Monday, 30 March 2009

It rained

Hi Everyone,
get comfy, grab a cuppa, its a long one................. as you can appreciate with my sister over here we have been busy cramming and catching up on news. It has been so so hot here and so dusty, Nathalie had a lot of trouble with allergies due to the dust she was plagued with sinus problems and nose bleeds. Needless to say the rains are well and truly over due.

We managed a quick visit to Mama Sweeties to take pics of the new building ready for taking in orphans in Kampi ya Moto, after the 'skirmishes' so many children's suffered loss of their parents and there is no facilities in the rural area that she lives in, so in true Mama Sweetie style she is providing her own orphanage with the help from group in the UK sponsoring the building. I thought that Nakuru was the dust bowl until I went to see Kampi ya Moto, there is no fruit or veg in the usually well stocked village stalls, most of which were closed. There has been no mains water on her plot for a month. Mama Sweetie drives her pickup to the local bore hole and collects water for her and her neighbours and that's it. I thought I had water issues.

Nathalie and I didn't do much not only because we just wanted to enjoy each others company but also because anything here at the moment is an effort the dust gets into your pores the heat wears you down. We did have a couple of visits to SCANN to see the boys which was nice and Nathalie presented James Mwangi with a new set of clothes which he refused to take off.

Before Nathalie left we headed to Naivasha for a couple of days, I booked by phone a banda (wooden chalet) to stay in for two nights at Fishermans Camp by the lake, a bit of luxury and chilling. When we arrived the guy said no one had written the booking in the book and all the bandas were gone. I was not happy and neither was Nathalie, as a gesture he offered us 'The Cottage' at the same price, turned out to be a bonus, we had our own building with garden and bathroom WITH BATH!!!!!! Guess what the first thing we did........ you guessed....... washed off all the Nakuru dust and soaked in the bath. We then wandered off to the open clubhouse where we ordered dinner and played scrabble by the large open fire, it was bliss other than the fact that Nathalie beat me hands down every game.

We slept well that night, possible the alcohol helped. The next day we went for breakfast and ordered a packed lunch for our trip to Hells Gate, by the time we were ready to collect the packed lunch we decided it would be easier to eat it than take it in our bags on the bikes, by this time it was early afternoon before we set off. Yes I said bikes, (I negotiated a better rate as we were only getting half day use of bikes instead of full day). We cycled to the gorge, which in itself was not a problem other than the dusty road proved to make the going very hard work. We were rewarded after all the panting and puffing with close ups of giraffes, zebras, warthogs, gazelles and Buffalo's (the Buffalo's we could have done without but they were lying in the shade of the trees chilling).

We had been told not to leave it too late getting back to the bike man as the animals start moving around when the air cools in the late afternoon and the Buffalo's would be a problem to us on bikes!!!!! WARNING NOTED! The gorge at the end of the bike ride was a great success with Nathalie, she loved it as I thought she would. By the time we got back to the ranger station the afternoon sun was definitely on its way down and the heat of the day was gone, the warning tones were now repeating in our minds and we mentioned to the rangers how long it had taken us to ride to their station and we had to do the return trip. They were not comfortable with the idea of us cycling back and negotiated a ride with a party of Government Officials who were on a day visit from Nairobi.

We lugged the bikes on to the roof of the bus and off we went to collect the party of people. We were then hijacked (pleasantly so) as they then decided to go to the highest point of Hells Gate for a view point called Lake View, well we didn't refuse as I had never been there and it would be impossible to get to on bikes anyway. It was a lovely view across the hills and over the lakes with the evening sky, as another bonus we were given picnic boxes for our tea, they had too many, so picnic it was.

We were dropped off at the bike place, who was eagerly awaiting our return worried we had met the Buffalo's. The guy then arranged for us to get a lift back to Fisherman's Camp to save us walking. What a lovely day and what lovely people. We didn't have dinner that night but another bath was had to ease our tired and dusty bodies. We went to the clubhouse and had a pleasant evening playing cards, this time I think it was even winnings. We had asked the guards to wake us up for the hippos but as we heard nothing guessed that it was a quiet night at Fisherman's Camp and they didn't appear. Oh well, I think Nathalie had a good time any way!

We left there and headed to Nairobi and the airport for Nathalie's flight which was early hours of Saturday morning so a night in a hotel was a must. I headed back to Nakuru and had a nap, it was such a hot hot day and still no rain. On Sunday I awoke with determination to get my washing done and decided to wash all the curtains to get rid of the dust. Catherine had washed the floors and cleaned while I was washing and we sat with relief of a job well done, low and behold the heavens opened and we had the first good rains.

The soil smelt rich and damp and I busied myself with putting out containers to collect the water for further use for the plants. I can't tell you how it felt watching the heavy drops hitting the dust then soaking the parched and dead earth. I ran around with a huge smile on my face, bearing in mind by now I was totally soaked, so much for just having a hot shower! Catherine and I spent the rest of the afternoon pleased with the work we had done and watching DVDs that Kimberley had sent over for me, I forgot how great Jumping Jack Flash was............

I am now sitting in Nairobi as my Missionary visa paperwork went missing at immigration and I am back here waiting to re apply, slight problem that my tourist visa that I renewed will expire before it comes through, may have to do a quick border hop in the next month to rectify it.

Never a dull moment here.
Love to you all, hope you are all well, life continues........

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