Monday, 1 August 2011


Yes its me again, hi there and welcome to the continuing journal of craziness.....

Sorry Tracie I was lazy and copied most of what I sent to you but there maybe more you will miss if you don't read all hehe!!!
well it has been a bit crazy here with two visitors and a surprise trip to Mombasa (which was amazing).  Since my visitors (Ailsa and Julian must point out that they were not together in case there is any confusion there) have left I have been busy pricing up materials and costings for the two jobs, the toilet block and the chicken house. 

Decided that as I had to spend time at the cyber cafe sending update emails to Ailsa in (Scotland) and Tracie (Salsa) for the building projects of toilets and chicken house at Mama Sweeties decided I would grace you all with my email too.

I have spent my time minus visitors (Ailsa and Julian) catching up on work that I needed to do..... pricing materials and costings for the above projects.   Took some doing, Ailsa and I had decided that we would use Henry to build the chicken house and Daniel a builder and neighbour to Mama Sweeties to do the toilet block. 

Toilet and washing Block

The toilet block is a bigger project and we have got a local builder who is a neighbour to Mama Sweetie and knows us all well to manage the building etc.  It has gone up very quickly and I have attached photos for you to share. At this point in the photos, the bulding of the 2 girls and 2 boys long drop toilets is done with roofing.  (A long drop toilet is built over a pit, dug 11ft length x 2ft wide x 20ft deep is as there is no mains water being used for the toilets, hence no flushing. A concrete slab stone is constructed over the pit with a hole in each cubical for toilet usage. The waste is absorbed into the ground at the bottom of the pit slowly over time, helped by the addition of the water from the washing).  The next stage is the two outer additions which are the areas for body washing for the children, this will not be showers, as there is a terrible lack of water with no mains to the property.  There will be guttering from the roof to harvest any rain water that may come her way, this together with any delivered water will be stored and used with basins in the washing rooms for washing down the children.  No baths here!!

Chicken House

The chicken house has been constructed by the amazing team of yours truly and Henry (my guard/odd job man).  As you know Henry has been with me for some time now looking after the house, the pets and the grounds. Although I no longer can afford to pay him, I feed him and he still lives in the guard house in exchange for working for free. We decided as he and his family have kept chickens in his rural home for years now he would be able to construct the chicken house for us.

We have used as much of the wood from the cow shed and on the property as was available to keep costs down so we can actually manage to buy some chicks too.  Mama Sweetie does already have some older hens and a couple of cockerels which roam the property but they lose many of the eggs as they lay them anywhere and are hard to find. Many are also lost to local dogs on the scavange. At least now they will all be contained in one place and order resumed.  

The chicken house design was to take in the end of the 'cow shed' (most things are in disrepair) but we decided that we should have to use the timber from the side of the cow shed to help construction.  The chicken house will consist of three levels, the bottom level is for new chicks and will not be accessible by the older hens and the chicks will also not be able to mix outside with the older hens either until they are of suitable size.

The next level which is accessible from the outside chicken run, when the access door is opened will be for sleeping at night.  The top level will be accessible to the outer chicken run by the door on the level below and this level will be for hens sitting on eggs.

We have already had a great deal of interest shown in this construction by the hens who have already started fighting over where they are taking up occupancy.  I think it will cause problems amongst the ranks of the chicken community at Mama Sweeties.   We hope to finish this week and will send more photos

In between this I have been visiting SCANN to rest my poor arms, I wish....actually I have been doing more of the painting on the classroom walls, I have now completed the alphabet but didn't have my camera to hand - will have to take photo next time, I am impressed anyway.  I also managed to do the clinic a week ago and a good job too as two of the boys had had to see the doctor during the week with very bad bronchitis which needed injections of antibiotics to clear the infection. I am pleased to say that after more meds they are well on their way to recovery. On the Sunday, I spent most of the day working round the garden, the maize is so tall I struggle to get through it. (See picture attached) I made a path using huge stones and digging a route to the seed bed, I was tired of walking like a mountain goat on the stones and ripping apart my toes.  I decided that as there were potatoes planted in with the maize I would try and find some for lunch, this was not an easy matter.  The actual plants had died away leaving little or no trace of where the potatoes were.  I prodded and scratched away with my fingers and actually found a wash basin full, that was only a tiny part of the area planted. Wooo hooo, had an amazing vegetable stew for dinner. Henry was away at a church meeting in Nyaharuru (probably spelt wrong) that night it rained so heavily that he was unable to make it back.  I find it amazing that the north of Kenya is desperately suffering with drought when we have so much rain here in Nakuru, even Mama Sweetie is in the dry belt, we have too much, not that I am complaining. Am also sending a pic I took last week to prove we have rain and floods!

I have also been going to Wednesday night salsa and last week even got talked into attending a Hat and Boot party afterwards at Guava.  I went a little tongue in cheek as decided to promote the safe sex theme and convert a sun hat into a 'safety hat', attached to it were many packets of condoms like an aussie hat and it read safety hat at the back and front. I also wore red wellies kindly left to me by Ailsa, so safety hat and safety boots went down a storm.  Needless to say that the condoms were all removed from my hat by the end of the evening when I left at 2.30am.

I had forgotten that I had arranged to head to Mama Sweeties with Henry at 7am!!! That was very hot long, long, long, long day!  On Saturday, 30th headed back to Mama Sweeties to do more work, Henry is a slave driver, no time for snoozing on the job. It was such a cold day that I even kept on my zippy, it helped us to get lots done though. 

I missed the after Safari Rally party that was held also as Ben's birthday party, it was invite only and I seemed to have missed the invite giving.......... issues with that one so less said the better, my friends didn't miss me until the Sunday when I asked how the party was!!!!! Nice to be loved!

Anyway Sunday Henry decided not to go to church (unheard of) instead he did his washing and cleaning, even caught him washing my flip flops that I had used for wandering round the garden when it rains! I decided that as he had worked so hard we would have lunch out at Garden Villa, we arrived at about 2.30pm and I think the food arrived about 5pm...... not bad service just Kenyan Time I guess.  By this time Henry had had to leave so I ate my portion of roast potatoes, shredded cabbage, and Tilapia fish. I had invited along my friend Tim for a beer as he was off sorts and had expected to have eaten by the time he arrived. I let him nibble on my roast potatoes and have the bits of fish I couldn't bear to pick (he had already eaten so was not bothered - I was not being mean).  The heavens opened and we had to wait until the rains cleared then headed home at about 7pm by Taxi.  Tim was dropped off after me on the taxis way back to town.

I had only just managed to get into the house when my stomach started churning and I spent the rest of the night vomiting.  I am not sure if this was from something I picked up from the playing with the children at Mama Sweeties or what but it wasn't nice having my lunch twice.

I got up this morning at 7.30 dehydrated, managed breakfast of loyal weetabix, avoided the coffee.  I did my washing then went back to bed till lunch time. Decided I needed to chat to you guys and update on the building projects for Ailsa and Tracie, so here I am, I have managed to pay my post box fee for the year, picked up a post card of London from my Niece. Moaned loudly at Chas the card guy who let us down, but then gave me the balance of cards I ordered from him back in April when I arrived and offered as consolation another 5 cards as freebies.  I also went to the butcher and bought some nice lean minced beef, chicken breast and stewing steak.  My fridge was bare only had some tomatoes and milk, not enough for a meal really, not that I am hungry at the moment.

Anyway this is probably a bit bitty, but wanted to try and back track, hope you are all well and life is treating you as you deserve to be treated.

My love to my family, you know who you are, you can't deny it, sorry. Hope Julian is settling back into the UK swing of things with many stories for you salsa people.

My house is so quiet and big with no visitors, good thing really, as I am too tired to look after them.

Bye for now,

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