Last week I promised Nick and family that they could come round for a meal to say thankyou for all the work he does for me when I am not around and I am unable to pay him for it.
I arranged with Sheila (his 'wife') that they come round on Saturday evening. Nick on Saturday morning called to say his family was coming but he couldnt make it as he was busy driving round two Irish men who he was now committed to. I had met these two men the day before when they were passing and Nick dropped in for a cup of tea and introductions. I suggested to Nick that he ask them to come too as I was not too happy inviting Nicks family without him.
I went to SCANN saturday morning to do the clinic which was quite quick as not many patients..... I shot into town and went to the market (which is always open) it was closed, apparently the municipal council decrees that Jamhuri day is a an official closure day for the market. I had planned on doing vegetable stew and rice with a pudding..... bit of a problem without veg! I ended up against my usual shopping trends at the supermarket and bought as little as I could get away with because compared to the market the prices are crazy and produce less fresh.
I lit the jiko at 12.30 and started preparing the food assisted by Henry who decided if he was to eat with us and join in he should at least help. Now I got a call from Nick confirming that the Irish men were coming too, so I needed to add more rice (allowed for). With two jikos fired up I started cooking, I think it was 5pm when I stopped and was ready to greet my guests, instead of the 4, plus the two irish men Henry and I, I ended up with another volunteer and Sheilas niece too. We had just enough food to go round and the desert which I had used two packets to make the creme caramel ended up being a sharing desert, everyone was given a spon and took turns taking a spoonful, I called it a sharing pudding!
Things that I had not taken into account, the most I have cooked for is 6 and I dont have big enough dishes, bowls or saucepans to cater for this many, it took alot of gigging about to finally get dinner on the table, but I dont think anyone noticed and it would appear that a great time was had by all. Even managed a dance too!
Sunday was a bit quiet though this allowed me to catch up on my sleep and washing.
Yesterday, I hired a car and went to visit Mama Sweetie and her brood of children. I found that her children had gone to visit a relative leaving Mama Sweetie with the 5 smaller children that she is now taking charge of. The orphanage building has stopped as the main builder has been unwell and nothing will be done without him, it is also now the Christmas season so everything would stop anyway as many people travel to their rural homes to spend the festive time with their families. We had a lovely time, I took my laptop (charged) and let the children watch some childrens animated movies, they dont have electricity so this was a great treat for them.
I took along with me some ugali flour, bread, butter, cooking oil and a sack of oranges together with some of the clothes from Hawes Down School to provide them with some warm clothes for the cold nights. The children thought, rightly so that it was Christmas, they loved the clothes (even though they were a little big) I am sure they will grow quickly.
I took many pictures and a couple of short movies to send back to the school in the UK. The clothes for SCANN are still waiting to be given out as the boys they will fit have been circumcised, so it would be unfair to hand out some bits of clothes and they are unable to receive them and have photos at the same time. I should be able to hand them out the begining of the week when their 3 weeks of confinement is over.
I hope you are all well and ready for Christmas, if you arent yet then you need to get your skates on.
The weather is still hot during the day and cold at night, Paka has taken to lying on me to keep me warm (Cat) regular fights with the mosquito net ensue and wake me up but it is worth the effort for the extra warmth!
Love to you all,
now I have had the housewarming, apparently my house is now blessed and protected..... I hope so!
I hope to be in touch again before Christmas but incase I get hijaked by Irish or aliens, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.