Kenyan woman whose skeleton was found in Germany to be finally laid to rest

A Kenyan woman who went missing in April in Germany and her skeleton found in mid-June will finally be laid to rest.

Ms Rita Awuor Ojunge, 32, was reported missing after she failed to return to the asylum shelter in Höhenleipisch where she lived with her husband and two children.

Her skeleton was later found in Brandenburg, Germany.

On Tuesday, her cousin, Caroline Atieno, gave out the details of her burial which she is organizing after police released her body for burial.

Her mother, Felista Adhiambo Onyango, traveled from Kenya in October to come and bury her daughter, but she was not allowed to do so and had to travel back.

According to Ms Atieno, the burial will be held on Saturday, December 14, from 11am at the Alter Domfriedhof der St. Hedwigsgemeide, Linsenstrasse 8, 10115, Berlin.

Her disappearance was shared to various media houses including Nairobi News, with the description that she was last seen dropping her two children at a neighbour’s house.

In June, Police in South Brandenburg released a press statement to confirm that, DNA of remains found in a forest matched those of Rita Awuor Ojunge who had been missing.

CAUSE OF DEATH

The cause of her death still remains unclear with police officers attached to the South Brandenburg Police Department saying investigations they are still ongoing.

The mother of two migrated to Germany from Kenya in 2012 and lived in a refugee shelter in Hohenleipisch in Brandenburg until her death.

The father of her children had told the police that he feared an act of violence by a neighbour in the home – however, they did not investigate this.

In August, “Women in Exile and Friends” held a demonstration in Germany demanding justice for Ojunge.

Around 60 people attended the demonstration in front of the interior ministry for the state of Brandenburg, according to the organizers.

The activists called for a thorough investigation of the death and also demanded the closure of the refugee home that Ojunge was staying in when she was killed, as well as the overall ultimate shutdown of all communal shelters.

MISSING PERSON

Migrant and crime victims’ rights activists in Germany criticized the police, saying that they did not act early and decisively enough after Ojunge’s partner filed a missing person’s report.

They suggested that the authorities would have acted faster and would have invested more resources had Ojunge been a white, native-born German rather than a migrant.

The police denied these accusations, saying that they followed standard protocols and thoroughly investigated Ojunge’s disappearance.

According to the migrants and refugees living there, the shelter is not only badly connected to transport links – for example, buses don’t run there on the weekends – but is also in bad shape structurally and hygienically.

The German newspaper taz said that it had received cellphone video footage showing “cockroach infestations in the showers and rooms.”

The municipality has denied these claims, telling local broadcaster rbb that the “site is fundamentally suitable as accommodation for asylum seekers.”

The company that operates the shelter has also denied the claims.

by NN

Kenyan who went missing in Germany found, has no recollection of incident

A Kenyan man who went missing early this month in Berlin, Germany and who police suspected was in danger has been found.

Edward Odhiambo disappeared on 12th July on his way to meet up with friends in Berlin was found 12 days later in a small town at the German-Polish border.

At the time of being found, Odhiambo had no recollection of what had transpired, how he got there or with who.

Speaking to Mkenya Ujerumani, a local blog about Kenyans in Germany, Millie, Adhiambo’s sister said her brother was found last Wednesday in a small town located at the border of Germany and Poland.

NO RECOLLECTION

Millie said Odhiambo could not remember what happened to him and how he found himself there.

“Apparently he got into a fight but he doesn’t remember what happened. He was found in a village between Germany and Poland. He can’t remember everything only that he couldn’t find his way home after finding himself in another city,” Millie said.

TAKEN TO HOSPITAL

She said police called her after they saw Odhiambo on CCTV footage.

“The cops saw him in a CCTV footage a day before and they called me to pick him up the next day,” she said.

Odhiambo was taken to hospital for medical tests.

When he went missing, police suspected Odhiambo might have been in danger after they were called in by a passerby who spotted him bleeding at the train station.

By nairobinews

My experience at the Wu Tang Clan concert

May again here. So last weekend I visited Berlin after two years of staying in Germany, yes you heard right. Two years. Why did it take me that long you ask, because Berlin is 8 ½ hours or about  800km away from where I live by road. It took us 6 ½ hours with the ICE train (fast train) that’s like from Mombasa to Kisumu if you live in Kenya.

Wu Tang Clan

Two months before trip we booked for the hotel together with the return train ticket through a travel agency which was way cheaper around 120 Euro each. There was a big concert called Gods of Rap with rap groups like De la Soul Public Enemy and the biggest of all Wu Tang Clan. Since my boyfriend is a huge fun of Wu Tang Clan (huge is an understatement actually), he would not miss it for the world. I was so excited going to Berlin for the first time.

Parliament : PHOTO | MAY

We woke up really early on the travel day we took the very first train. We just had taken book a seat to avoid disruptions of changing seats if someone else had booked the seat. You could book a big legroom, quiet place, family place or phone place. We even carried some finger foods. It was a long ride.

After arrival in Berlin we had to try Berliner Döner. Those who don’t know, a Döner is a Turkish food of bread with roasted lamb or chicken meat inside with all kinds of vegetables and sauces. What makes it different is how it’s prepared in Berlin is different than other parts of Germany. And it tasted differently from what I was used to in Freiburg. We ate near the TV Tower which we dint get to climb because the waiting time was 3 hours and we didn’t have the luxury of time.

Where the wall crossed: PHOTO | MAY

We walked to the East Galley which was near the main train station. This was the where the wall of Berlin was and the original is still there. The wall separated the East and the West Berlin during the cold wall. Behold the wall was the Spree River which cuts across Berlin.

Looking at the Berlin Wall | PHOTO | MAY

We went to the concert with we bought a day ticket for 7 Euros for the public transport. It was at a park called Friedlichhain. One was not allowed to get in with any bottle, plastic or otherwise, so you can imagine how the road to the park looked like. Beer and wine bottles on the side of the road. . The concert was great; you just had to wait on line for 20 minutes just to buy beer.

After the concert, we went to a night club called Wild Renate. It opened at midnight Saturday all through to Monday. It never sleeps. And there was an entry fee. Clubs have entry fees here. Because we were given stickers to put on our phones, photography wasn’t allowed.

The next day we went to the Kenyan embassy in Germany to have a look. It was familiar feeling , seeing the Kenyan flag in a foreign country. It felt like home away from home. I didn’t manage to get my Huduma number just yet but it was possible.

Kenyan Embassy in Berlin, Seeing the Kenyan flag in a foreign country, it t felt like home away from home.: PHOTO | MAY

We walked through the Charlie’s Point. This was road block on the border between the earlier east and West Germany. The people from the west were allowed in the east but not the other way round. We also ate the curry sausage and chips which are also prepared differently in Berlin.

Signage showing the Kenyan Embassy in Berlin: PHOTO | MAY

The beauty of the trip was that we left a rainy Freiburg to a sunny Berlin so that felt holiday like and relaxing too. There were points around the city showing where the walls used to pass through. I would love to visit Berlin again, because I just got to see a small part of it. Boat rides and visit museums would be lovely too.

Berlin is a historic city and is different in its own way with the old and the new side of the city standing side by side; it’s truly a city that never sleeps.

Rathaus: PHOTO | MAY

Germany to issue Visas to e-passport holders only

The German government has stopped issuing Visas to Kenyan holding the old generation passports as Nairobi races to phase out the old travel document by September 1.

The Embassy said Kenyans planning to travel to Germany after June 1 will only be get Visa appointment after acquiring the e-passport, in line with the Schengen laws that demand visas be more than 90 days old.

This means that Visas pasted on the old generation passport from June 1 will be less than 90 days.

“Please note that according to the announcement of the Kenyan government, the old Kenyan passport will expire on September 1, 2019.

“Pursuant to current Schengen laws, passports must still be valid at least 90 days after the end of the validity of a given Visa, so for visa applications for travels ending after June, 1, 2019, from now on — only new Kenyan passports can be accepted,” the Embassy said yesterday in a notice posted on its website.

Kenya is set to replace the current ‘analogue’ travel documents with the new electronic passport in a move aimed at curbing forgery and easing clearance at international airports

By Business Daily

Tips for travelling on a budget for any foreigner in Germany

I’ve spent most of the last one year travelling across different cities in Europe as well as different towns in Germany where I live. For those who we haven’t met here, I am a Kenyan living and working in Germany. I am a first year medical student and I spent the last one year as a volunteer, so as you can see, I do not have a huge budget for doing what I love, travelling.  The question I can hear you ask is “How then, do you afford travelling? ”

What many people do not believe is that it is very possible to travel cheaply and comfortably.

So here are a few tips that I normally apply:-

  1. Travel by road, no really.

I travel in different cities in Germany and the countries around by bus. There is a bus company called Flixbus which offers cheap rides. It is the Kenyan version of Easy Coach or Guardian only more comfortable, with reclinable seats, WIFI, USB charging ports and a toilet. You can even pay more to have a seat with more legroom.Just make sure you don’t get late for your ride. It travels across the whole of Europe even to London. You  book the bus online and pay with your bank card or via Paypal.

How a Kenyan can work and live in Germany

2. Using Car sharing website called Blablacar 

Car pooling from one city to another is a thing here. People travelling to a certain city share their car for a cost. It depends in the availability of travel, travellers and drivers rate each other.

Pro tip

Carry your neck pillow, it will make your travel way more comfortable.

Also, take the night bus. You can sleep on the bus and you will be fresh to explore the new city the following day.

If the distance is too long for road, take a flight. Flying is cheap in Europe because there are many small airports and if you book early, the price will almost be same as bus fare.

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-15 at 10.03.03

For example,( for those who know Germany cities), on my last trip to Amsterdam it took me 7 hours with Flixbus from Freiburg.  Had I flown, from Basel Freiburg Mulhouse it would have cost me 60 Euros for a return ticket and one and half hours flight, almost the same amount I paid for the road trip .

It is more expensive to travel during holidays i.e in summer or during public holidays, so avoid traveling during these times if you want to save your coins.

3. Take the metro

Train is also very cheap. With the normal regional train, you can travel the whole the Bund with 24 Euros. And when I travel with a friend, each extra passenger is 6 Euros. To travel the whole of Germany cost 28 Euros.  Each extra passenger pays a mere 8 Euros.

architecture chairs city commuter

Metro, one of the cheap ways to travel. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When you book early you can travel cheaply with fast or express train for example from Freiburg to Berlin for minimum 20 Euro.  There is a washroom and restaurant on board. But it is always cheaper and better to bring your own food and drinks. Or a weekend ticket, the more people you travel with the cheaper it is for the extra passengers.

4. Skip expensive restaurants

Food cost me a minimum of 5 Euros for the to go portion. which is still not cheap, but in a normal restaurant the same food would go for around 10 to 15 Euros without drinks. Avoid  touristic restaurants if you can, use them once in a while when you want to experience a really good meal.

burrito chicken delicious dinner

Wraps, one the popular to go food. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

5. Currency exchange

If you are travelling to a country that is not using the Euro, change your money in Germany before you leave. This applys to anyone in the world travelling to a different country. Otherwise you will waste a lot of time and energy in the new country looking for a forex bureau with favourable exchange rate. Some will just con you outright if by any chance they sense that you are a tourist. I experienced that in Budapest.

6. Visit parks, free/cheap spots

Public parks are free so are old churches and cathedrals too. Most towns in Germany have the old buildings and architecture, sculptures like the Tom Mboya one and old bridges. They will offer the optical nutrition you are searching for as a tourist.

brown and white church interior

Photo by Ashley Elena on Pexels.com

7. Stay in Airbnb or Hostel for as cheap 10 Euros = KSh1135. .

In Budapest where hotels are quite expensive we choose to stay a hostel. The hostel was clean and cheap and also gorgeous. They also have a locker and a key where you can lock in your valuables. Most hostels have private rooms and you only share the kitchen with your roommate.

8. Camping

Camping is another way to enjoy a place cheaply. In Europe, camping is secure and cheap.  Just get yourself a camping place in the forest, there are trekking ways and you don’t have to pay for it.

person beside tent

Photo by Ali Arapoğlu on Pexels.com

If you are a little adventurous like me, your bicycle is your best friend and if you have time, you can visit the towns near you. You keep fit too. Last summer, my boyfriend and I cycled from Freiburg to Titisee a beautiful town with a lake in the middle of the Black forest for 3 hours. Too tired to ride back, we just took the train.

Hope you got a tip or two from here on how to travel cheap. For those in other countries, you can apply some of these tips in your city.

How do you travel on budget? Let me know on the comment section

 

How a Kenyan can work and live in Germany

It’s almost everyone’s dream to live or stay for a while in a foreign country.

You can call me May, that’s what my friends call me, short for Maylene because we are going to get know each other, as I explain to you the simple way of how I got a chance to live in Germany.

I live, work and school in Germany.

I came to Germany from Kenya as an Au-Pair girl which I am going to explain later in the article. You can also come in as volunteer which you do for a year

Before you can buy a ticket to come to Germany, here are a few basic things that you need to know

  1. The language

If you can speak German, you are three steps ahead of coming to Germany compared someone who doesn’t.

So where can you learn the language?

Certain high schools in Kenya offer German as a subject of study. Study it up to Form Four to better your chances. This will earn you a language level called B1 which is pretty good because it’s the intermediate level or the middle level.

If you don’t get the chance to study German in high school there are German private schools or colleges in Nairobi and other towns in Kenya. The best is Goethe Institut located in Nairobi or Mombasa. You have to dig a little deeper in your pocket but they offer quality education. If you learn in any other college, make sure you do the exams at Goethe Institut because it’s the only certificate recognized in the German speaking Embassies.

Language levels are divided into beginner level that is A1 and A2. Intermediate level B1 and B2, and advanced level C1and C2.

Tip:

Don’t let anyone lie to you that most Germans can’t understand English. Well they can, but they prefer speaking German all the way. And they admire people who are taking the effort to speak their language.

man wearing black waistcoat and white tank tops standing near a mural
Photo by XU CHEN on Pexels.com
  1. The Host family

This is the family you will be working and staying with.

As I had earlier said, I came in as an Au-Pair girl. An Au-pair work is to look after a family’s children. You also get language course paid for you by your host/ employer, they provide a roof over your head, pay for your health insurance and give you pocket money (Germany 260 Euro, Ksh29,000, $292) Switzerland and Austria may vary.

I looked for host family online on my own without paying any agents. Some people pay an agent to connect them with a host family. Be careful as they sometimes swindle many Kenyans looking for host families. This is the website that I used.

In this website, you write your own profile, and upload photos of you playing with kids, they can be your nephew, or a neighbor’s child or any child. The host will be impressed seeing a photo showing your experience of you handling children.

Pro Tip:

  • Write your profile in English if your German is not so good, but German is preferred.
  • Reply your email as fast as possible, nobody likes waiting.
  • You will also need to Skype with the families during the interview and you will have to make a personal decision whether you want to work for them.

The second website I used is:-

Here you send your application with photos via email and then they upload your profile on their website where there are other applications too for host families to choose from. They contact you when they find a suitable family for you.

  1. The Visa

Once you get a family ready to hire you, they will send you a signed contract and an invitation letter which you take with you to the embassy.

You can then book an appointment at the German Embassy in Nairobi, here

The Visa appointment can be one to two months after application

Pro Tip

  • Be on time for your appointment.
  • Have all the filled out forms and professional passport photo taken.
  • Cheap photos won’t cut it. It cost me 200bob for 4 pieces.
  • The visa fee was 60Euros/ KSh6,800, could be more now.
  • After application, Visa processing takes two weeks to three months. It gets sent to you via G4S.
  • Don’t book a plane ticket if you haven’t received your visa yet, visas applications get rejected.
  • If your visa application is rejected, you can try getting an Austrian visa. Once you get to Austria, you can cross borders to Germany because the visa you will get is a SCHENGEN Visa.
  1. The arrival

Plan how you will get from the airport to your host family address, dress for the weather, it can get uncomfortable if it’s too hot or too cold, and get ready for culture shock because it’s real friend.

In case you have any questions, leave it on the comment section or email kenyaconnectt@gmail.com and I will be more than glad to get back.

P.S: Most people have asked about the Austrian option on the social media platforms. Here is the thing, you can apply to go Austria from the beginning, some people say it is easier that way. The other way is if your German visa is rejected try Austria. And definitely you have to have something you are going to do, they will ask at the Embassy.