Thursday, 27 November 2008

KENYA 3 - Landed Safe

Hi Everyone,
sorry it has been a few days since I arrived and no news from me.

Been so busy sorting things out in the house and getting re accustomed. The weather here is hot and dry.... just how I like it but the shamba and plants are suffering and now we only get water alternate days, and no pressure either.

Believe me or not but I woke up at 6am (as usual in Kenya) I had a cuppa and went back to bed after playing with the dogs. I sat for 3/4 hr and wrote a nice long email to you all and saved it on my memory stick. Nick came to pick me up to go to town to get a ......... wait for it........... F R I D G E........ and in the haste of locking up I left the memory stick at home. You will have to wait for another day..... maybe tomorrow...... who knows ..... this is Kenya after all!

Just needed to let you all know I am OK. Have taken this week to sort things out before going to SCANN, I know once I get back in the swing I won' t have time for getting house things replaced so decided to get that done first.
Love to you all.
Take care and thanks for the emails of good wishes at this difficult time

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Return with Trepidation - 'belated'

Hi Everyone,

I won’t say that my return to Kenya was filled with joy and excitement more with worry as I was not sure how I would react to returning after the house had been broken into and with new guard on site.

I shouldn’t have worried, I was met at the airport by Nick (my friendly taxi driver) Catherine (who had been staying at the house and a teacher at SCANN) and Anastasia (another teacher at SCANN). They had left Nakuru at 3am to make sure they arrived in time and didn’t get caught in any traffic, my plane had been delayed before I left and Kimberley (my daughter) had sent Nick a message to let him know. Unfortunately, immigration was so slow and so many people argued when they arrived at the desk that it was a long and painful process. It is far easier to do in the UK before you leave but as I wasn’t sure when I was coming back it made the process difficult, so I paid the price and patiently waited with my 50 USD!

By the time I got out there was only a handful of suitcases on the carousel and there were three very worried but happy faces waiting for me, they thought I had got lost or missed the plane.

After the hugs and jubilant jigging about we went outside, it was brilliant sunshine and very warm…….. you remember that don’t you…… ahhhhh sunshine and warmth!

The drive other than from the airport to Nakuru was smooth and traffic free so I managed (after a lot of conversation) to drift into a more comfortable sleep than on the plane.

My arrival at the house was boisterous, Kim and Fatso (the dogs) were howling when they heard my voice outside the gates and then they went mad when I entered the compound, it was a lovely greeting. The only remaining puka (Puka No 1 was less excited, it took her two days before she would acknowledge me and that was after giving her her cat treats daily. She now sits on my lap and purrs a lot. Puka No 2 disappeared after the break-in and hasn’t been seen since. All the puppies are now re-homed and I am assured they are well.

The new guard Gibson seems OK, but then so was Dominic! He now lives in the guard house with his wife, and three boys (one a babe in arms). Not sure how they all manage to squeeze in there but they seem very happy. It takes a bit of getting used to having small children and a baby crying at the house but they mostly get on with their own thing. I understand Nicks thinking; with a family staying here it means that if Gibson has to leave the compound at least there are still people on the property and visa versa. We will see how it goes.

Gibson is a hard worker he has planted flowers all round the place that he has collected and bought on his travels, the place looks lovely and he has planted the shamba with onions, cabbage, spinach and pumpkin (Squash). They have added an animal into the pot a cockerel that his mother-in-law bought them, nice and noisy at 6am but it manages OK with the dogs and cat and wanders around as if it owns the place.

The house is fine, Catherine has enforced a rule that the guard and his family are not permitted in the house unless asked to come in for a purpose. This means that they are totally self sufficient the house can be locked and left without worry that they need something from the house. The kitchen looks strange, there are gaps where the cooker and fridge used to sit, and the bunk beds stand in the guest room looking bear without the new mattresses and bedding.

My room was untouched and I had to unscrew the lock on the wooden door to release the lock and then we used a crow bar to break the padlock on the security door to get in. The room was untouched other than a coating of dust lying over everything, I am glad I had the foresight to cover everything with sheets and off cuts of material before I left, although am kicking myself for taking the quilts and blankets out to give to Catherine for airing!

I spent the rest of the day, wet dusting, sweeping and cleaning my room, a little difficult as we were out of water, apparently we are now on alternate day water supply….. reminds me I must go and chat to my friend the water man! Nick dashed off as he was having friends visiting him in the afternoon but Catherine and Anastasia stayed around as support.

The clothes that Kimberley had sorted out for Catherine were well received and we were treated to a cup of chai and a fashion show as reward. Everything fitted so well that they could have been made for her, Catherine was so pleased. I managed to find a few bits for Anastasia too, the dogs were happy with their bones that were bought for them and we play daily with the rope toys from my brother. I gave Nick before he left me, a compilation DVD of Disney movies for his boys and a paper lamp shade (he saw mine that I bought on my last return home trip and indicated that he liked it). Even Puka No 1 was happy to receive the cat treats she was bought.

I crawled into bed early that night, with a sheet and a blanket I found that I had stored in the bedding trunk in my bedroom!!!!! (I would like to say I slept like a baby) but the dogs were unsettled with my arrival and getting used to the sounds of the night again took a few nights.

On Monday, I received a call to tell me that my friend Ailsa had arrived in Nairobi with her Virgin Air-hostess friend Jayne. They were on a very short visit provided by Jayne through Virgin at a very good price…….she told me to get in touch next time I need tickets and she would see what she could do!!!! I like Jayne.

Monday and Tuesday were spent running round with Ailsa and Jayne, we had beer and Nyama Choma (roast meat) at Veronicas place (Garden Villa) on Monday after spending the day running round town. We then spent Tuesday visiting Mama Sweetie and the children, we went to see how her project was going as they are building a children’s home on Mama Sweeties property with support from Ailsa’s father and a lot of fund raising.

When we returned home from The Sweeties, we dropped off Ailsa and Jayne and Nick took me shopping, something that I had not yet done. I bought mugs, glasses and an electric kettle (something I had not had before but needed). I bought provisions and cleaning materials, looked at the price of cookers and a fridge and went home. I sorted out the things and washed in a bucket…… yep cold water!! Nick went back and collected Ailsa and Jayne and took them for a quick visit with his family before returning to pick up Catherine and myself, we all headed out the Lotus Garden Chinese restaurant for dinner, a special treat before they left. After a huge meal we then headed back to Garden Villa to have a drink with Veronica… Jayne was given two complimentary bottles of champagne from her friends, so they decided to share them with us. Unfortunately, the first bottle went off like a canon and scared the customers and also drenched Jayne and myself…. What a waste!

I enjoyed Ailsa’s and Jayne’s company on those first few days which were a little strained. Everyone we met kept apologising to me for my situation, obviously word of my plight had got around. Many people were very upset to know what had happened as they know how hard I work for no reward and the benefit of others.

Ailsa and Jayne spent Wednesday running round sourcing provisions, photographing and pricing them ready for when they need to buy at a later date for Mama Sweeties project. I spent the day at home pottering round, sorting my clothes and paper work, re familiarising myself with ‘home’ and playing with the dogs. Gibson in the afternoon came to me saying he had found a greetings card left a the gate that afternoon.

It was a bit strange but here they give cards for most things, it was a ‘sympathy’ card, it had been dated 3rd Aug and it had written inside …..

Sorry for what happened, that’s part of life and some of these things are unavoidable, so take heart and be strong.

Unfortunately, they didn’t sign it so I have no idea who it is from. They obviously wrote it before and kept hold of it as I was away, now hearing I was back decided to leave it.

Many people have suggested that I move to Milimani but I have worked so much on my house to make it home, some things were meant to be, so for now I am staying.

As you will note from above I haven’t been to SCANN yet, I decided that I would sort myself out and settle before getting back into the swing, I have sent messages to the boys to let them know I will be with them soon.

Love to all,

Bye for now

Hi Everyone,
just a quick email to let you all know I am heading back to Kenya, I fly out this evening and won't be back until August 2009.

If any of you want removing from my list of 'friends' who get my updates please let me know.If you want to stay on be ready for another 'block buster' Kenyan Adventure part 3!

First part will be 'Susannah's Place return to the scene of the crime!'

Take care of yourselves, sorry I haven't got round to seeing you all, work was top priority this time.... needed the pennies.

A huge THANK YOU to Linda Corby for all her help with the medical items.....and selling of the jewellery, love you loads but you know that anyway.
Hugs all round, especially to the Family