Saturday, 21 November 2009

Paka's surprise n Joseph's story...

Hi Everyone,

Ok now I think this maybe a record but I managed to wash my hair with 1 litre of rain water, that is wash and condition, it doesn't particularly feel great but better than it was. The water was so black afterwards as my long hair hangs on to the dirt here and after so long without washing it was awful. I didn't waste the hair washinh water though, used it to flush the toilet, double wammie!

I haven’t had a lot to report recently, the water is still playing a disappearing act, according to the fundis working in the ‘road’ the pipes are being replaced over a very large area and until they are all done they won’t reconnect the water. Lucky us! I decided that even though my suppy of rain water was dwindling I really had to wash some clothes. I sparingly ensured these were things that I could not do without and left items like jeans and combats to be grubby, fact of life here.

So yesterday, I sat on the back step with my basin of rainwater, enjoying the peaceful afternoon and strange as it may seem the washing! I was disturbed by such a sudden commotion of something being knocked over and then bird’s shrill squarking together with the chickens and cockerel joining in. It transpired that paka (the cat) had caught a bird and was running into the house with it in its mouth. I hurriedly followed to shut all the doors preventing paka from taking the bird further into the house. I managed to confine them in the kitchen and then ushered paka outside again, bird still fluttering its wings in an attempt to get away, but paka was having nothing of it. I decided to let nature take its course as the bird was already badly damaged.

I went back to my washing leaving paka with earned prize sitting behind me on the opposite step. There developed a gathering of many types of birds who frequent my garden, they all perched around making a loud racket. The bird paka caught was a common starling which over here is quite brightly coloured petrol blue and green as opposed to our drab coloured ones in the UK. I was very surprised that the commotion went on for sometime and then all of a sudden the birds started dive-bombing paka who darted in my direction for cover, I was then also getting dive-bombed. I leapt away from my basin of washing and took cover and funnily enough, Kim the dog followed quickly behind me. I have never seen such a spectacle; it reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcock’s movie ‘The Birds’, luckily however without the blood and gore, I didn’t loose any hair or eyeballs! The dive-bombing finally subsided and I resumed my washing and paka enjoyed the feast, however the birds still perched overhead making a great racket. Wouldn’t want to cross them again, next time I may not come off so lightly, I must admit I was so pleased that paka didn’t catch one of the tiny turquoise birds with red circles round their eyes, they are so lovely. After doing my washing I made use of the rinse water and washed the floors of the house, they needed it, the dust has started collecting again.

I have actually had a busy few days, trying to get young Joseph who I have met in town many times in the last year, into SCANN for the long Christmas holidays.

Joseph’s story isn’t unique here in Africa. Joseph’s mother Esther left Joseph and his sister Helen (then aged 8years and 1 years respectively) with their grandmother. After a year Esther still had not returned to claim her children. Aged and without means to continue supporting her grandchildren, their grandmother was finding things very difficult.

One day their grandmother told the children they were going on a trip to visit an ‘aunty’, in fact the grandmother brought the children to Nakuru from Olkalao and told them to wait for her in town, she failed to return.

Some well wishers from the nearby market took Joseph and Helen to the Children’s Officer. Helen was taken to a children’s home some distance away where she has been cared for since, she is now 6 years old.

Joseph was taken in by the headmaster of St Davis school in Bahati, where he is still housed and educated during the school terms, however during the holiday periods he has no family to go to so he stays in Nakuru town. He had been befriended by an older boy Vincent, who had been an orphan and was working as a night guard offering Joseph shelter in the doorway where he was working and watched over him at night. During the day Joseph relied on the kindness of well-wishers to provide him with food. Vincent has since changed jobs and now works during the day as a fruit vendor in town and whilst he now has a one room ‘house’ he can barely afford to feed himself, let alone take charge of Joseph.

Over the last year Joseph and I have had many conversations and spent free time together, after finding out his situation I discussed the possibility of help with SCANN and we have finally worked to keep him during the long Christmas holiday providing him with accommodation until he is due to go back on the 7th January. Joseph is a very intelligent boy who loves reading novels and works hard to keep his position as second in a class of 80 children.

I am hoping that as of Wednesday when Henry (my guard) is back I will be back to my regular attendance at SCANN, until then I am attending the clinic again today, but in the afternoon (as the doctor is busy being locum at another clinic in the morning) at least I got a lay-in!

Love and best wishes to you all,
Stinky Susannah, Nakuru, Kenya

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