Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Sorry it has been so long, so much to catch up on………..

I have not been abducted by aliens……. So much has happened since I last wrote to you that I had to re read my email to check how long ago that was.  Whilst Kimberley was here I have delayed starting at SCANN as I know when I get there there will be lots to do.

Having Nick and his family vacate the house was bliss, everything changed, Kimberley and I spent a couple of days making the place more of our home.  I got a phone call from Edwina saying they were coming to visit, that is Edwina (who used to stay with me from the UK) along with Moses and Francis the two acrobats.  Now that the house was straight we felt we were ready to have visitors however not until Sunday as we had two late nights planned as we were off to Guava for a leaving do for one of the volunteers we had met in town on Friday night and then we were off to Naivasha for a ‘rave‘ on the Saturday night. We arranged that they would come on Sunday afternoon following us catching up on sleep.

The leaving party was a mad mad night of lots of drinks (supplied by various Guava friends) followed by lots of laughs and dancing. We got in in at some crazy time of the morning and slept, well actually Kimberley slept for some reason I got up and got busy around the house, we had breakfast and went back to bed, Kim joined us for a sleep taking up the whole bed.  

We ate dinner and prepared ourselves for another evening out, patiently awaiting the arrival of the person who agreed to pick us up and drive us to Naivasha the key factor to us buying tickets. 2 hours and many calls later we found out he was already in Naivasha and had been dropping off crates of beers for the event, on the way back his car had broken down……mummmm!  Kimberley and I got a local taxi to pick us up and drive like the devil to meet the people at Guava who were getting minibus transport to the event.  We sat for over an hour with people who were all friends from New Zealand and they talked loudly and lots.

By the time we got the the venue it was about 11pm and we were expecting it to be well on its way, not so, the two minibuses with volunteers were the first arrivals.  The stage was very impressive with huge spinning lazer lights like a fair ground ride, this was really not good for Kimberley who had to sit with her back to the stage to avoid the lights.

Very cold and not too happy we took the minibus home to Nakuru, the others on the bus were staying camping overnight.  I paid a little extra and got the driver to drop us home, not a good night at all. We know for next time.

Greeting Edwina and the boys at the house was lovely, they have been good company, they have helped with shopping for food, Edwina cooks, the boys wash and clear up, we are eating so well it has been great.  We even managed to fix the bush oven and cook pizzas although ended up with them being ready in the dark and we burnt the base.

Kimberley and I went off to visit Mama Sweetie and her extended family.  Kimberley had never met them as last time Kimberley was here and we planned a visit Kimberley was under the weather.

Mama Sweetie greeted us like long lost family, huge hugs when she greeted us from the matatu from Nakuru. She lead us to a small duka (shop stall) which she has started with her sister to help generate some funds. We had a soda each in the duka and chatted then Mama Sweetie disappeared to find us two piki piki’s (motorbike taxis) Kimberley climbed on behind the driver with Mama Sweetie squeezed on the back and I had one to myself with the driver!  We headed off to the house where we were greeted by giggling and laughing Sweetie children.

We had a great visit with lots of singing and dancing from the children (who all love to perform), I am so pleased they don’t ask us to get up and do the same I would really struggle.  Lami who suffers from epilepsy was in a bad way as a few days before we arrived he had had a fit and fallen hitting the back of his head and badly grazing his face.  His head and face were badly scabbed and he was vacant and unaware of his surroundings on the meds he was on phenobarbitone  not be best by far but all that is available here.  He spends most of his time stoned.  The other children always look out for him and try to make sure his is safe.

Our first visit was a short one but we were introduced to ’Jasper’ our TLC goat. The children proudly brought him into the house on a rope lead and he stood and looked at us like he owned the place.  I got up to greet him and then we went outside when there the children got so excited that we played with Jasper, I found that the rope that was tied to Jasper was so long that I was able to use it to let the children play skipping, they thought it was fabulous, they laughed so much, Jasper just stood and patiently watched them play.  Jasper then came for a reward of me stroking him, unfortunately he rather liked me smoothing his long ears and got a bit frisky, he is really tall on two legs!!

Kimberley and I said our goodbyes and were walked back to the road by Mama Sweetie, the children madly waving their goodbyes. We had been passed on the way to Mama Sweeties by a guy on a piki piki who was playing a loud radio, I started dancing around, telling Mama Sweetie I was dancing for the rain, she said it had been so dry they were praying for the rain.  Whilst walking back to the matatu it started raining and we laughed and took shelter in a duka until the rain stopped, we caused a stir with the neighbouring dukas.

It was a tiring day but also an emotional one for Kimberley as Lami seemed to take to her and she struggled to communicate with him, although anyone would have struggled as he could hardly talk in his doped state. 

I decided that although I had been given lots of donations for Mama Sweetie I would go empty handed this time as it is bad to start taking things every time as it becomes expected.  I was so pleased that the children were as happy to see us empty handed as they were when we arrive with bags of things.

A week later we went back before Kimberley left Nakuru, we again met Mama Sweetie at the duka and decided to walk to the house,  enjoying the sunshine.  The children were waiting for us to arrive and were so happy and excited they took up their places and began their rendition of singing and dancing but with great gusto this time, the older girls leading the way.  Each child took a turn at choosing a song to dance to it was great, even Lami was up to clapping and mouthing the words to some of the songs.

We had a great time, I had come to visit with the laminated A4 pictures of the children that I had used at the salsa fund raiser, I thought they could be used to decorate the room adjoining their sleeping area. Mama Sweetie and the children thought this was a great idea, we all ran across to the room and proceeded to attach double sided tape to the pictures and attached them so high on the walls only the tallest daughter could reach them to put them up, hopefully they will stay there for a while. 

The children had a lovely time looking at their photos and comparing them, some of the more recent additions to the Sweetie Clan were not included on the photos so there then followed a quick photo session of which everyone tried to join in on. It was crazy fun, so much laughing and merriment.  While we were in the orphanage building it started to rain, actually it poured, we ran to the house during a lull where we continued with stories and laughing.  The rain got heavier and heavier and the leaks in the ceiling became more and more, we were busy avoiding the streams of water by moving the chairs around.  We ended up all squashed on a sofa and a couple of chairs, the children all piled on top tickling and laughing.  

We had come with a bag of oranges that were cut into segments and shared around, I was given a piece and was so disappointed at how desperately sour they were but the children seemed not to notice, sucking on a lemon took on a new meaning when it is an orange.

Kimberley kept looking at me and at the rain pouring and flooding both outside and in with concern on her face.  There was no way a piki could come through the torrential rain to collect us so we were stranded until it let up.  By about 4 we were getting worried as it was heading towards twilight.  At the first sign of a lull in the heavy rain we  made a dash for it, we took off our shoes and rolled up our long short legs and waded through the rivers of water followed by a giggling group of neighbouring children.  We slipped our way along being stared at by anyone passing, how could we walk with no shoes!! We must have been the talk of Kampi.  When we eventually got to a slightly higher area we put on our shoes and Kimberley’s started rubbing. She walked without, this drew crowds of children pointing and laughing, we stopped at the nearest duka and bought a pair of flipflops (locally called slippers) they only had a size 7 Kimberley is a size 4.5.

We managed to get on a matatu before the heavens opened again, I was seated with a lovely cockerel between my feet.  He got progressively friendlier to me on the journey, rubbing his beak on my chins, he at one point decided to flap his wings and cause rather a stir as his feathers were flying.

Kimberley and I slept well that night, we were rather damp, dirty footed and had spent a lovely afternoon with the children.

I will end now as there is so much more to tell but I don’t want to bore you.

Love to all,


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