solar light, or the infrequency of blackouts. Once those in the B category, like myself convert to a renewable energy source like solar, there is no turning back.

So for those who have read so far, here are 3 different types of solar lamps you can buy for yourself and we will happily deliver them:

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-african-american-volunteer-group-image19404483 http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-african-american-volunteer-group-image19404483 http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-african-american-volunteer-group-image19404483

Wednesday

11

February 2015

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COMMENTS

Flowers Flowers Flowers

Written by , Posted in MamaMikes

Queen of My Heart

Flowers and leaves of dandelion are rich source of vitamin A and C, calcium, iron and potassium. One cup of dandelion tea can provide 7,000-13,000 I.U. of vitamin A.
The English name of dandelion is derived from the French dent de lion which means“lions tooth” due to it coarsely toothed leaves.
Its flower petals are used in making dandelion wine while its roasted roots are used as a caffeine free dandelion coffee.

Tuesday

10

February 2015

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COMMENTS

More Facts About Flowers

Written by , Posted in MamaMikes

The Lotus
A sacred flower and symbol of resurrection in Egypt, this flower which grows in marsh and damp wetlands, has a property to stay dormant in times of drought and to blossom again when water returns.
Given favorable conditions, lotus seeds can stay viable for long periods, even extending to several years. Oldest recorded germination was seen in a dry lake bed in north eastern China, from seeds that were 1300 yrs old.
Stamens of lotus are dried to produce fragrant teas while lotus seeds or nuts can be eaten either raw or popped like popcorn. Lotus seed paste is used in many pastry, cake and pudding recipes.
Fabric made from fibers of lotus plant is used in Myanmar for making robes of Buddha. According to old legend, lotus flowers bloomed everywhere that lord Buddha walked.
In Asian traditions, lotus is seen as a divine symbol of sexual purity and non attachment. Also symbolizing elegance and beauty, lotus is used in poetry and songs, allegorically for ideal female attributes.

Mapenzi Tam Tam

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