I hope my emails finds you all well. I had a good weekend although only having one day off makes it kind of short. Spent it with some friends just outside Nakuru. They live in an area which is very basic, they live in two rooms one is the bedroom the other is the living and cooking area. Had a good time, played cards and ludo lost at both! Took my turn at cooking so did a pasta in a tomato, onion and herb sauce with some kuku (chicken) which I bought as already cooked (no oven makes roasting a bit difficult).
I went loaded with fruit bought from a stall that I passed on the way, the boda boda man wasn't pleased with the extra weight, so gave him a nice big banana and tip to cover the extra weight. Unfortunately, the fruit man, who has served me before, managed to sell me most of what he has on offer, this time was half watermelon, avocados, bananas, and something like a passion fruit but very very bitter!!! Last time he sold me a paw paw, decided I really don't like this as it tastes like 'vomit'. He couldn't understand why I didn't like it!
When I said the place was basic what I meant was no running water or toilets! I was allowed time in the morning to take a private shower, it consisted of, stripping down and stepping, with a lot of muttering, into a very large green bowl of cold water and using a jug for rinsing this happened in the bedroom (whilst they prepared breakfast). The 'toilets' (pit latrines) were a block of 4 used by about 20 families, to describe these ........... not sure I will do them complete justice........., imagine an old fashioned garden privy, no light, no seat just a hole in the concrete, now picture this...............its pitch dark, now remember its used by 20 families! Yep you got it, cant work out if it was better at night or during the day when the chinks of light stream in through the badly put together wooden door, held closed by a bent nail. I will not even go into what it smelt like, all I could think of was this is what they have to use everyday of their lives, they know nothing else, I cleared my mind and went with the 'flow'. I dread to think how women manage under the circumstances, there was a very heavily pregnant woman waiting in the q- don't envy her at all, too much of a worry that the baby may deliver early and disappear down the hole!! It would give me nightmares.
I did cause a stir, not sure they were ready to see a mwzungu in their midst let alone using the latrines at all hours, oh that was the other thing, drinking beer was really not a good idea....... took 2 trips with escort to the latrines during the night, oops!!!! Will know for next time a glass of sherry will be my limit!! Yeah right!
The hospitality of the people here is overwhelming, they refused for me to sleep on their sofa I got the bed they got the sofa. They share what little they have and do without and treat you like royalty. Maybe some Europeans need to take a leaf out of their book. I had a great time, we had a good laugh, cried at a movie (Out of Africa) actually I cried at the movie they thought I was mad!, had good food, and a bit of a Swahili lesson too. I will definitely go back and visit what I got out of the experience far outweighed the worst latrines!!
Looks like it is about to rain again will get wet and cold, this will add to me feeling more miserable than I am at the moment ..... the women will understand the problem.......!! All I want is a soak in a hot bath with a lovely big glass of red wine, and loads of chocolate, and a warm comfy bed hot water bottle and a big hug!
OK now that is enough of that, am off to buy some chocolate, cant do anything about the bath and will stay clear of the wine. Oh just remembered the other night was so so so cold that couldn't sleep, I improvised a hot water bottle as forgot mine!! I had an empty pure water bottle, I boiled the kettle and poured 2/3rd hot and topped with tepid. slipped it into a thick sock and took it off to bed to keep me warm, must admit not as comfy lying with it as with a rubber hot water bottle, but boy did it work!!! It is amazing how we can adapt to what we have available when we open our minds to anything goes!
Hope you weren't too upset with today's down to basics email!
Love to you all,
Got to go am late!