well relaxing in Mombasa seems like a lifetime ago, I am still holding on to the memories of the sandy beach and lovely blue seas.
Kimberley is now back home in the cold but enjoying the final week of her holiday quota with friends in York.
I picked up two girls that I worked with at Ikea on the day I took Kimberley to the airport (that timing worked very well indeed!). The two girls, Anna and Nicole arrived and had just enough time to say hi then dropped Kimberley off at departures the worry was that timing wouldnt work but worked like clockwork...until...!
Kimberley had taken her purse into the arrivals building to check that her bank card was active so she could pay for her train ticket on arrival in the UK. We then sat in the cafe and had a drink at which time she gave me her purse to put in my bag.....BIG mistake!!!!! At the time I mentioned that it was a bad move as we would probably forget it..... never a truer word said in jest!
It wasn't until we had left Kimberley at the door to departures, used the facilities and then driven through stand still traffic almost all the way into Nairobi that I received a call on my mobile in the bag, low and behold there was Kimberleys purse........I was struck with the horror of the situation immediately and told Jenga who had been moaning about the traffic that we had to go back to the airport.
I think Jenga thought I was kidding because it took a few minutes for him to understand what I was saying and accept that we did in fact need to go back to the airport where we had just left.
Whilst seeing Kimberley off I had chatted to the security man at the door so I headed straight to him with my passport and her purse in hand. After a bit of a shakey explanation to him I asked if as I had my passport for ID he would let me into the building to find Kimberley and hand over the purse. He said NO WAY would I be allowed to do that. When I asked if they could tannoy Kimberley to come back to the door he said by now she would have passed immigration and would not be permitted to return.
I was getting more aggitated as I knew all Kimberleys cards and work passes were in her purse........ eventually Jenga joined me to find out what the outcome was (obviously eager to get on our way to Nakuru). The security man eventually said give me the purse and I will go and find your daughter........ (as you will know some of my experiences in Kenya have left me with an initial distrust of people)! I clutched the purse and refused to give it to him, Jenga took me aside and said that if I wanted Kimberley to receive the purse I had to hand it over. The security guard obviously seeing my discomfort said that as I had my phone and she had hers he would get her to call me, but I pointed out I had been calling her since I found the purse and it would not connect, he promised he would get a call to me to confirm that she had received the purse, I reluctantly agreed.
I security guard took the purse and went off to speak to his supervisor to get someone to cover his position checking flight papers at the door. Not being able to hear the conversation but reading the body language it became apparent that the supervisor was not agreeing to the request. The security man came back and said he had been refused permission to leave his post. By now I was getting extremely aggitated, worrying that Kimberley would not realise she had no means of paying to get her home until she arrived in the UK. The supervisor moved to another post and the security guard called one of his colleagues and quickly asked him to cover his post, he then disappeared.
Jenga and I stood, (Jengas mind on the delay and mine on the repercussions of Kimberleys oblivious dilema). During this time Anna and Nicole were sitting in Jengas taxi waiting for our return. The wait seem so long, but then I heard over the tannoy Kimberleys name being called..... then I remembered her saying she would while away the time listening to her IPOD!!! I just prayed she would hear the announcement over the music playing in her headphones. More time passed and then the 'stand-in' security man called me and gave me a number to call, after a failed attempt, I got through to Kimberley who was so relieved that we had discovered the purse before she had left that relief was obvious in her voice. She checked all was present and I asked her to pass on my grateful thank to the security man, we then said our goodbyes and I found I could breath again.
I felt guilty that I struggled to put my trust in the security man but to hand over a purse full of cards etc to a stranger took some convincing, my policy of trusting in people until you are given reason not to has gone here and I hoped that he understood that it wasn't personal.
I sent him a thank you message as I now had his mobile number and he understood the reticience on my part.
By the time we went back to the taxi Nicole was in need of the ladies and Anna was snoring! The drive to Nakuru after that was most uneventful but that was a nice thing.
Since the girls have arrived we have had big issues with the water supply, not that we havent had any, (the storage tank was full) but the fact that the stop cock on the mains supply spun freely which meant that on the days there was no mains we were unable to use the water in the tank as it freely flowed back down the mains pipe. The water people kept promising that they would come, but in true services style it was in their own time........ bucket washing and wet wipes ruled this week but the girls managed amazingly, it was a good job we had more than our quota of rain water to flush the toilets with!!!
The weather has become very wet with a day of hot sunshine intersperced. It is quite nice as it is keeping the dust down and giving the crops a chance to grow.
My friend Joe (he had Fatso) says that she is about to have puppies any day now..... rather him than me, I remember the days with Kim and her 10 puppies only too vividly! We went to Joe's for dinner last night but Fatso was hiding out in her dug out den waiting for the delivery day.
The girls and I managed a trip to Mama Sweeties borrowing a taxi from Nick to take the girls clothes donated from Hawes Down school that they had come with in their luggage. Last time I went to see Mama Sweetie I took the boys the small clothes that were donated and too small for the SCANN boys and decided that the girls clothes would be very well received there. We had a lovely time as all but one of the children were at school so we chatted with Mama Sweetie and made a fuss of the boy who was under the weather. We had passed the local school on the way up to the house and after we arrived a group of the girls had appeared to greet us ( it was apparent that the only person to get 'white' visitors was Mama Sweetie so they knew where to head for) The came in greeted us and sang a welcome song then left. Later the smaller children came back at lunchtime and that was when the fun started, we had games and singing, Anna and Nicole had come with some glove puppets and bubbles which the children loved. We then had a clothes fitting session......... fun all round. We were shown the progress on the orphanage (still slow going but getting there), Mama Sweetie has now an additional 2 children supplied by the children officer so more children sleeping on mattresses on the floor until the building is complete.
We were joined at the house by a visitor who I think Mama Sweetie invited for my benefit, Daniel came to be introduced to me, Mama Sweetie is I think trying to 'matchmake' to help me stay in Kenya, she has decided I need a husband. We had a good laugh and exchanged stories but not telephone numbers!!!!!!! Daniel, who seemed happy with the visit left us women to our noisey conversations. When it was time to leave we bundled into the car, Mama Sweetie included, the tradition is to 'give you visitors a push' ie to escort them on their way. In this case it was to take us to Daniels workshop where she had the men making her double deckers (bunk beds) for the children in antiticpation of the completion of the orphanage. Part of Daniels business was also a small room with computers for internet, (probably about the size of 2 toilets together) he asked the girls for their memory cards so he could have some of the photos from the visit.
What I forgot to mention was that on the way from Mama Sweeties the car got stuck in a trench which only looked like a puddle from where I was sitting (in the drivers seat). It wasnt until we drove through the 'puddle' that it became apparent that it was in fact hiding a trench from where the heavy rains had eroded away the dirt road. The car was well and truly wedged in the rut with no grip from the tyres as it was suspended on the lips of the trench. Driving along the route we had caused a good deal of interest from the villagers and when we ground to a halt a crowd gathered, children were pleased to see us and were chattering, woman watched with babies slung on their hips and the men folk smiled and gathered to watch what would unfold into a comedy.
Anna and Nicole and Mama Sweetie got out of the car to relieve the weight and to observe me trying to spin the wheels to get free, in doing so I was only managing to spray anyone around with red mud. The men gathered in front of the car and tried to push the car backwards out of the rut, unfortuately they didnt tell me until a bit later not to use the reverse gear and engine to help, I managed to splatter quite a few of the helpers. After alot of grunting and conversation the men lifted the front just enough to be able to shove the car backwards so I could get the grip on the more solid ground and pull out. Applause all round and relief that the rains had held off that morning the girls climbed back into the car, mud splatters included.... at that point many hands appeared in the windows for 'payment' of a job well done. During the scramble we managed to make sure that the 3 men who helped remove the car got a little something for their deeds and I was told that Nicole had actually managed to get some photos to remind us of the little adventure!
Daniel was also happy to see the photos from the adventure and listened with amusement as the story unfolded, he saved those photos as well. I am sure these will appear at some time in the local press to show that the road needs work as more 'muzungus' would visit but they get stuck in the mud!! Many a laugh will be had at our expense I am sure.
I have managed to find Anna and Nicole a small orphanage where they go to help with the children, SCANN now has few boys there in the week as they are now at school, so the orphanage was a good place for them to go. I think they enjoy their time there and are able to walk from the house........ about 30 /45 mins.
Today is Sunday and we are lazing around, safe in the knowledge that the water tank is full, mains water is restored and at mega pressure, the sun is trying to shine we have all showered with hot showers and life is good, that is if you ignore the results of having mokimo for dinner last night......... a rather windy dish!!!!!
Love to you all,
Susannah, Anna and Nicole.