Saturday, 12 April 2008

Double Whammie

Hi Everyone,

well I have managed to get to the internet and it is working so I realised that I have missed two emails, or have I?????? I wrote one from Easter that you should have got but cant find it in my sent box.. If you have already received it S O R R Y!!! move down the page and the most recent one is half way down. I am fine other than a red sore rash all over my body that they thought was mossies but not.......... never a dull moment!

Hi Everyone,

I hope my email finds you all well. I have decided that as it is Easter this weekend and I have been working a 7 day week for some time now – I am taking a break, it will only be for two days but it will feel like a life time! I have given Dominic my guard permission to go to his home village of Marallel to see his wife. Judith I have given Saturday and Sunday off so she is visiting her brother. I just want alone time, should be good.

On Thursday the teachers, Judith and I are having a cheap night out, lots of dancing and few drinks, we are all broke so should be a laugh, they are all sleeping at my house to reduce traveling costs and Friday they are not at work.

I have been listening to Dominic talking of Bibi often, his wife. When I acquired another puppy I made them all laugh, I said to Dominic and Judith why don’t we call the puppy Bibi, they both gave me a strange look and then Judith explained that bibi wasn’t Dominic’s wife’s name it meant wife. I can now see the problem;- me standing in the shamba calling out for my wife to come isn’t quite the done thing in Kenya, may raise some eyebrows and reduce the housing prices!! Back to the drawing board for the name… although I thought Gizmo from Gremlins would be good as it looks like a gremlin when lying flat on its back on the floor with its ears splayed. Not sure the Kenyans will be able to get their tongue round that name though.

I came to Scann late today as many of the boys needed their hair clipped and my clippers have been in need of repairing, during the week I miss the boys as they come back from school after I leave. Today I have a meeting here at 4 so will stay late and clip for Britain. All boys are now de-wormed and others are awaiting to receive their ringworm anti-fungal treatment, sounds great but just a course of pills.

The two puppies that I rescued from Parvo virus are growing so big now and are well and truly at home at Scann. I have got a carpenter to come and make them a strong kennel so that they wont be roaming around the place picking up illnesses like me! Not sure they will like being chained but it is for their own good, they can be released at night so they can add to the guarding of the place.

Kim my dog is getting fatter and fatter, no idea when her puppies are due or how many but I think they will be a handful. I just hope its soon as she is finding it difficult to get through the security grill to the main house, her stomach stops her.

Dominic is busy preparing the seed bed and shamba for the wet season to start as planting will be imminent. Cant wait I enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing my crop growing even if it was at the wrong time of year.

I am now fine although I get tired very quickly which goes hand in hand with getting grouchy so I sleep early – a real party pooper which means that Thursday night out will be hard work but very very long awaited.

James Mwangi – spoke to my sister and her two girls on mothers day and since then he has decided he is ‘coming to England – On Sunday’. Not sure which Sunday but he tells me all the time ‘going to England on Sunday see sponsor’. It would be a fabulous thing but at only 5 years old I think it is a little beyond his comprehension. When I first came to Kenya James was always sick with one thing or another he has now developed into a confident and healthy boy. I often think it would be a fabulous thing to bring someone to England so they can experience the place but knowing full well the multitude of problems that they would face when they returned, knowing that this is their ‘lot’.

For many here it is better to live in ignorance of what the world has to offer although many see it here on the TV donated last year by the BBC. Life has enough frustrations without the knowledge that no matter how hard you work chances are you will live your adult life in a state of poverty, even those with an education find it hard to get work, the saying it isn’t what you know but who you know – takes on great meaning here.

On Thursday 20th March I am going to a grand presentation of wheelchairs. I think I mentioned Mama and Baba Sweetie who had been displaced from their home in Kampi ya Moto. Well she called me to say she was at my gate one night at about 8pm, it was already dark, she asked me to store about 12 new wheelchairs that had been donated to her for the people that she helps in the community, mainly children who have been abandoned due to being disabled mentally or physically. I duly accommodated the wheelchairs and received a call from her telling me I had to attend a ceremony on Thursday when they would be allocating the chairs and various community bodies would be present including the press and TV. Something I would usually avoid but Mama Sweetie would not accept no for an answer…….. I was asked to go with my camera in case there are any photos that are missed by the press!! Well at least it would be a day out, Mama Sweetie is very committed to her community and the work she is doing. There has been a great deal of effort to trace the children who have also been displaced from the community to bring them together for the ceremony. I am honoured to have been asked after all I only stored the chairs.

ill catch up later must go now boys are arriving from school for their hair shaving….. bye.

Hi All,
As promised the rains have arrived…… last night was the heaviest rains I have seen here. George (the roofer) has been waiting for the heavy falls to test the roof, needless to say there are a couple of areas that have issues, gladly not any of the bedrooms!! The previous problem areas are fine but there are a couple of new ones. I am hoping they will be rectified quickly! It makes me think of all the people still living at Showground they must have been flooded out last night, they are all in tents, I dread to think of it all. I was tempted to offer my garage for a dry room but how would I chose who gets to use it……………..there are hundreds and hundreds of people still camped out. On a lighter note………

The Easter break was good, I had planned on receiving a visitor from Nairobi who didn’t show. I had given Dominic and Judith the weekend off and decided to spend the time at home. I had a great relaxing time, no one around to trouble me and worry about just two cats and two dogs needing attention. I pottered round hung some of my pictures on the walls, did a bit of outstanding painting jobs, a bit of Scann sewing so I didn’t feel guilty that I had not been all weekend. Went round the fruit and veg market and visited the internet to send you all an email only to find it was closed.

Kim is getting very tired now sleeping most of the time waiting the arrival of her puppies. The acquired puppy, (now named ‘Pip’ short for ‘Pipsqueak’, someone’s childhood nick name’ is giving her little rest as she is always climbing on Kim and chewing her ears, legs, actually anything it can reach. I may have to find Pip a new home when the puppies arrive as not sure Kim will manage as her patience is growing shorter as the days pass. I found Kim over the weekend digging for England under the wood pile in the ex-‘chicken house’. It looks like an escape route from Colditz the only reason I knew it was going on was that I went to hang washing and was bombarded by dirt flying through the wire mesh grills in the chicken house. I ventured to look and there she was. Every few minutes she stopped and rested for a while, digging is a very tiring thing apparently. When Dominic returned he helped make the area bigger with the aid of a spade to speed the work, we lifted the wood and used it to make a hide for her with the ‘tunnel’ underneath, she is obviously nesting, Judith said the hole was the maternity unit!

I have now been up since 7am had a cup of coffee and watching the sun push its way through the clouds, contrary to yesterday there will be nice sunshine today, will get more washing done. I have decided to take Thursdays and Fridays as days off from Scann, I have been doing a 7 day week for one thing or another and it was taking its toll. I am now there at the weekend so that I can be more useful as the Doctor comes for clinic on Saturday mornings and I spend a number of hours doing medical records and medicine distribution after he has been and then there is the hair shaving that needs to be done on a constant basis as there are only 12 smaller boys at Scann attending school so I am better used at the weekend when they are all there. In the past I find that I am usually leaving Scann as the older boys are arriving, we pass like ships in the night with them reeling off lists of things they need me to be doing.

Scann is doing well, they have had the bio-gas system built which will in time provide gas for use in the kitchen, the cook won't know himself, he is constantly ill with chest problems due to burning of wood for cooking the huge cookers. The only problem is that it will take some time for the gas from the pit latrines to build up. I find it interesting and will spend some time learning exactly how it all works. The wall is now built other than the side that is under land dispute. There are huge gates in place and a sign writer has been to paint the Scann info on the gates.

The dormitories are now coming together with a supply of about 25 new bunk-beds, many of the boys had been sharing beds which I have always complained about. One of the next jobs on the list is painting of the dormitories which will be fun especially if they let the boys loose on them. James Mwangi my little friend is still insisting that on Sunday he is going to England and he will return on Monday…. Maybe one day, who knows.

There is still little sign of volunteers coming to Nakuru although the tourists are arriving in dribs and drabs, everyone is on standby as a lot of the income in Nakuru is from Tourism, I am bombarded by attention when I go to town as I am the only source of income around, even though I tell them my resources have dried up, they don’t believe me, I suppose the little money I have is still more than they have but as I have no income it is precious and being held on to pretty strongly, I am still wondering how I can make it last until I fly home on 25th June. I must make efforts to promote my accommodation more productively although I have been spreading the word when appropriate.


LOVE TO YOU ALL, AND EARLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MACKENZIE....... got to run as will be late.

Big hugs,


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