My life has been turned upside down again, and it feels damn good!
Having spent the past few weeks with a schedule from hell, I have now re-emerged in Kenya’s capital city – Nairobi!
Having worked as VP Sales Africa in Vyke Communications for more than 3 years, I decided a while back that it was time to move on. Being eager for new and bigger challenges, it didn’t take me long to find the ideal opportunity, and the process with Kyoto Energy came on track almost right away.
Jon Bøhmer, a Norwegian inventor and serial entrepreneur living in Kenya, won the Financial Times Climate Challenge 2009 award with his groundbreaking Kyoto Box, a cheap, simple and robust solar cooker. With that product as a starting point, he went on to found Kyoto Energy, a highly innovate renewable energy company with tremendous potential!
Kyoto Energy has since come up with a significant pipeline of innovative solar products, primarily targeting rural low-income groups in developing countries. The common denominator of all the products is that they have a significant positive environmental impact, and a massive empowering potential for the rural poor. The initial bundle of 4 products – a solar cooker, a solar torchlight, a simple biomass burner, and a collapsible jerrycan designed to pasteurize water using solar heating – have the potential to significantly improve the livelihoods of people living off the electical grid. In Africa, that means the majority of the population.
After sealing the deal with Kyoto Energy as the new Sales Director, I started a marathon to wind up my responibilities in polical organizations, board memberships, pack my entire life into boxes, finding a tenant for my apartment, and other preparations to move to another continent on a few weeks notice.
Renting out my old place
Renting out an apartment can be challenging. While finding a tenant for prime location apartment in the Oslo city centre is simple, finding the right one can be quite a task. Nothing is better then, than renting it out to someone you already know. Luckily, Fredrik, an awesome guy whom I know through several friends and through some great parties in my neighborhood, had posted on his Facebook status that he was looking for an apartment in Oslo. The deal was sealed almost right away! 🙂
As I was leaving, Fredrik was moving in, and my birthday was just around the corner, we decided to merge it all into a triple-purpose party on the same night as the Eurovision Song Contest final, which was being held just a few kilometers away. The ambitious strategy of out competing the ESC as people’s choice for the evening was a success, as our party-minded friends massively preferred our 3-in-1 event over their TV screens. Basically, the party was a hell of a blast! It’s always good to end with a bang!
After some serious sweet-talking at the airport, I got on board on the flight with 4 pieces of hand luggage and about 3 times the allowed amount of luggage checked in, and once again I could say bye-bye Norway, and Jambo Kenya!
Finding a new place in Nairobi
After an initial week as a hotel resident, I finally moved into a nice, spacious apartment in Kilimani, my favorite area in Nairobi. As was moving in, I met two of the Swedish girls who were about to move out. They had been three sharing the apartment, and two of them were going home. The third one, Martha, was looking for a new place until August, so by the time I moved in, I also had a flatmate for the first two months. The apartment has 2 extra bedrooms, so a cool, fellow Scandinavian contributing to the rent is always welcome! 🙂
I started writing on this blog post from the bed of my sweet new apartment on a late Sunday morning. I finalized it in the back seat of a taxi in one of Nairobi’s perpetual traffic jams. Guilty as charged, I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, but with all the things happening now, I will make a serious effort to keep writing updates from Nairobi at least weekly!
Thank you for sharing your story. It just brought back the memory when I did my intern years ago. The experience was one of those I’d have remembered throughout my life.
hey, nice blog…really like it and added to bookmarks. keep up with good work
Second pic: hm…where could this be? That building in the far distance looks sooooo familiar….
glad you are back in kenya. Am currently in thika and trying to get hold of you and Jon. kindly email