Thursday, 18 December 2008

Still cooking - alive and kicking


Thought I would take a break from a day in Nairobi and send you a belated email....... Well in my last email I spoke too soon on the sewing front. I have started going throught the boys new lockers checking their clothes and issuing them with padlocks for their doors. The sewing I was getting was the tip of the iceberg, I have done 24 lockers to date and ended up with 15 pairs of school shorts that need sewing, some need burning!! I have taken a bundle home and will work through them, slowly. I thought the inventory of the boys clothes would be good - it would mean that we could keep note in their file of what they have therefore what they need, instead of the boy with 5 jumpers getting another when he has 1 pair of trousers. I hadn't really thought it through it is a slow slow slow process and is very depressing. At least I am spending time with each of the boys even if it is over his clothes.

I have been asked to take remedial lessons with some of the boys who haven't performed well at all, mainly the young ones, they were supposed to start school after Christmas but they just aren't ready. So one-on-one I am to teach them basic English....... I will need all the luck I can get. Armed with some resources that I was given by my sister from her girls I hope to achieve something at least, patience will be a virtue that I will need to possess as two of the boys have major concentration problems.

Ok how have things been, other than trying to avoid Christmas totally, not alot has changed. My first volunteer guest is well established at mine, he is a 30 year old guy called Thomas from Switzerland. A very nice and helpful person, he fits in well in the crazy household at the moment, doesnt even mind all the basin washing. My water pump has died from being sat too long without use and water damage so it was replaced at great cost yesterday. We now have a tank full of water and the use of the ....... wait for it...... showers.

The chickens are giving us eggs sporadically, but not sure if that has something to do with the fact that the guards wife is looking after them and she has 3 children!!!! I have been told that Gibson and his family are leaving me on 2nd January as he is returning to studies. You know this means trying to find another guard, a job that I really don't relish.

This morning I got up at 5am, sorted the dogs, cleaned, set the breakfast table, bathed and dressed ready to go to Nairobi. I had an early meeting with Millicent from the Salvation Army who is helping me renew my 'missionary' visa. She wanted me in Nairobi at 8.30 I kindly told her that 9 would be more realistic. As it happens I was out the house and heading into town at 6.30am. The matatu left at 7am and was not slow about his journey, looked like I would be there with good time.

Little did I know..... the down hill approach to Nairobi was not a good one, we approached a 'car park' everyone was at standstill with no sign on moving. Horns blared and tempers flared. No one could see the reason for the problem. All the public transport were trying to find short cuts only to be turned around by police. We inched round for ages looking for ways through, eventually the driver went all the way round Nairobi outskirts.... now this doesn't seem to be a problem .... except that I only know the place that I usually get the Matatu driver to drop me off at enroute into town. I recognised nothing, it was now 10.30 and I was very late. I called Millicent and apologised telling her that I had no idea where I was, the driver explained that we were at the matatu depot 20 minutes walk from her.

Now in a place that I know where I am this would not be a problem but here it was something I was not happy with. Eventually the driver agreed when he parked at the depot he would walk me to where I needed to be. We walked at a fast pace and it was indeed a 25 minute walk, I gave him enough money for a beer and thanked him. I will never travel without my street map again, even if I know where I am going. Millicent and I went to the immigration office and were told to return in the morning, I nearly cried........ until the officer said that it was only a paperwork thing and Millicent could attend without me. They would locate my application from July and reinstate it as it had expired while I was in UK. I breathed a sigh of relief, took Millicent out for lunch and phoned Jemo (one of the acrobats in Nairobi) who joined me and then walked me back to the Mololine shuttle station as I wouldn't find my way back. It has been a hot and apparently fruitless day, but I have had lunch, met an old friend, and been on a long long long journey.

I staggered from the matatu when we arrived in Nakuru, dehydrated and sweating like a pig (due to taking the last seat on the matatu which happened to be right in the back and on the sunny side all the way home!). I probably smell awful, but I am sat in the internet with a cold stoney drink and talking to all of you. What more could I want........... other than a change of clothes and a shower!!!

I am busy trying to sort out Christmas day at Scann and have now got Thomas who will also be there, I have decided to buy a sack of oranges and a banana each for the boys, something they don't have often. Thomas is looking into getting them all 'Slippers' what we call flipflops which is what most of them wear when at 'home'.

My love to you all, Christmas is just round the corner now and it seems like light years away. I know you are all busy with your plans and will be spending time with your family and friends. I will be there in spirit even if I will be run ragged by the boys partying.

I am possibly treating myself out for New Years Eve, but wait and see, I will try and find somewhere different so that hopefully the troublesome ones won't be around to pester me! Take care, thinking of you all,


Nathalie..... keep those chocs away from Alfie, he is only pretending to be good until the Xmas chocs arrive!David... fingers crossed
Kimberley.... glad you got to salsa, you need to extend your social life....xxxx
Paul-Simon...... nice pic took me ages to try and find Mackenzie, give her my love (if she remembers me)
Jean..... thanks for the phone call, but not sure whose phone is bad but you sound like you have a mouth full of bubbles!
Doris..... Have a G&T for me xx

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