Faces of Kenya

I just returned from a trip to Kenya. My main goal was simply to get away from it all and relax at Diani Beach.

Diani Beach

I got to know Richard. Richard works at the beach and sells the typical wooden figurines, necklaces, etc. At first appearance he is one of the slightly annoying guys trying to make you stop and buy stuff your hotel guide suggests you to avoid.

During my stay I met Richard more often, and he started to explain to me the way he lives and how much he depends on tourists buying his stuff. One day he asked me if I could come to his house and take pictures of his family. I agreed, and visited his little village near Ukunda.

This is Richard and his wife. They live in this single room together with two children. No water, no electricity.

Ukunda 9

This is his son who just came home from school.

Ukunda 3

Very quickly other villagers, mostly kids, joined. Everyone was very friendly and invited to enter.

Ukunda 8

We went outside the building, in which several of such rooms are rented to families.

Ukunda 6

More and more kids joined.

Ukunda 10

I promised Richard to send him the printed pictures and we left his village again to return to the hotel – my luxurious residence, and his daily workplace. At the end I was very happy to have agreed in leaving my secure environment. Even though these people live under these very simple circumstances, they somehow did not appear as poor. The atmosphere was very hearty and welcoming. His wife told me that she would like to work, too, but they do not have the money needed to open a little shop located opposite to their building. Around 300€ are needed to get started here, way too much. And Richard can only work during the summer, when tourists are around. The rest of the year he and his family have to return to Nairobi, where finding work is much harder. That is why they must also save money for the winter.

Next time when someone wants to sell me something at the beach I will remember Richard and his family. And maybe buy one of these overpriced wooden figurines, again.

See the full set of pictures here:

Maditas Wiegenlied

Da ich vor kurzem stolzer Patenonkel geworden bin habe ich das zum Anlass genommen meinem Patenkind Madita ein Wiegenlied zu schreiben.

Maditas Wiegenlied from Lars Frantzen on Vimeo.

Bei Jamendo kann man sich das Lied anhören und herunterladen:


Wer möchte kann sich die Noten hier als PDF herunterladen: MaditasWiegenlied.pdf.

Bei dieser Gelegenheit nochmals vielen Dank an alle Beteiligten:

  • Melanie Bartsch – Gesang
  • Oliver Richters – Piano, Glockenspiel
  • Jens Frantzen – Gitarre
  • Klaus Eisner – Produktion

Zudem seien hier die großartigen Open Source Programme Kdenlive und MuseScore erwähnt, ohne die dieses Projekt nicht möglich gewesen wäre.

Siren’s Song

I wrote this on December 10, 2007. It was meant as lyrics for a song of the band of my brother which unfortunately broke up shortly after. So before it gets forgotten in the true crypted abyss of my external harddisk I thought I share it here. It’s called Siren’s Song.

Herbert James Draper [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I was born at one end of that street
In the worst part of town
But the cathedral still shining high
Guiding me straight – all the way down

The other end the road divides up
And right I gotta go
To the place where I seem to live now
Being driven like the snow

There once was a notion of home
Which got lost on the way
Now all which is left to hold on
Is that picture array

I ran away again and again
Changed cities and states
The distance to center staid equal
To it only love relates

This disarming beauty of yours
sets fire to torches
Illumining a path so long hidden
A beautiful hope it forges

But the light attracts all the demons
Trying hard to make me fall
The roots down my feet are parched
Blatant is the siren’s call

There’s no ship to which I can bond
Without no wax in my ears
I’m trying to reach your icon
Fighting my wraith and my fears

I know I have to walk this myself
You cannot do more than just stay
You’re not supposed to heal my past
I want you for one future day

You know too many sins of gone days
Which I cannot undo
How can I make you believe,
that this time my words are true?

Tomorrow I’ll drive all way back
May bravery govern my heart
So I can stand your presence
without breaking your smile apart

You revived all inside which is holy
You remembered me of bliss
All I know very deeply
Is all that I ever aimed at is this

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