Monday, 31 July 2006

Have I got news for you...

Hi Everyone,
I hope my email finds you all well and enjoying the lovely weather I hear you are having. The temperature here has dropped, actually got a spare blanket on my bed as the nights are now cold, the days are still warm but not hot!!

Ok the News!!!!! I have extended my placement by a month I am now back in the UK on 6th September..... I know some of you will be so disappointed but you will just have to accept that I am doing alot of good work here and there isn't enough hours in the day for me to make a big enough different. I am sorry if I am missing any strategic social events and but I am sure you can manage without me.

I forgot to mention that the Kimberley's first week here we went back to the baby orphanage, we went loaded down with baby toys that my sister had sent across together with the toys from the computers at work (P&O Neddloyd) that had been donated and well washed! The children were delighted and loved playing with the new donations. I am so pleased to say that Zippy is now well on her way on her Aids treatment and the improvement was astounding. She was up and about (although very wobbly on her pin thin legs) she was now showing signs of wanting to play and we sat on the floor where she helped folding a pile of nappies and liners for the children. I was so pleased as for a while her condition was extremely serious...... I will try and keep you posted on her development.

I have had a busy time, I had a meeting with Yasmin the lady who co ordinates and supports the SCANN project, she wants more work done with the children on a craft level, getting them to produce cards and bead work for selling ready for Christmas. I have arranged with a lady in the market that she teaches me how to do beadwork for making badges and bracelets. Apparently she will take about a month to show me, a day a week.......... maybe able to use this when I get home!! Found a nice Aids ribbon ring that we bought, hope to find out how to make them.

On Wednesday afternoon I went in search of a sewing machine, had a manic beginning of the week. I think the boys were so pleased that I was back from my week away that they showed this by providing me with a mammoth pile of sewing. Some of the boys actually felt sorry for me sat on the steps sewing all day that they asked for some cotton and needles and helped, got it on camera too. One of the new volunteers sat and helped for a little while too. Yasmin saw me with the pile of sewing and has decided to get me a sewing machine, but I have to find one first, all seem to be treadle types, will have to learn how to use it.

On Friday I went off to Nairobi to extend my visa that was a trip and a half, in total spent 8 hours on a matatu, the weather was very bad, rain, heavy fog and very bad roads. I did managed to cause a stirr though...... one of the teachers at SCANN has just had a baby girl (GRACE) and I went out and bought some knitting needles and wool and sat in the front seat of the Matatu knitting all the way to Nairobi, I managed one and a half bootees. At least I made good use of wasted time. I think they the locals think that we buy everything and have no skills, so me knitting was a bit of a distraction. I could have done more knitting on the way back but it was dark and I couldn't read the pattern!

Today I was supposed to have a meeting with Aids workers to talk to them about the work that they do here. Unfortunately, the man in charge was called away so the meeting has been changed to tomorrow. I am hoping that I can link them with the people back home for exchange of information and support.

After a busy day Friday I decided to relax on Saturday and went shopping with Ailsa (who has a cold) I found a fab pair of shoes for under 8 GBP just like Sex in the City ones. Wore them out to Summit nightclub on Saturday night, got in at 4am... a little worse for wear. Sunday was spent easing my conscience by relaxing all day, but, I spent the day catching up on the hand sewing that the boys had given me which were all the items that needed throwing out and not repairing, I repaired them and dropped them off in the afternoon. Nick the Taxi driver popped round as I hadn't paid him for the trip to Summit as I was supposed to get him to pick us up and pay him, we got a lift home instead. I had also left him with my IPOD to listen to as a treat, he loved listening to the salsa music...... and came round to drop it off. He ended up seeing the sewing and asked me to show him how to do it. He very quickly became proficient in blanket stitch, he stayed for dinner and then shot off to pick up a fare.

Ok think I am pretty much up to date although am sure there are things I have forgotten.

Off to SCANN now to see if there is anymore sewing that needs doing, will wait till I get that machine!!

Love to you all, take care and big hugs. Apologies if this is a bit disjointed was on a time limit today..... so much to say not sure what I have missed.

Susannah xx (o)

Saturday, 1 July 2006

Billie No Mates...

Hi Everyone,
I just realised you will all have to invest in some paperback books when I finally get back to the UK, as what are you going to do to fill the time taken by my bulletins??!!***

I am glad to hear you are all well, I went to bed exhausted last night at 6pm and missed the last night drinks with the Irish Boys, they left today. My remaining room mate Kati woke at 5 this morning to go to Masai Mara..............................I am home alone ...............sob.

Back tracking a little, on Thursday, cant remember if I told you, I hijacked my tuk tuk man Sam for two hours, he picked me up from the DHL depot (it was way out nowhere), I then asked if I could have him for about 2 hours, he was thrilled (apparently it does his reputation good to be regularly seen carrying me!!) I then went shopping for items needed by the project, took some finding, metal lockup box (still looking), key fobs, (found but not what I wanted.... I had to do a bit of Susannah alterations to them) I also went to the Lake Nakuru National Park office (down a very very long road with lots of (sorry David Ainscough) sleeping policemen (not a good ride in a no suspension three wheeler vehicle!!) They gave me such a look when I arrived with tuk tuk Sam all the other vehicles at the gate were big safari ones. At least I am still able to make them laugh out here!! Not alot of luck with mywomanly cunning, they quoted shocking prices for the trip (well by Kenyan standards). I was then taken back to SCANN where Moses and I drafted a letter to the Assistant Director.

On Friday having got the Company Secretary to type the letter (she is in town and not at the project) it came back with her own interpretations.....ummmmmmm. Moses and I walked to Lake Nakuru Office and took the letter in, Moses thought that if he spoke instead of me it would be better........cheekie. Needless to say nothing was accomplished...... we have to wait for a reply from them. Tuk tuk Sam came to pick us up, we sat watching a whole family of monkeys playing. I then went to find some firewood for SCANN's kitchen. For some reason they have a quota for firewood, this quota has been used and they have no resources until the end of July, no one will tell Yasmin the Chairperson. No firewood means no food, the cook has been cutting down the wooden fence surrounding the project, this is how things are here TOTALLY MAD. Moses negotiated wood prices, none of them delivered and Sam would not have been happy messing up his vehicle, so we then went in search of a hand cart man.......... found one he was totally drunk and useless, but he kept saying he would be fine....... luckily someone walked past with a cart and we collared him. I went back to SCANN with tuk tuk and Moses walked back with the cartman. We now have a supply of wood, no one has asked where it came from.......ummmm.

After that escapade I went into town to collect the parcels that Nathalie and my nieces put together, what a mad Post Office system. They sent a card to say that items had arrived but put someone elses name on it, so the woman who owns the flat said it was not ours. On Thursday night the housekeeper dropped the a card on my bed with my name on it which said 2nd reminder......ummmmmm and bring money as there was a charge. When I eventually found the parcel collection area, down a back alley, through an old iron gate and through a door into the sorting office..... the q was enormous, when I was eventually seen the woman said......SO WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN. I replied that I had been no where and this was the first card I had received...... because I disputed the storage charges I had to see the boss man, she had no authority to waive charges. He already had a drunk waiting to speak to him...... I unfortunately got to sit beside him whilst he told me he hated the post office, its staff and sitting where he was waiting, this went on for a bit, and I had to hold my breath for a long time......... he had his turn and shouted alot. By the time I got in I was very tired, out of water and very hot......headache brewing. The guy listened to what I said and said he would go halves on the charge as there was no way the first card didn't have my name on it....ummmmmmmm. I agreed only so I could leave, so with shopping in hand and two boxes later I guessed it tuk tuk Sam, he must have thought it was his lucky day........I got to the apartment and it was locked, I didn't have the energy to walk down the road to get the keys from the keyholder, so I sat, opened the parcels, read the letters, ate most of the sweets (that were for me!!) and waited for someone to appear......1.5 hours later, I had had a nap...............but needed painkillers for a splitting headache. I crashed.

Just realised how much I have written.....will continue today's fiasco tomorrow or Monday..... bet you cant wait.........

Bye for now,