Thursday, 19 May 2011

Evening all, 

As I have been typing this it has grown so dark that all I can see is the laptop screen, that's what I get for too much concentration!! Will have to stumble around the table to find the light switch!

Well I have been busy trying to replace all the doctors record cards for the boys at SCANN from home and to help I have actually drummed up help from Henry.  I am not sure if he has ever used a keyboard, but in order to make the job putting into alphabetical order all the cards in dorm headings I showed him how to type all the names as a list in excel.  It took him so long but it made him happy and he was impressed that with a click of a switch they became in order.

This job has spread over 3 days between trips to town etc, but finished it today, now I need to find a box big enough to hold the cards as they are big ones, using my bread box at the moment to stop them getting out of order.

I popped to SCANN on Tuesday to pick up the cards and drop off the costume templates for Saturday stitching managing to avoid contact again with Moses Kombo.  The smallest new arrival Peter, who I think is 3 or 4 was in such a bad way, he came down with the chicken pox but had additional virus his eyes were so puffy and runny and he had so many blisters in his mouth and a very high fever. I was pleased that Anastasia had made sure he went and was seen by a local doctor as he needed meds in addition to the usual panadol and piriton the other boys were receiving for reduction of the itchies.  I sent him to his bed and covered him with a cotton sheet as he looked as though he was about to fall off his feet, he slept soundly and I was told awoke eager to get up and ‘play’ with the other boys, at his age we couldn’t really stop him.

I have been doing medical cards ever since, they were out of order, many scribbled and messy. New cards now should make my job easier on Saturdays.

I have had a couple of beers with Tim who is a tour guide who was trying to get Kimberley and I to visit Masai Mara but told him not somewhere we would want to go as it was a long and tiring trip.  He knows that I need work and money and has, as he did a year ago, offered for me to learn his tour guide business so that I can help him promote and go on safaris and get a cut of the business.  Do you realise how much info I have to learn about the safari areas, the land, the animals, migration, sustainable tourism, etc etc etc……… he sent me loads of info on his business and the trips to ‘learn’.  Not sure I will be able to manage but thought it worth a try.  I think he thinks that by having a mzungu promoting and on the trips will reassure the punters.  Who knows keeping my options open on that one.

Well, yesterday was fun, I promised the old lady who’s shack is behind my place that I would pass by and say hi.  She lives in the small wooden enclosure beside a huge monstrosity of a house on the other side of the road that I pass every time I walk from home to get a matatu.
 She invited me in to see the place the other day, her shamba is so full of everything, including strawberries it is amazing, she told me to go back and visit so she would give me some strawberry plants, as an exchange I gave her some of my tomato plants that were growing, fair trade I thought.

In the small space that she lives in she has a wooden room which is the kitchen and one room half the size of my family bathroom in which she lives. She sleeps on an old sofa and she is 70 if she is a day.  She has some hutches in which she raises rabbits for market, together with chickens, a goat and a calf.  Makes my efforts pale into insignificance. I have no idea how she manages when it rains! 

After the visit I went into town with Henry determined to buy enough chain wire fencing to stop Kim from getting out through the hedge, I am sick of it and also there is now a pack of dogs who are coming into my compound (garden)  at night….I am so angry!  My camera’s battery died so had to be replaced, NOT CHEAP at all, also got some white cabbage seeds for planting and Henry some gunboots his had huge holes!!  
I got Henry to get a tuktuk home and I stayed in town to get ready for the possibility of salsa....... yes I said SALSA in the evening.

I had run out of water at the house, no idea how that happened, think maybe Henry forgot to turn of the valve after the tank was full and it slipped back to the people who supplied it originally and today there was so little pressure in the mains that there was no way even with the electrical pump that we would get any more.  With no other alternative other than wet wipes  (no good for washing hair),  I headed to town with a change of clothes and shower things in order for me to sneak into Hotel Merica for an illicit shower, it was a laugh.  I felt bad walking in with the sole purpose of using the shower. The pool guy was no where to be seen and I strode into the loos and piled into a shower realising I had forgotten to bring a towel with me.  It took forever for the water to get hot but when it was it was amazing, I showered and washed my hair then set to trying to dry myself with my T shirt and then wrapped said T shirt round my head like a turban to keep the water from dripping.  I walked out of the shower stall to be met by 3 nude Sudanese women who obviously were not happy to be unclothed with me there.  I left quickly although I had hoped to be able to apply some makeup as I was wearin none.  When I walked round the pool, I came nose to nose with the pool guy who gave me an enquiring look to say ‘have you been swimming’ I pursed my lips and shook my head and continued walking.  I think that the dripping wet hair may have been a give away as to what I had been doing but what the hell. I walked from there straight to Guava as I was not appropriately dressed for afternoon strolling, (leggings and the bright dress top I sometimes wear to salsa) I even draped a long black salsa cardi over my shoulders to hide my discomfort! I only had a 3 hour wait until salsa but not worth the hastle of going home and trying to get back in the evening. I sat and chatted with friends.

Salsa was interesting and I had arranged to meet Danielle (from Guava Cafe) who wanted to come and see what Salsa was all about.  She met me in the bar where I was sitting chatting to Tim, he got invited to come along to Salsa by Danielle (I was trying to avoid mentioning it to him) . Off we went and when we arrived there was no one around other than the bar staff at Enigma.  We asked if the salsa teacher was coming and she said she didn’t think so, Danielle told her that she should phone the teacher and let him know there was a mzungu who was waiting for him for salsa.  She went and phoned him and we were told that he would be half an hour (actually an hour but who is counting).

Slowly 3 Kenyan women arrived who looked like they were also waiting for the dancing.  When the guy arrived I found that it was a beginners class and the level of the teachers was not high but it was full of enthusiasm.  I joined in giving tips, one woman had high heeled slip-ons we were dancing on a very slippery tiled floor, not ideal and so so slippery, she had such problems trying to keep her shoes on I worried that she would break something!

I got lots of encouraging ah’s from the ‘teacher’ who looked about 18 years old. Our group increased by 6 when Ben (Danielles brother who runs Guava Bar) and his followers showed up, they sat around watching and drinking and no matter how much I encouraged Danielle she would not join in.  She and the other girls she knew well, decided they would go to the classes held at a new place run by the same guys who were running this Wednesday evening event but the classes are 200ks and no way was I paying to learn beginners level.  The girls just wanted to know a bit before they danced in a bar.  What was missing was NO MEN IN THE CLASS!!  The guys not only taught basic salsa, they did bachatta and cha cha too.  I think for a beginners class this was rather too much confusion.  After the classes I asked one of the two teachers to dance and it was a bachatta, but he was doing the cart wheeling arms and legs too, bit crazy, I told him that if he kept his arms moving I could not tell what was a lead and what was not…… um that went down well!

Anyway bothteachers individually came to talk to me, one of the teachers who did the chacha and bachatta was a Sudanese, he was extremely tall and did huge steps, I didn’t fancy dancing with him but he obviously ‘thought’ he was fab. 

Anyway I had a couple of dances with the short teacher and it was a bit difficult as the leads were so weak and they actually hold your hands instead of just palm to palm so makes moves difficult.  I think after a while I will get the hang of it, it is always difficult dancing with strangers and boy were these strangers.

They said we should ’hook up’ next week, probably means they like the fact that I will bring others, including more men to the bar on a Wednesday as other than us there were 4 others in the bar! Wait and see if the word gets about for next week.

I enquired about the fact that there were no other men for the woman to dance with (and me) how many were there at their other classes. I was told in total there were 4 men in Nakuru who could salsa and I had just met two of them!!!! Got to remedy that somehow, maybe if I start wearing revealling tops etc it will attract more.... kidding!  

There maybe a possibility of me helping them out but who knows what and how they teach here.  NO LADIES STYLING FOR A START and although I hate it, seeing these ladies dance with nothing to do with their arms it looked awful, maybe Susannah's Styling Tips will have to start not that I know many!!  I may also suggest that they concern themselves with one style of dance only until the basics are achieved because three dances for beginners is CRAZY.   I wont be getting any good dances in the foreseeable future!!!! Wait till I hit Nairobi - sometime or never will have to find their clubs as no salsa dance satisfaction as yet in Nakuru. Forever hopeful.

We will see what happens, so many fingers in so many pies!

Stayed home today as I was busy and determined to finish the doctors record cards so didn't to go to town.  Henry has been helping me again with the record cards and we have finished them which is a load off my mind.  Henry has then been outside tidying the garden, I gave him some money to go and get himself lunch as I have nothing in the house and had some weetabix. It is getting ready to rain now and as we speak the water tank is slowly topping up from the mains as they decided to send me a bit more pressure, even though the water meter is not going round (I am not going to tell)! To make matters even more amusing the water pressure has just been bumped up, I checked the water storage tank and it was filling quickly.  The Heavens suddenly opened at the same time as the overflow indicated that the tank was full, I got soaked to the skin turning off the valve at the tank to stop it filling, irony of complaining of having no water I now have it coming at me from all sides!

I hope those of you going to Tracies Anniversary Weekend for TLC will have a fabulous time, needless to say 'wish I was coming' and know it will be amazing, I want to see photos on Facebook soon.

I have a school teacher who wants to stay at the house for a few weeks but can't I pin her down to dates yet. I also have my friend Ailsa who wants to come during June and Paul who is planning on a visit, anyone who wants to visit please make sure you give me adequate notice of your planned dates so I can work around them and make sure there is room......... not a problem at the moment as I only have paka and Kim (cat and dog) to worry about!

I am meeting Mama Sweetie in town tomorrow as I have managed to get my friend Jeremiah (who runs a tourist gift shop) to sell the bags that the positive ladies of her village are making, she is coming in with more supplies as I only travelled from Kampi ya Moto with one. 
Hugs and wishes to you all

Susannah (Tour Guide and Nakuru Salsa Advisor to add to my many hats!) 

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