Sunday, 4 January 2009

Live long, be happy and prosper this 2009

Happy New Year.....

Christmas Day was a manic and fun event with lots of activities and smiles at SCANN.

Well the New Year has started with my guard and his family leaving on the 31st December. Must admit things were starting to be a bit difficult as after Gibson had been here for a while he invited his wife and three children ‘to visit’ this wouldn’t have been too bad but they didn’t ever leave. This meant that they were here living in the one roomed ‘guard room’ (whilst in Kenya this is still considered to be roomy) they still had to run of the compound (grounds) and freedom to come and go as they please.

When I returned from the UK and put in some rules it was me who was made to feel that I was interfering with their world, as opposed to them living on my property. We had various issues that were not easily resolved like…… trust…… that is a big one for me as you can imagine with what happened with the last guard.

We decided to part company and for a few days I was without a guard but the dogs watched out for us. Catherine and I managed to have a crazy last minute New Years Eve, we dressed up and went to Sumit a large night club. It was so packed that we actually thought about coming home again, instead we held out and had a mad night, dancing like crazy people. We eventually summoned the taxi to collect us at 6am getting home with the dawn light at 6.30. We were exhausted but had had a good night. I let the dogs loose for a run then closed them again and went to bed. At 10 am I awoke fed the dogs and remembered I had two chickens that needed attention to. As Gibson had dealt with them I followed what he did and collected some kale leaves from the veg patch tied them by the stalks and went to the chicken house to hang them for the chickens. Catherine at this point joined me and showed me what to do, add some maize meal and water to the kale and they had a banquet, no eggs though!

We then had food and went back for an afternoon snooze, needless to say we were exhausted. I got up and did some housework and then cooked dinner, chicken in coconut, potato/sweet potato/carrot and onion mash together with some tomato and onion salad, it was lovely and well received.

Thomas (my lodger) had left for Nairobi on Tuesday morning and I went with him as I decided to meet up with a guy who maybe able to provide some work for the university graduate from Scann. Although John wants to study for his Masters the trustees of SCANN are unable to fund further studies and he has to do so under his own steam. He will have to earn a living so he can save to study further. I was treated to lunch and a nice afternoon visiting the new offices of the company in Nairobi, however my hope for an opening concerning work was not fruitful as he was leaving for two weeks leave in South Africa the following morning and so my request was delayed until his return, good excuse for another lunch!

Thomas left me with his parting gift to the boys, sorting out giving them ‘slippers’ which are like flip flops, basically rubbers that they use in the dorms and around the project when they are at 'home'. The problem is this is not a small job, we have ordered to slippers and now find that the boys have given all the wrong sizes, this means that I have to sort what we have and then return and exhange what does not fit. With 130 boys who some lucky ones are spending Christmas with relatives and friends I am finding it a slow and thankless job. Hopefully tomorrow the balance of the boys will be at SCANN ready for starting school again this week.

I have given up on the sewing front and asked Yasmin to order some more shorts for school as the ones they have given me to repair are beyond it by hand.

My attempt at stopping the dogs from having puppies again has been a little late for Fatso who is now hobbling around looking sorry for herself with a very swollen belly…… yep looks like she was already with pups when I gave her the injection as she hasn’t been out since and is definitely looking like she will deliver in the next week. I am unable to feel any movement though and whilst it is a bad thought I am half hoping that the injection will result in ‘still births’ the thought of going through puppy raising again is not one that fills me with pleasure

I met a man yesterday who was recommended to me for an askari, I interviewed him and he appears good, I asked him to come to the house today and we would start a months trial. My phone went at 7am, after a sleepless night of the dogs being restless and barking, it was Henry the new askari saying he was here. I leapt out of bed and quickly dressed and was greeted at the gate by Henry with a beaming smile of his face telling me he was so happy to be here……. We will see. At least he doesn’t have a family in tow. He is at the moment busy tidying the ‘compound’ as he has been out of work for a while and is excited of being able to work he wont stop. It would be nice to have someone that I feel happy with, instead of someone who I tolerate because I have no one else.

I have taken the day off today to be around the house for him to settle, although I will be heading into town in the afternoon for flea powder for the dogs and some food. Maybe even manage a quick sit by the pool with a book for an hour. I have decided to speak to Yasmin and let her know that I will do SCANN every alternate day as I am finding everyday a bit too much with looking after the house as well.

I have had an enquiry from Facebook, a lady looking for accommodation for two weeks end of Jan beg of Feb, only problem is her project is the other side of town, will see what she says after she gets my email…..fingers crossed.

Ok well it is now 11.45am and it is so hot outside that the dogs are struggling to find shade from its glare and Henry is still working hard. I have done all my house work and busied myself sorting washing and dusting. I think I deserve an hour of indulgence by the pool especially as I will be at SCANN tomorrow for the doctors visit and sorting the slippers.

Love to you all, I hope you all get what you wish for in 2009 together with happiness and good health.

Ok that was yesterday, today has been a day and a half, so hectic, especially as the new guard is not too well versed in the barking of my dogs, I was up in the night so many times, I think there was alot of dogs running round the neighbourhood annoying the others. I spent most of the morning with the doctor at SCANN as we had a number of visitors to the clinic which resulted in me spending a long time sorting out the resulting meds. Then came the slipper sorting, we are still short of many boys returning for school this week which means I am unable to get their shoe size. I have asked the dorm master to go round and check the sizes against other boys who have been issued with slippers. Save me time tomorrow as I need to go back into town and swap sizes etc.

The mood at SCANN was not good today as a number of the older boys who have finished at college and are in part time or temporary work have been asked to move on and become independant. It is always a hard time pushing the fledglings out of the nest, so mood was heavy. I am very tired and on my way home, I had thought about not sending the email today, but thought it had been a while.

Lots of love care of yourselves,

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