Thursday, 28 April 2011

Continuing Catchup

Edwina and Moses decided to stay on a bit longer to spend time with the boys at SCANN and Moses twin brother Francis went back to Nairobi (he missed his girlfriend).

Kimberley and I have only had a quick visit to SCANN as it was in the morning and most of the boys were at morning holiday tuition held at their respective schools (I had forgotten this) there were very few around other than the smallest boys who were sat in a class with a teacher so we didn’t want to disturb them.  We said hi to the various staff members who were around and I told them I would be in after Easter.

Kimberley and I decided that we would head to Fisherman’s Camp in Naivasha on the Thursday before she left on the Sunday, we would stay Thursday night and Friday, leave Saturday morning and head to Nairobi where we would stay at my friends apartment ready to go to the airport early Sunday morning.

We left Moses and Edwina staying in the house, providing for themselves and Henry providing for the animals.  We took the local matatu to Naivasha which was fine until the last seat which was next to me was taken by a lady with a small baby, and two children, one of which looked rather unwell.  The older children stood in the footwell between the mother and I.  I took the sickly girl and put her on my lap leaving more room for the brother to stand and to make her feel more comfortable as she looked fit to drop (she was about 5year old). I asked the Mum if she was suffering from Malaria as she was burning up. She nodded, what a handfull the mother had to travel with.  The girl slept fitfully on my lap, soaking me through with her sweat, occasionally waking sipping water and then sleeping again. The mother decided at some time to squeeze the boy onto the seat between herself and I, by now I am feeling a little put out considering I am squeezed sharing a little of Kimberley’s seat whilst having her child on my lap.
When we arrived at Naivasha town, I helped the girl off the matatu and the mother turned to me and thanked me, she was also looking feverish and I thought maybe she was also suffering from malaria.  It turned out that we were heading in the same direction and caught the same matatu ending up in the same seat formation as before. We headed out of the town centre and the matatu stopped, people started getting off, Kimberley and I and also the woman had no idea what was going on until a man behind us said we were changing matatus to another one in front.  So off we got changed to the other matatu and headed off….. By this time we were tired, dirty and sweating badly! In the new seating arrangement I ended up with the conductor sharing my seat, which meant only half of my bottom was actually on the seat, not comfortable at all.

The lady and the children got off before us which meant that I got my seat back….. That is until a rather large suited gentleman was picked up and took his seat and part of mine……. It turned out the he was the chief of the area, he chatted to me about Naivasha and what we were up to, it killed time.

We were dropped near at the road to Fisherman’s camp, bearing in mind I had a rucksack with my clothes in for 5 days, we had Kimberley’s rucksack and her suitcase to fly home with, we were not travelling light! Normally I stay at lakeside camp which is down the driveway, but this time it was full and we were staying at Top Camp, I had not been there before so we headed down the drive to Fisherman’s a good 10min walk with Kimberley’s suitcase on my back, she had her rucksack on the front and mine on her back! We must have look like total loonies. Just before we arrived at the lake camp we met someone going in the other direction with a bike. I asked him if we needed to register here for Top Camp, he said no we needed to go straight to top camp and he would show us the path to get there.  

With all the weight we were carrying the only bag he offered to take from us was a carrier bag containing the empty yellow canvas bag which I use to bring over donations. Probably the lightest thing we were carrying!! In the rush to get our bags off the matatu, we had missed the fact that we were actually dropped at the sign pointing to Top Camp! We were shown what I can only consider to be a goat trail up a rather steep hill as being the path to Top Camp, we thought he was joking, but no. We stood laughing and with some pushing and shoving from Kimberley from behind we started our ascent alone, the man made his way on his bike along the road.  With lots of puffing, moaning, cursing and rest breaks, we made our way up the steep climb. We wandered into someone’s property who lead us to the camp. By this time I was almost crying with the effort of carrying the bag on my back.

We were shown to our banda, wooden chalet where we quickly freshened up with wet wipes, added a bit of makeup and got ready to go back down the hill to the bar as it was already twilight. We found a askari (guard) not far from the banda and asked him the best route, I had torch in hand and he lead us down by this time the light switch had been flicked and it was now dark.  Trying to descend the goat trail in the dark was scary even though we were lead by the askari (without torch he obviously had good eyes) I lead Kimberley with the torchlight shining at our feet.  The journey seemed endless in the dark and all our muscles ached from the tension by the time we appeared at the road. We thanked the askari (took his number for the possible need for a guide for the return trip) and headed down to the club house for dinner.

Unfortunately, our favourite spot in front of the huge fireplace was taken by some german or finnish girls who looked to be settled for the night.  We settled for a sofa placed well under some lights so we could indulge ourselves with reading our books.  Sean, the owner of Fisherman’s came to chat, we had met him at the Guava Bash at Naivasha the previous weekend. He kindly bought us drinks and continued on his busy job of making sure everyone was happy.  Later in the evening we made light of the fact that we didn’t realise we had to be mountain goats to stay at Top Camp, apparently most of the people who stay there come with vehicles, he could have told me! He also said if I had called him he would have picked us up and driven us to the banda!!! AHHHHH!!!  Well, we had a good work out to get rid of all the excess weight from the Guava pancakes.  Sean offered to give us a lift back to the banda later and we eagerly agreed. We went back to eating our chips and veg samosas too tired for a full dinner and reading our books.

At about 11.30 or it may have been midnight the bar was clearing (there was a big music event being held on the Saturday and I think that was why people were sleeping early), Sean said he would be right with us to give us a lift and then he disappeared into the store room behind the bar.  When he reappeared he was carrying paint cans, rollers and brushes, I asked what was going on. He told us that after he dropped us off he was coming back to paint the bar.  

Needing no encouragement whatsoever we leapt at the challenge and offered to assist. In total there were 5 of us, Kimberley, myself, Sean and two helpers, we threw ourselves into the task which was helped along with numerous glasses of alcohol to make the job easier, if not such a good finish!

We stopped at about 4.30 exhausted but pleased with the job, the bar had been pink for 7 years and was now jungle green to fit into the leafy environment in which it sat.  Covered in paint and rather worse for wear Sean drove us to our banda where we fell into bed as we were.  We had been troubled by a couple of mosis but managed to get through the night.

At 7am we were awoken by very loud conversations from the next banda which was being renovated then followed by more loud conversation and the sound of large rocks being chipped away into brick blocks.  I was so tired that I got up and went out and shouted that we were still sleeping……. It went a little quieter but the chipping of the blocks continued.  We dozed for a couple more hours fitfully with the outside noise. We got up, tried to get rid of some of the paint we were sporting on us looked outside, the view was spectacular, we looked straight out over Lake Naivasha and as we were so high up all the surrounding area too, it was worth the hike.  I checked with Sean that although breakfast finished at 11 that we would be able to get something to eat, he arranged with the bar that we could.

We strolled down the goat trail with what we felt we would need for the rest of the day as it was too far to pop back for provisions.  We sat watching the black and white monkeys jumping through the trees above us as we waited for our breakfast in exhausted silence (and a little hungover to tell the truth).  We ordered a backed lunch and decided to go back to the banda for a catchup nap. So that we would be able to come back down early evening and enjoy the free steak dinner that Sean had promised us for the work we had done.

That evening we came down early before the switch turned out the daylight, we picked our way through the rocks and managed to avoid the prickly acacia saplings that lined the route. Yet again our seat by the fire was taken, this time by two mature English photographers who were discussing their shots of the day.  We sat to one side at a table, ordered our well deserved filet medallions is a yummy creamy sauce with rice, it was delicious and even more so that we were not paying for it.  We would have had pudding but there was just no room for it.  We then waited patiently for the gentleman to vacate their places by the fire, even asking for first refusal when they moved on.  They were settled for the night.  We went and sat back on the previous nights sofa reading and I was getting madly fed on by the mosis, eventually we had to ask for a coil to be burnt at our feel to try and discourage their unwanted attention.  

Sean came over and chatted about the colour of the bar, I liked it but Kimberley thought it was a bit much. I mentioned the mosis and the lack of nets in our room, he said he would see if there were any at top camp and get it sorted (needless to say they had none available).  We had an early night that night as we knew that the following day we would be leaving and it would be an effort as we so love Fisherman’s, the bar was also rather full as the camp during the day had filled out ready for Saturday nights music event.  We prefer it mid week when it is quiet and peaceful. 

After Sean again giving us a lift to the banda we settled for a good nights sleep or so we thought.  Having mentioned the early start of the workers Sean had requested that they start late Saturday morning and were more aware of the visitors so we felt we would not have such an early rude awakening………

The banda proved to have added its number of mosis, without a net we were troubled all night by the buzzing of our little unwanted guests, this required us to hide under the rather thick duvets that we had on the beds.  Now we were either left to the mercy of the biting of the mosis or suffocated with the heat of hiding under the duvet.  To top this during the night we were awoken by heavy hoof sounds outside the bands and very noisey munching noises, apparently the locals had brought their cows over during the night to graze on the grass to keep it short!!!!!! More problems with the mosis then just as we thought we would sleep the men arrived and instead of starting work, sat noisily talking.  We got no sleep!

When we got up and started packing ready to leave I noticed from the open window (opened the panel in the wooden wall) to find that some tents had appeared over night a short distance away, there were three people standing chatting quietly, one of them I recognised as a project owner from Nakuru, I went over to greet them and he came over for a chat and too see what the banda looked like.  It turned out that he was so angry with the noisey chatting of the work men that he had gone over and told them to BE QUIET, so that was how we managed to nap for a short while! He and his friends were staying for the music event that evening.

Sean had promised he would come and pick us up to save lugging the suitcase on my back down the goat trail.  We waited and I sent him a message, some time later his wife called to say he had been doing more painting and went to bed after 4 again, so she would come and pick us up.

We were dropped at the road between the two camps to catch the matatu into Naivasha. We waited with a guy from Mexico who was working in Nairobi as a tutor for a family, he was touring round for the weekend and had been waiting some time for a matatu.  A car appeared up the drive from lake camp and stopped to see if we wanted a lift to town, we were so happy as this was travelling in comfort (even if it was for a short ride) we all climbed in and he dropped us right at the matatu stage for Nairobi. 

The Nairobi leg was a long one as the matatu stopped and picked and dropped along the way, cramming as many people in as was possible.  We got off at Westlands where we found somewhere to sit and have something to eat whilst waiting for my friend to pick us up and take us to the apartment where we were staying for the night.  We showered and napped then went out to a place called Diamond Plaza which is a favourite of mine for an amazing atmosphere and a good selection of food stalls.  We had a good evening then back for an early night as my taxi friend Jenga was picking us up at 5.30 to get Kimberley to the airport.

Well, think that will keep you all going for a while.    

Love to you all,


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,


Friday, 15 April 2011

Home Sweet Home

Hi Everyone,

Well on a happier note than my last email, my ‘house sitters’ have finally left. We came home on Wednesday evening to find a truck in my driveway and a hurried loading was going on.  

Sheila, Nick’s wife was very chatty and hugged me as she left, I had a quick word to say that I felt that Nick was not happy with me for asking them to leave, she said that he was a man and would take a few days to get over it.  

I sent a text message to them on the Thursday to make sure they settled in their rented home OK. Sheila told me all was well.

On Wednesday night Kimberley and I slept well and were not disturbed in the morning of Thursday.  All day Thursday was spent cleaning and washing the house and arranging my things to make it more like my home.  We had a mammoth pancake making event for lunch as a quick and easy meal, Henry joined in after he had been to the local duka (corner shop stall) for some lemons.

We had a huge thunderstorm during the day and torrential rain which I managed to collect in buckets beneath the corners of the roof for the plants when it is dry.  It is the first rain we have had since we arrived two weeks ago.  The smell of the fresh rain on the dusty earth was amazing, I just sat on the step of the porch and inhaled.

Last night for dinner between the two of us we managed a combination of a vegetable stir-fry and paella it was surprisingly good, followed by baked bananas and chocolate.  A treat after a day of heavy and exhausting work.

Kim (the dog) got out again yesterday and was gone for some hours, we keep closing up the gaps she makes in the hedging but as soon as we close the holes she makes another one.  It was late by the time I heard her moaning outside, it appeared that whilst she managed to escape yesterday she could not get her way back in, Henry and I tried for ages, using his mobile phone as a torch, to coax her through a hole but to no avail and she was getting more and more distressed.  In the end we had to get a hammer out to detach some of the chicken wire to let her back in.  Needless to say we will have to close it again this morning!

The dogs, according to the taxi driver from a few days ago, all go crazy just before the rains, it is considered the mating season for dogs, they howl a lot and go wandering.  The howling I can handle (within reason), but not the wandering - each time she goes out there is so much risk of her eating poisoned meat that is left to kill off strays and rats, also getting bitten risks rabies (although the vet said that where I am there is little risk), I cannot have her having another batch of puppies (9 last time was enough of an experience I do not wish to repeat) and the other problem is she is a fit and healthy dog that is a loving and friendly one and well desired for a pet.  Paka the cat on the other hand doesn’t stray far from the fridge.  I always thought that the light coming on signified the opening of the fridge door, in fact the cat is there before the light goes on……… always wanting milk, it is a real pain as I have so often closed Paka’s head in the door forgetting she is around,  this does not deter her. Last night a dead weight landed on me in bed and I awoke to find Paka snuggled up keeping me warm, the rains have dropped the temperature by a few degrees, will have to get the blankets out!

Today we are treating ourselves to only light housework, sorting the donated children’s clothes for giving out, some will go to SCANN, Mama Sweetie and also the smaller items to a local Baby Orphanage, at the moment they are all on the bed in the now, spare bedroom. We have a list of things that need to be bought for the house….. A mop is one important thing as I washed all the floors yesterday with just a rag, no wonder my back was breaking!!

Needless to say Kimberley and I have not got to Naivasha yet, hopefully we will manage a few days next week, we are too happy enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the house.

Looking out the window this morning the sun is shining and everything looks so green after the rain.  Beautiful.

Love and best wishes to you all.

(Kimberley is still sleeping after the busy day yesterday)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Not Everything is Smooth Sailing...

Dear All
I expect you are hoping that my email will be filled with lots of interesting stories, unfortunately not at the moment.

Kimberley and I are struggling with the fact that Nick and his family have not yet moved out of the house, even though I am getting increasingly more encouraging and irritated.

My dear friend Nick has two young boys who wake at 6am and do not know what being quiet means. Nick and his wife seem to be able to sleep through this and the house-girl that they have ignores them.  Now as many of you know Kimberley on her meds struggles with mornings anyway, this is just adding to the tension.  

Living arrangements are at present Nick and his wife have one bedroom, their boys another and Kimberley and I share (together with all my household possessions that were stored in my room whilst I was away) add to that the 6 bags we came with and to put it mildly it is a bit of a squash.  Kimberley and I are basically lodgers in the house, feeling very intrusive when we are around so we try and spend a lot of time out.  The household are very keen listeners of Gospel music and have it playing along with the TV being on too, singing along loudly is not uncommon.

Our ‘haven’ is the pool side at Hotel Merica, we can sleep on the lounger’s when there is a bit of quiet but have to put the alarm on the phone to wake us to move because of the sun.  Meal time is interesting they are eating late about 8.30 or 9 waiting for Sheila to come home from work. Kimberley and I grab food in town to make sure we like what we are getting, kitchen arrangements are impossible as the house girl prepares food that is around so we have stopped buying.

Nick packed all his things up to move out at the weekend so Kimberley and I went shopping yesterday and started sorting out the kitchen things ready to use (unpacking boxes from our room) in preparation.  We ended up cooking outside as the house girl started preparing their evening meal, which was not a good sign that they were leaving.  Kimberley and I enjoyed a nice meal of sausages, onions, rice and fried tomatoes, (for speed I got Henry to light the Jiko (BBQ stove).  Sheila and Nick came back and were upset that we were eating outside, I explained it was a BBQ and we didn’t want to get in the way.  He told me that the house they had gone for had fallen through. I nearly cried.

After a little bit of discussion I have given them until Friday to shift, Nick is not happy but neither is his wife or I as she is sitting her Criminology Exams this week and could really do without the hassle.

Kimberley and I are planning on a couple of days at Naivasha to have a bit of space, otherwise it will end in tears.

I would love to say everything is honkey dorey but I would be lying. I am finishing this now as the boys will be back from holiday tuition soon and the house will be in uproar, as the house girl who oversees them chooses that time to sleep!  Kimberley are heading into town.

On a lighter note.......I was busy this morning typing a summary of school results for the children at Mama Sweeties it was very interesting some of them had higher grades in English than they did their native tongue!!
Will keep you posted.  Hoping you are all well and having an easier time, keep smiling.  

Love to you all,

Susannah & Kimberley

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Back in Kenya

Hi Everyone,

Well as some of you will probably know Kimberley and I are back in Kenya.  I have returned with many bags thanks to my friends at :-

IKEA who donated items from their ‘children’s lost property.
Salsa friends who donated hundreds of toothbrushes.
My sister who gave me girls clothes.
……and the list goes on.

As a result I was grateful for Virgin Charities who allowed both Kimberley and I to bring an additional bag each which meant that the two of us were hauling 6 x 23 kilo bags. Thanks to my brother who leant me his vehicle and my friend Paul for driving us to my sister’s for Sunday lunch and then to the airport everything went smoothly until…….

the airport that is where the fun began, after meeting a lovely lady called: Natasha at the booking-in desk who chatted and upgraded us, we then went for a coffee, as time passed Kimberley looked up at the schedule board and said casually that our flight had been CANCELLED.

All I can say is that it was a good job Paul had stayed and had a coffee with us, apparently we could stay overnight at a local hotel and hang around waiting for the next evenings flight OR go to my sisters and spend a restful night and peaceful day. We chose my sisters, we were asked to collect our baggage and the lady was taken aback when we emphatically said ’no’, as there was no way we wanted to haul the six bags with us to bring them back again.

We managed a successful booking in on the Tuesday evening and were assured that our bags would in fact be joining us on the flight…… um I wasn’t so sure.  We arrived safely and were standing with two trolleys waiting for our bags which were not the first off the plane by a long shot, but we counted off the six just about remembering that they were all very loud flowery bags (cheapies from ShoeZone). Between us we hauled them on to the trolleys and were pleased to see Nick waiting for us with his friends ’large vehicle’.

We have been here a few days now, the weather is hot and dry. Nick and his family have ’not quite’ moved out yet so it makes living arrangements interesting, I feel like a lodger, we are eating in town a lot and spending time with volunteers in town.  

Yesterday we went by matatu (Nissan van) to Mama Sweeties, she greeted us with her usual exuberance and we sat with the children (I have lost count of how many she has).  Mama Sweetie asked the children to bring ’Jasper’ the goat in to see us as she said he was very friendly, actually a bit too friendly if you know what I mean, he can’t wait to be introduced to his ’wife’ who will be arriving shortly.  I must say Jasper looks more like a lama in real life than he does in the photos…… people in the neighbourhood come and visit just to see him as he is one of a kind, lets hope he produces well.

I hardly recognised the small children they have grown so much, Lami (the small boy who has epilepsy) had a recent fall during a fit and has a nasty graze on his face, he takes meds for this but they make him very slow and vacant.  After all their greetings the children arranged themselves ready to sing to us, it was lovely, even the small ones joined in.  We had lunch which was rice and githeri (bean and maize stew) we did try to refuse but as Mama Sweetie had cooked enough for all, we felt obliged to join them.

I will keep you posted on any further ‘stories’ as they happen, I have managed to delay visiting SCANN as Kimberley and I are settling in before I return to helping out there.  Unfortunately the word is out that I am back though as I was seen by one of the college boys in town…..

Love and best wishes to you all