In the Deep End

Michael had casually mentioned yesterday about going to church today (Sunday), to which I had agreed and when Joseph arrived all posh this morning and said he was also going as he led the service. Michael told me he had mentioned to Joseph about me talking to the congregation, you could have knocked me down with a feather, I didn’t have my robes with me, but I didn’t have any fear about doing it though, what a blessing. When we arrived the service had already started and the sound of the singing gave me goose bumps, I was so glad I bought my recorder with me. The service continued and eventually Michael stood up and lead me up to the front. I suppose there was sixty or so people in the congregation, all looking at me as I was introduced  and my first words were ‘etta supa’ (greetings in Maasai) to which come the reply ‘oiyie’ (response).  As I spoke about God’s garden, giving to the land not taking, how we are the greatest of God’s creation and creators of our experiences, Michael interpreted, but seemed to embellish what I was saying in a way that engaged the audience and although I didn’t have a clue what he was saying, it did feel good though.  I think the only thing I was concerned about was how my eye looked, (bee sting) have to keep up my facade. The rest of the day was restful and I finished reading Desmond Tutu’s book “God isn’t a Christian,” a book about his speeches and writings over the years, most enlightening.

In the morning we planted all the trees we had bought in and around Nairobi and with the ladies help mulched many of the trees that had been planted without any.  Francis and Mica were back with their families in Nakuru for a while so I showed Jeffery and Peter how to prepare the soil, plant and mulch, Peter just loved doing it and it was hard to slow him down and go for a break. We actually managed to stop early today and have a dinner in the daylight, Michael prepared chapattis and I cooked them and also a stir fry and combined them into a pizza, bloody awesome end to the day.

We are on the road again today, I am heading for Narok and Justus’s village so Michael is taking me part way and collecting Francis and Mica as the impending rain will make traveling the dirt road impossible. We stopped for the night when we came to the end of the dirt road, in a small town on route and a typical hotel for Kenyan people. The room was like the jail I spent a few nights in when in the army, a small pokey room big enough for a single bed, a big heavy iron door that could be locked from the outside and bars at the window so no one could break in (or break out), very clean, but still felt like a cell. In fact there were ten rooms down each side of a court yard and as each inmate opened their door the rattle of keys and clanging of the door shut, yes a prison made of fear and I suppose who can blame them after the all the atrocities that have happened.

After an early start (for us) we reached Nakuru where I was to leave Michael and catch a Matatu for the three hour trip to Narok. Another journey on rough roads, heading across country with lush farm lands and where the only the highest slopes are left uncultivated. The green fields started to diminish as we got closer to Narok and the Maasai Mara.

I checked into the Seasons Hotel again, had a much needed shower and went for a dinner of Ugali, cabbage and curried vegetables. I am starting to be ok with Ugali; you just have to eat it with something that has flavour. After a two hour session on the internet I went to bed.

I met Rose the next morning in Narok; we were traveling to Bomet and to the teachers training college she was to attend, some two hours away. We walked into the stadium (dirt yard) and found a Matatu which was just leaving and we were shoved inside. The tables were turned this time, now I know how it feels to be the fourth person on a three seat row and had to endure sitting on the metal edges of the seats either side and being right at the back didn’t help the situation. The 14 seat Matatu had 19 people on board, (21 is the most I have been with) I suppose it is the difference between break even and profit.

For the first hour we just past, as far as the eye could see, thousands of acres of wheat turning a gold colour, nearly ready to harvest. Some of the villages we passed had combine harvesters (us Aussie’s call them headers) ready to go. They must export a lot of grain here because it’s difficult to know why so many people are hungry. The Matatu starts to climb (that slows them down) towards Bomet and now maize is the crop and is being harvested as around Maralal the maize is still green. In all the villages and towns we pass through you see huge sheets laid out on the ground all covered in maize seeds, drying in the sun and usually bare footed, men and women gently shuffling through it to turn and dry it evenly. The higher we climb the greener the landscape gets until we finally reach our destination, thank goodness for that, my bum had gone to sleep.  We get a taxi to the college and Rose proudly shows me round her new school and we finalise the paperwork, she is one happy young lady.

As we ride back into town to get a return Matatu I long for the two front seats to have comfortable journey and guess what, we get the two front seats next to the driver and in a nearly new vehicle, it’s good to know you are being looked after, ay! I am also glad I arranged with Frederick (a taxi driver) to wait for us in Narok about 4.00pm because that is when we arrived and most other transport to Ngoswani was finished for the day. I collected some supplies, then my luggage and we picked up Rose’s brother (he was on leave from Nairobi Uni, studying accountancy) and began the hour and a bit journey to Ngoswani and Justus’s village.

The school was still there, unchanged, the garden fence was down and the rubbish I had collected and left in the bin was spread out again. I later realised after seeing the children playing that was all they had to play with and it amused them for hours. I went to see and greet Justus’s mum and dad, and dear Florence who looks more pregnant this time as she is due around the 9th August. As I spoke about the impending birth to her she laughed and went all shy, I am sure Maasai men don’t speak about it much and later Justus confirmed my suspicion. She tells me Justus is on his way home from Nairobi as he has a few days of ‘bush walks’ to do for Wildebeest again and she was very excited about him coming. I make up my bed, have some food and crash out, another busy travelling day safely behind me.

Seven the next morning Justus’s face appears at the wire screen (no windows here mate) “Rafiki Yango” (my friend) “Habari” (how are you), it was good to see him and at his home. He asked how P&K and Michael were then we chatted for a while before he left to do a bush walk. I got up, had breakfast and another familiar face appeared, Joseph, he was home also for Wildebeest, this time cooking for guests on safari who were close by, so he was able to be home at night as well.

Moses told me John Willetts would be here on Tuesday and could I stay and meet him, he was the tour guy who helped fund the building of the school. I found out he had built a bush camp on Moses land nearby and leads tours from the UK for students and specialised groups and this is one of his stops, so I am looking forward to meeting him.

I feel a lot different in myself this time and go of wandering in the bush, with Justus’s words ringing in my ear, ‘be alert.’ I find the bush camp that John has built, several small open huts, a shower and a dunny, all mod cons here, there is also a seated area surrounding a fire which is kept alight all night when people are there. I sit for a long while, staring across the plains towards the dried up river, seeing all the cattle, sheep and goats trying to find something to eat without much success in this dry, barren wilderness.

I return to my hut and find Rose has cooked me some brown rice, so I quickly prepare a salad and enjoy a meal as the sun sets.

Today, Sunday, the community is having a gathering, they are going to form a school committee to oversee the completion of the one I am staying in and the building of another for the secondary school children, as JW is bringing more funds to advance the project he started. I have been asked to speak to the gathering and wonder what to say to them. They start to gather about ten and much to my surprise there are some women amongst them. About two hours into the meeting I am introduced by Justus and Joseph is to be my interpreter, that Justus is a real statesman, he is aware of the conflict between Moses and himself, so gets Moses brother to interpret.

It was easier at church last week than compared to this situation. I start with the decisions they are trying to make, to decide from the heart/soul and not because of the angriest voice. I fall back on what I said at church, about us creating what we really desire from our soul and not our head and if it is from a place of giving and not greed then all things are possible. When I was here last time Moses and I talked about fencing off the school compound to protect the school, the children and of course the land from the animals (cattle, sheep and goats) and humans. I spoke of this and offered the $500 that was needed for this purpose, after much gratitude and thanks to all who had donated the funds; they asked how big it should be. My reply was that when they elect the committee they can decide, but I did ask that they consider not using barbed wire.

 I asked them to look at the bigger picture of what could be achieved for the community and to ask from the soul. There is much that can be done here using Michael’s example, I had sowed a seed, but they have to desire it. They also asked me to speak to JW when he arrives, which I readily agreed to. Justus informed me the next day that JW has been delayed and might not get here until Thursday or Friday. I decided to leave in the morning and head for Mombasa and my intended beach holiday before leaving Kenya.

I was awake before first light and began getting ready to leave, my plan was to walk to Ngoswani, but although I was leaving stuff with Justus and his family to share, but I still had three bags and to much to carry. I said my goodbyes to everyone who was around, but my goodbye to Rose was quite teary for both of us, up until that time Rose had been composed, she thanked me again and set off to work. Florence had arranged a motor bike to take me the four/five kilometers to catch a bus into Narok. Another new experience, the bus was full when I arrived, but no matter how many people on board there always is room for one more person and on the journey that happened several times on the way to Narok.

In Narok I bumped into Fredrick (taxi driver) again who said he would only charge me 100kes to take me to where the Matatu’s leave for Nairobi which I was glad of. This one was only a 10 seater, my LOA is changing, heaps of leg room. I asked the driver if he would drop me as close as he could to where the buses leave for Mombasa so I could book a ticket for the night trip. When I arrived as usual a guy would appear and over to take you and your luggage to the bus departure place and before you can decide my luggage is disappearing down the road. My trips always seem to flow and a bus is due to leave in five minutes and so I decide to go now rather than wait ten hours. Of course the bus isn’t full yet and so we finally reach the outskirts of Nairobi at three, Mombasa here I come.

Denis

God is Good

Feeling at Home

Sorry, at the moment I can’t upload the photo’s for this blog, may be later.

It feels like home at Michael’s and although we are in a mud home with a tin roof, but the sound of the night life and the birds at dawn are what I am used to. Our daily routine has been a walk, breakfast then go a see what the ladies are doing and they are usually digging the ground, planting trees, fetching water or mulch. We have spoken about many things, but usually our conversation relates to God and His/Her garden and the wonders therein.

All the trees that have been planted are in need of lots more mulch and I began the task of barrowing loads to the trees just planted as they seemed to the ones in most need. I got lots of strange looks from the ladies initially, I think in disbelief of a man doing women’s work, although the men here do work hard and with a willing heart.

 As I reflect on what I see some two weeks later I can see the same patterns as in western cultures.  The men have their specific roles, shepherding, organising or working for an employer (ie. school teacher). The women look after the men and children, then go out to work in the fields and around here that is for Michael, to get a little money to buy food and put towards school fees. Michael and I have had many discussions about slavery through the ages and although Kenya is free and independent it feels women are still treated that way by the men and are noticeably subservient to them. In a recent telephone chat with Kerry, she mentioned that when women, who were watching a Jesus Q & A session, sat up and their eyes opened wide when he addressed the subject of women being equal to men.

I went through the procedure of creating a swale together with the benefits of planting in one to Francis. We planted an avocado tree each after preparing the soil for them and then heavily mulched them. The next day after breakfast I went to find Francis and he was showing the ladies of a new way of planting and they asked many questions which I answered through Francis. It is surprising how many trees this team can plant in a day, I think they must be running on Duracell batteries and they seem happy to be working for Michael’s project. It is so good to see them being taught that they can do the same things around their family home.

They work six days and attend church on Sunday and have joy in what they have now (which is very little, but heaps more than before) and how Michael is helping them move forward. Families are now able to begin to grow their own crops, Michael funds a tractor to plough an acre of ground which is then planted by the community and gradually each family will have food rather than trying to find the money to buy some which usually doesn’t happen.

There are orphans here too, but the community look after them within their families and support each other in that vein. Michael has had funds donated to erect a greenhouse and they grow tomatoes which when sold go towards school fees for the community and if any children are without the school fees after that everyone donates a few shillings to ensure they all have education.. He has also attracted funds to have bore water available for the community and what a difference that has made for everyone. John is the valve keeper and book keeper to distributing water, which the women and children do daily, either early morning or late afternoon.

The following day Michael, Francis, Mica and I dug a fertility pit to the depth of the sub soil and I showed them the process of layers. When we are next in Nairobi I shall buy something to house a worm farm, something this soil badly needs, life. They are all beginning to understand the relationship between the life in the soil and what goes on above, they are so eager to learn.

We are on the move again, going to Nairobi to see K&P to organise solar equipment so Michael can charge the computers etc, and then K&P will be able to leave it with him. This time we take the long route, not as interesting, but only 80 kilometres of dirt road. Along the way we stop to talk to a team who are resurfacing and grading the road and Michael arranges for a machine to dig a dam for him when they get closer to the village. These guys live on the job; they dig out huge amounts of soil, rocks, etc., for road base and create mini quarries near the road with them filling with water after the rains, a blessing in disguise for all.

About two hours into our journey we head into the bush for a few kilometres and Michael proudly shows me a bore water collection point powered by solar, which he had raised the funding for after a failed attempt the government had in creating a dam for the local people. The government had spent 10 million kes creating three in the area; one was washed away by the river, the one at the bore site just became a depression in the land and the third had been lined with plastic and was bone dry. Michael said he spent a lot of time trying to persuade officials, who were not engineers, that the bore option was more cost effective and for the money spent could have provided ten bores for ten communities, sad ay!

The next day we met P&K in Nairobi and spent a few days catching up and seeking solar stuff. We also managed to find the Permaculture HQ, it was between a canteen and training school of Wells Fargo, a security company and Hillary, a guy who is employed by them, but looks after the small garden gave us a guided tour. He actually had Comfrey growing and gladly gave me some roots along with a couple of banana suckers and some seeds, a really enthusiastic young man who described everything text book fashion, but loved what he was doing.

The next morning K&P set off for Kissi to meet Vincent and Issac, giving Justus a lift to Narok, he had a two day Safari walk to do for Wildebeest and was glad of the chance to see his family again. Michael and I stayed another nigh. Michael spent the next morning doing something, in the CBD, not sure what though and I looked at more solar stuff. Then we bought two plastic blue drums, one for water and the other they cut in half so we could use them as a worm farms. Loaded up we headed north back towards Samburu and stopped the night at Nanyaki again. In the morning over breakfast I noticed that I could see all of Mount Kenya, last time it was covered in cloud, what a bonus.

Where ever we go there always seems to be a mission that Michael is on and this time it is to get some welding done for the guy who ploughs his ground and on route I spy a saw mill and piles of sawdust and shavings outside for free. We went and bought some sacks and several men appeared from nowhere and wanted to fill them up for us, we left them to it while we sorted out the welding and when we got back six sacks were loaded on the roof rack, too much weight so we put two inside, we had our own top load just like the buses. Six sacks, six guys and 50kes (60 cents) each and big smiles and much gratitude. Good stuff for the fertility pits, ay!

A slower journey now with the extra weight and as we were traveling north and over the equator I reckon we must be going uphill as well. As usual we stopped on route for fruit and veg shopping at a local market, then for a late lunch before turning onto the dirt road some 300k’s from Nairobi. Only two hours to go and over mainly corrugation, we arrived back after dark and then went to bed, stuffed.

The next day after unloading I set about making the worm farm, gathering materials etc., the only thing missing was worms, but Michael said as they find them they will put them in there. Previously both Kerry and Michael have been stung by bees and as they both like and have honey we put it down to that, but today it was my turn. The worm farm was sighted near a shed that also had bees nesting in it and as I was busy with the worm farm I got mobbed, stung three times, left hand, left cheek and my right eye, Michael said they were trying to get to him, but I was in the way and closer.

I have never been allergic any stings or bits so I wasn’t fazed about them, but they did all swell up and my eye was closing. I don’t know what the hand one was, my cheek was anger with women, but what wasn’t I seeing on my father’s side.  That night I began to feel that Michael was reflecting a lot of my injuries and having them himself allowed the spirits with me to be content. Now I was aware and challenging that status quo, I got a headache and began to feel in turmoil and heavy, I tried to explain to Michael, but he was having none of it, he just wanted me to get better, so to speak.

Denis

God is Good

Short Cut

 

22nd June: We headed off for Mount Kenya this morning in two vehicles, K&P are going onto Nairobi afterwards and Michael and I are off to Nakuru to collect two electricians and the equipment they will need to wire up the guest house for solar. Michael knows a short cut, wow what a journey, across the hills and valleys of outback Kenya, washed out river beds and in many places not even having a road or track to follow, it might have been shortcut in kilometres, but time wise no and I don’t think many tourists would have done this journey, what a treat. A couple hours into the journey we stopped to talk to two women, one older lady with a baby, and a young lady, after a chat Michael said we need to give these ladies a lift as they have far to go. As they were climbing in a young Maasai warrior appeared and also persuaded Michael to give him a lift, we tried to disassemble his spear, but gave up and managed to get it into the car without injuring anyone.

Maybe an hour later we come to a village and the young warrior gets out and a few k’s more the ladies leave and that’s when Michael tells me that they have been walking for two days and still had fifteen kilometres more to go. They had stopped last night in a small village we passed though some time ago and they had started their journey in Maralal, about seventy k’s away, where we had also come from. They hadn’t started their journey together either, they meet on route, very lucky for the young girl Michael said. The older lady was going to see her family and the young one had been kicked out of school because her fees hadn’t been paid and she was on her way home to try and get some money together so she could go back. We just don’t know how lucky we are, ay!

We arrived in Nanyuki during the afternoon, checked into our hotel, had a meal and went to bed quite tired after our slow, but rewarding journey and we hadn’t walked anywhere unlike the two Maasai ladies. In the morning after breakfast we loaded ourselves into one vehicle a set off to Mount Kenya National Park, somewhere over there in the clouds that covered

I don’t think any of us were impressed by our 10k trip into and up the slopes of lower Mount Kenya. We saw some Water Bucks (Antelopes), some Elephant dung and that was it, the tracks up to the first mountain camp were curtained by bamboo and too thick to see anything through. A party of college students were making preparation to leave after climbing the mountain as we arrived and we chatted with their guides for a while and found out it was a five day climb. Kerry and I decided to walk a little way further up the track (no vehicular access), but still no better views because of the bamboo, but it was good to get the exercise. Michael tried to harvest some bamboo to plant at home, but he under estimated how tough the bamboo is and of course if he did plant it his community would eventually be engulfed as this part of Mount Kenya has been. I found some nasturtiums in flower near the park entrance and had a long awaited taste of home, I offered Michael a flower to eat and he gingerly placed it in his mouth, then started jumping up and down, I can’t think why. 

High up in the Rift Valley

High up in the Rift Valley

The following morning Kerry and Paige headed off to Nairobi and Michael and I set off for Nukuru and once again another journey of contrasts which took us along parts of the Rift Valley. There was an outpost along a high vantage point with two armed guards on the lookout for poachers. They let me take some pictures from the observation platform and pointed out a herd of elephant’s way below, bugger if I could see them, but had no reason to doubt them. Michael mentioned that they were Rangers from the local Maasai community and did this work as volunteers as they didn’t like the slaughter of the elephants either. Although the Maasai aren’t vegetarian (they may eat meat once a month) they don’t eat the wildlife and never have, they live in harmony with them. We traveled as far as Nyahururu and stayed the night in a familiar town that I had stayed in a week ago, but this time without the rain and mud.

The lushness of the Rift Valley

The lushness of the Rift Valley

The next morning we continued our journey to Nukuru and the best part was seeing another side of the Rift Valley, this time it was the lush farmland below with the many small farms of a few acres each. At one place we stopped to take a photo a young man came over wanting to sell me his stuff and when he became aware that I wasn’t going to we chatted. He told me he climbs up to this vantage point every day and pointed out parts of paths he took in the tree covered side of the escarpment and his little farm below, I checked to see if he had four legs because it would have been tricky even for a goat.  

In Nukuru we loaded the supplies and the two electricians and headed home going back to Nyahururu and then the long pot holed drive to Maralal. It was getting dark and Michael was tired after the long drive and so I took over for this leg of the trip as I would have been costly for all of us to stay the night and lose part of the next day’s work travelling. We arrived battered and tired at 10, but not without getting bogged on route. It was where we passengers had walked when I came by bus the previous week. Michael got out with a torch and inspected the two alternatives, a large pond with no idea of the depth or a muddy track cut up by vehicle’s, he picked the latter and down we went, but eventually we reversed out after much praying. There was only one other choice, so through the water I went, the car needed a clean anyway, no problem with the water hole, but the remaining 200mtrs was very nerve racking. We heard a Matatu had got stuck there and had to stay the night waiting for a tow from a 4WD with the customary 18 people on board, what a night they must of had. At 10.30pm arrived back in Kisima and home.

Denis

God is Good

The Seven Hour Journey That Took Two days

Sorry, I should have posted this before my last one, I got carried away with the excitement of having fast internet:-))

17thJune: The weekend in Nairobi was wet and cold and I wanted to get away from my little tent, I phoned Michael in the hope of going to see him on Monday, but it had been raining hard where he was and suggested Tuesday and for me to leave early from Nairobi to get the connection from Nyahururu to Maralal.

We all know the feeling when things just won’t work out, am I doing the right thing I thought, but I wanted to get away more than reconsider what was happening. Charlie said he would pick me up at 8.45 because of the traffic (that’s when I should have been in the CBD), Ok I will go with the flow. When he turned up he said two ladies wanted to be dropped off at some car rental place and we would leave at 8.30 as it was a little bit out of the way, Ok, I will go with the flow, they turned up at 9.00 after Charlie said if they didn’t come now he would call another taxi for them. The journey to their drop off point was free from traffic and as we headed into the city center the queues began to build up, seemingly everywhere, Charlie is quite persistent and kept moving into the side streets to find another route.

We hit an empty dual carriageway and it was empty both sides, a car reversed back and turned in beside Charlie and said there were riots down the road and raced off in the direction we had just come from. Charlie looked at me and said “This is not good for us,” Ok, I will go with the flow. I was about to say we will try tomorrow when cars started coming down our side of the carriageway, Charlie pulled out just before them saying that things might be under control now. 500mtrs down the road we come to a grinding halt in traffic and for the next little while crept forward, passing road blocks, police and army personnel, all with rifles looking very serious. Just then as three young men were passing the car, Charlie translated, one was saying to the other two, “If your heart isn’t into coming away from the riot with something, then why are you here?” Bad advice was Charlies comment, because if they police saw anyone looting, no questions, no warning, they would be just shot, surely an understatement in the circumstances, do it and possibly pass.

He turned down another side road and we move forward closer to our destination, suddenly there were people running up the road towards us and many cars started doing u-turns, including us. I again said to Charlie, we can do this tomorrow, its ok, his reply was firm, “We can’t let things like this change your traveling plans,” and off we went getting closer to our destination all the time. We were in another side street only this time the shops were open and people were going about their day and a few minutes later I was getting loaded up onto a Matatu. If we hadn’t left late this morning we could have easily been in the middle of a riot. God is good, ay!

Again, as before the longest part of the trip was getting out of Nairobi, but going in a different direction made the experience a first time one. We traveled down the road that had all the running people and hastily u-turns and this time it was a bustling throng of traffic, people and completely open shops, it’s surprising what an hour can do. I remember my last journey to Narok in a Matatu, we went down a street that was a kilometer long and all shops were selling car parts, tyres and accessories. This time another long street and may even be as long, this time all selling white goods, phones, camera’s, music , etc, what a great way to shop.

The trip seemed straight forward as we climbed over the ranges and as before I sat behind the driver, but I preferred to look out of the side window, I was too close to him and to seeing the traffic approaching from the opposite direction. These Matatu drivers are prone to overtaking on bends, especially the ones you pray on that nothing is coming the other way, but I draw the line at doing it in thick fog, at times I thought I must have passed and was looking for Fred or anyone who was brighter than me.

 Four hours later I arrived in Nyahururu and Michael directed me via a text message to a hotel he stays at and for me to continue my journey tomorrow. It was raining and my back pack strap snapped and my beautiful double blanket, strapped to the back pack ended up in the mud as it was unloaded from the Matatu, bugger. Luckily the hotel wasn’t far (50mtrs) and after I was shown my room started to clean the mud from the blanket, small shower/toilet and you can imagine the mess I was making up the walls etc, anyway I did the best I could, decided throw water all over the walls and toilet to clean up and then they came and told me they had given me the wrong room, what a relieve, that room was to messy and wet.

Bus come Truck at Nyahururu

Bus come Truck at Nyahururu being loaded.

 In the morning I managed to find where the bus (Michael advised me to get a bus as the Matatu would get stuck on route), left from and for 800kes it would leave at 11.00 for the four hour trip to Maralal and seven hours later I arrived, of course that doesn’t include the two hours I sat on the bus while it was being loaded. It is the first bus I have been on that had sawdust and wood shaving on the floor; I mean on purpose, I expected to see chickens moving about, but didn’t. The bus loaded to the hilt, 60 odd people inside sitting and standing, with goods piled high on the top, we set off in the rain at 12.15 and got as far as the service station where it was fueled up and more people got on. I was lucky to get on early and get a seat next to a window that opened that didn’t have bars on it, for that was the only way out in an emergency. I was sitting next to a lovely lady who had a rather large bottom and keep sliding off the slippery seat when we went down a hole or around a corner and would throw herself back into the seat and pin me up against the window, talk about claustrophobia, the seats were definitely meant for two skinny people.

It had been raining for a week and the mud road was treacherous, big holes where vehicles had been stuck, ancient pot holes that hadn’t seen a road grader since the year dot (a little exaggeration), or at least since it was first done. Now this bus was in two parts, it was a truck with a bus body, so the driver was completely isolated from the passengers and although he did a brilliant job getting us through it was like being in the back of a cattle truck and I would swear we nearly tipped over a few times. I noticed when we went down a pot hole the truck cab stayed pretty solid, but the bus part lurched from side to side and being top heavy threw everyone around inside. It was like being on a fairground ride that you wished you hadn’t got on and couldn’t wait for it to end, only I was trapped next to my large friend, whose only saving grace was if the bus did tip over on her side I would have a soft landing, unfortunately if it went the other way she would have squeezed me out of the small window like toothpaste, ah well, such are the perils of life.

Bus Less It's Passengers Surging Through The Mud

Bus Less It’s Passengers Surging Through The Mud

There were tiny bridges over the creeks, (now rivers) and at one a brand new truck (you don’t see many of those in Kenya) had misjudged the width and tipped over on its side into one, a man ran alongside the bus shouting for a spanner, but I think he needed a crane.  After four hours being held tight against the side of the bus some welcome relief came, a truck was blocking the road so everyone piled out to see what was going on, such a relieve to stretch. Apparently the road was washed away some 50mtrs distant and we all stood around and decided to pee in the bush, I am sure this made the situation worse. All of a sudden a truck came roaring out of the bush, fearing to stop in case he got bogged, that was the sign our driver wanted and headed off into where the truck had appeared from. Everyone started walking further into the bush trying to avoid the wet boggy ground. Lucky me, I had my trusty Muck Boots on and managed to travel the 200mtrs or so without getting wet feet, whereas all the others did unless they took them off (shoes not feet).

We carried on our journey with everyone chatting merrily and relieved to be moving even though the ride was still tortuous and we got stuck a few times, but managed to get out with a little (ok, a lot of) wheel spinning.

It was getting dark and road got a little smoother and it was gone 7.00pm when we finally pulled into Maralal. Because it was dark Michael had arranged for me to stay and have a late meal at the Sunbird Hotel and I managed to get a taxi there (in the end), he also said K&P were staying there and I would meet them in the morning.

 I count myself very lucky to get there at all and to have Michael checking up on me to make sure I was alright, all of the way of my journey. I wouldn’t necessarily choose to do it again, but I am glad I did for the experience, for this is how most Kenyans do it all the time.

Thank you Michael.

Denis

God is indeed Good

With Michael at Kisima Village

 

20thJune: I had a second breakfast with Paige and Kerry, it was good to see them again and catch up and in doing so we got to Michael’s community a little later than anticipated. Michael greeted us with his beaming smile and showed me my room and around his humble abode and then to his latest project, the guest house he started five years ago just because he knew it would be used someday, by whom he had no idea.

Michael's Guest House

Michael’s Guest House

What a good, solid house, just bare walls, doors, glassless windows and a roof, but so well thought out and of course filled with cut hay keeping dry, how could anyone leave all that space empty, certainly not Michael. His next task was to have it wired for solar before being rendered and I think K&P have that in hand. He proudly showed me the land around the house and the trees that had been planted, he certainly has been busy.

K&P left for their hotel, Michael and I made up the beds, (he had all his bedding washed and hanging out to dry as we arrived) and then headed out into the moon lit night for a short bush walk. It was so refreshing to be able to walk out at night, something I had missed doing as everywhere else I had stayed there were either wild animals about or wild people who wished you harm in one way or another (or so I was told), although Michael had said there were Hyena’s about.

We ended up at a hut with an outside fire going with a pot bubbling away on it; we were at the home of Francis and Mica, two of Michael’s workers who helped with the farm. I watched as they cooked Ugali, a dough made from maize floor and a staple food for the majority of the population, I even had a mix.  We were invited in to sit on the lounge suite around the small table (coffee type) and join them for a meal of the Ugali and greens that were found growing wild. A kerosene lamp burned providing light for the sparsely furnished room and to see our meal, the Ugali was a little heavy for me, especially for a late meal, but it went down well with the greens.  Michael had his cup of tea, with that said our good nights and headed of home to bed.

We both up early and Michael went to see his cattle I tucked into some fruit. Ester, Michael’s sister arrived with a container of water and pointed at me, I thanked her after trying to say good morning and how are you, she smiled and replied in Maasai and went on her way. I went for a walk for half an hour and when Michael came back he said the water, which was hot, was for me to bathe with, wow I am being spoiled, so I took advantage of the situation and used the water. After some more breakfast we went out to see the ladies from surrounding homes digging holes to plant the remainder of the tree’s that were left in pots.

We chatted about things, Permaculture wise and visited the paddocks that had been planted with grass for hay, maize and beans. It is amazing what Michael has achieved in just over a year, considering this land when he moved here five years ago was tree less and overgrazed. His first move was to allow the shrubs to regrow, then to fence of small paddocks to conserve the land and rotate the grazing around them. I took many pictures as I want to show Justus what can be achieved, although the soil is in a much better condition up here for the growing of crops, but with love, patience and some serious giving back to the land without demand or expectation of an outcome and God is there if we ask, so miracles are possible.

Denis

God is Good

A Week on the Maasai Mara

Camping in the School

Camping in the School

I had arranged with Daniel, a taxi driver who lives in Ngoswani, (the nearest shops to Justus’s village) to pick me up at 10.00, Kenya time made it 11.30, but I enjoyed watching the people of Narok go about their day while I waited, I think as much as they enjoyed watching me. We collected the water etc, at the supermarket, picked up the tools at the hardware and then my stuff from the hotel and set off.

The trip didn’t seem to take as long this time and when we arrived in Ngoswani Daniel showed me his enclosure and home before heading up to Kisher-Moruak and the unfinished school where I will camp. There was a steady stream of women and children coming to greet me during the afternoon including Florence (Justus’s wife) and Rose, all were happy to see me again and were concerned at me being alone in the school, although it had stone walls and a door that shut and they were only 100mtrs away and so I felt ok.

The first of the men I met was Moses, who said he was the chief of the village and chairman of the school leaders, Justus disagrees with this and had asked me to be careful around him as he is a greedy person, always for himself, I shall have to find out for myself. Moses certainly had lots of things he wanted to achieve for the school and asked me if the tools I had bought with me were a donation for the school. He had some good ideas, but I don’t know his motives yet and Justus has made me be on my guard.

The village is divided into three family compounds, each a brother and in their 60’s, their children, and grandchildren. The sheep and goats are in the inner compound and then the cattle and finally the homes around the perimeter. As the men returned home in the evening, there seemed to be an endless stream of cattle (I counted over 100 in one herd), goats and sheep and indeed if the prices I have been told the animals are worth then Justus’s uncle is quite rich in comparison with Javan. Of course all this has to be put into perspective, for the Maasai this is money in the bank for buying food, clothes, medicine, etc, for without the animals they would have to leave the land. Whereas Javan’s village only had a few cattle, but richer land to grow food and surplus to sell and with good rain at least twice a year, I know which one I would chose.

Gathering the animals

Gathering the animals

The men of the Maasai tell me they are having to travel further each day now to graze the animals and will do until the next rains, maybe in September and the ground is hard and dry. I have tried to get across the message that they are part of the cause of the problem, having so many animals keeps the flora so close to the ground and then allowing the wind and sun to dry out the land, but I don’t think I am being understood or not explaining properly or that English isn’t there language or even they don’t want to hear.

When I look across the plains and the different villages dotted around, all with herds of animals that are grazing the land, then add to that the Wildebeest, Zebra and Antelope, there isn’t much hope of life improving for the Maasai. But life will change for them though; it is being subtly being forced upon them as the government have given each man in the village 30 acres, which is maybe 300 acres for Justus’s village, but what is that in grazing terms for the year, not very much for the amount of animals they have. The effect is already starting to be noticed, some fences are now being erected in places which is restricting grazing, and Justus has told me of young men in other villages selling their land for cash and spending it on cars and women with no thought of what happens when the money runs out. Apparently, the rich and famous, including politicians are purchasing the land as an investment; ironically the roads to the Maasai Mara are being improved.

My first night was very eerie, I could hear wildebeest snorting and many other strange noises I couldn’t identify, may be lions or was it the goats with a cough, either way I didn’t feel as secure with the pine door that was between me and the darkness. The fear passed with my prayers and I drifted off asleep.

It was so nice to wake up with the sun; in Nairobi it was always cloudy and cold first thing. I sat in the sun and was amazed by the sound of so many small birds with so little cover for them, I don’t think they have many predators; the cats here are after bigger stuff. I watched the animals emerge from the compounds with both men and women organising them in different directions ready to head out for the days forage.

I began the process of starting a small waterless garden (3x2mtrs), boy the ground is solid with only 75mm of topsoil, beneath that is decomposed granite, very dense and the only way through is with a crow bar. Over the next few days I gradually dug a 150mm pit and edged it with some boards they had used for concreting and then lined it with the plastic I had bought with me, back filled it with cow and sheep dung, mixed together with the soil I had removed. As there was no mulch to be had I laid another layer of plastic on top to help conserve any water that is put on the garden and reduce possible regrowth. With hessian I had I made a good temporary fence and it will slow down the strong afternoon winds.

Experimental garden

Experimental garden

Peter (one of Justus’s uncles) was very interested in what I was doing, but not as much as the children, I felt like the ‘pied piper’ sometimes as they followed me up and down collecting the manure, chatting away at each other and then giggling when I made a remark. The little booklet I had made at Jenni H’s workshop was put to good use with them and they understood what I was doing and they happily showed other children as they came home from school. When I return I will bring paper and pens so they can draw their own.

Monday morning Rose was going to go to the school in Ngoswani and I accompanied  her on this her daily trek, it turns out that when they talk about a 10k walk it is the return journey, but still along way for anybody, let alone young children to go to school, which they do. We reach the road (about half way) and the trucks and safari vehicles race past creating huge amounts of dust, so you might start your day fresh and clean, but by the time you get to where you are going, well you can guess. She left me with Mohammed, a shop owner who sold maize, sugar, soda, a few different canned goods and water containers. He transferred 100kes of phone credit for me and showed me to the barbers shop where I could get my phone charged, its amazing, this is were everyone get their phone and spare battery charged. He has two 85amp hour batteries charged by solar and is the communications center for many kilometers around and as it was a market day he was busy with phones and haircuts. As I walked around this isolated small town I soon found out that most of the little shops all sold the same things, apart from one selling hardware and two repairing tyres.

Me watching Wildebeest and them watching me

Me watching Wildebeest and them watching me

Three hours later I started the walk back to the village and it wasn’t until I left the road that I realised that I was alone, walking across the plains of the Maasai Mara. I told myself that children and Rose do it daily, but it didn’t help, I was a little scared hastily looking around for lions. It was an awesome sensation walking into a herd of wildebeest and gazelles, who saw me and split up either side of the track stopping at a respectable distance from me, just incredible and of course if there were loins around they would have been long gone, such comfort and I felt the privilege of being in this place and with these animals God created. The hill above the village got closer and going through the last of the short scrub hurried my pace and soon arrived in the village that was asleep in the heat of the sun, they curl up under the shade of the few trees and sleep, chat and just be.

It would be good to put a fence around the school and Moses had alluded to that,  he said fencing 10,000sq mtrs would cost about $500, a good project as it would enable the land to regenerate and then  allow the children to see what can happen to God’s garden if we allow it. Then during the wet season, fertility pits and swales can be dug unless a machine can be brought in to prepare the land before it rains. The only real problem is mulch and I think it will have to be grown as the animals have eaten anything taller than a few millimetres and the Maasai collect all the available wood for their fires, the only bonus is heaps of manure, but even that is a resource for the Maasai.

Moses would visit each morning enquiring what I was going to do, I always said research and report which seemed to frustrate him a little, he really wants me to commit. I meet James today, another cousin who is a school teacher and is away all week, a very soft and gentle man who’s English is better than mine, but unfortunately I didn’t get to much time with him as he was only home for the day. He teaches science, Swahili and religious studies at a boy’s boarding school some 20k away and is one of four men who work away from the village.

My right leg is still aching, so I still don’t want to go to that man anger place and God’s Law of Attraction has bought me Moses and James, both fears, one about speaking honestly to an angry man and the other about speaking about Divine Truth to someone who might judge me as crazy. I don’t seem to recognise the immediate LOA and when reflecting later find the opportunity passed, but I shall see them both again when I return and will face those fears then. I feel a lot better in myself now, more comfortable after my short master cleanse, it was short because I had no lemons and was using limes, which half of them turned out to be small oranges.

I made arrangements with Daniel to take me to Narok which he did and this time had his wife Susan with him who asked if she could have a lift into Narok in very good english. The hotel was fully booked so Daniel took me to the Matatu stand and I was on my way back to Nairobi and the Wildebeest Eco Camp and arrived early in the afternoon. It was so good to have a shower and wash some clothes; I will have a shave tomorrow.

The next day I decided to spoil myself with a deep tissue massage, my skin just soaked up the oil and massage was awesome and with Kenny G playing in the background I really spoilt myself. I bought lots of fruit and coconut cream, some salad stuff, how much I have missed loving me.

I have spoken to Pastor Michael and we are going to meet in Nyahururu on Monday or Tuesday, three hours north of Nairobi and four hours south of his village. So the weekend is ahead of me.

Where I am at, Part 2

5thJune: My morning is restless, waiting to leave Wildebeest, I had my normal fruit breakfast and more food is waiting, but I don’t want to suppress the feeling within me, one of turmoil flowing through me at what I have to face.

Charlie took to the Matota rank for Narok in the CBD, as I waited a guy from a rival company tried to get me to go in his vehicle, but I was being looked after very well by the guy Charlie left me with so I told him this and that he was my brother and was cheaper than him anyway. They both laughed and said same mother different father, they didn’t seem to understand that we had the same father as well. At one stage they took my bags up the street to another vehicle and I lost sight of one of them, but we ended up going back the place where we started and I boarded a Matota less one bag. There was so much commotion going on, people getting on and off the van, arguments about fares, venders trying to sell everybody on the Matota’s fruit, food, drinks, watches ,CD’s, you name it, it was offered;  vehicles, trucks, handcarts and bus lines all in this narrow road, it’s a wonder anything moves, but it does. My bag turned up and the last of the Matota was filled with Maasai women in their native costumes and we slowly weaved our way out of the old part of the city.

 I think I spent longer in Nairobi than the two and half hour trip to Narok and on arrival checked into the Seasons Hotel. I took a walk around the town and found a hardware shop that could provide most of the tools I wanted, wheelbarrow, spade, hoe, machete, crowbar and spade. They were going to try and find a ute and driver to take me and my stuff to the Maasai Mara and would let me know tomorrow. I bought some fruit and walked back to the hotel, had something to eat and watched the Solomon discussion again. Thank you Yeshua and Mary.

6thJune: I awoke in a better space, much clearer and more comfortable with myself.  After a fruit breakfast (hooray) I walked into town and checked the availability of transport from my new friend in the hardware shop, no luck, but he would keep trying. I walked around the town until I found a supermarket and checked to see if they had what I wanted for the week. The prices are much cheaper here than in Nairobi. I had thought about buying a bike to get around on when on the Mara in Nairobi, but it was the problem of getting it here, when I checked the price here it was half, only $70 for an umpteen speed gear thing, etc, so I am tempted, I am wearing out my Crooks and Muck Books with all this walking.

As I waited for Haryson many street sellers approached asking me to buy stuff, I always refused in the best Swahili I could remember, which made them laugh and after a chat we always parted on good terms, in fact I bumped in several of them again during the day and they were always friendly, but not trying to sell me stuff. I even got offered wacky baccy, maybe it is the way I look.

Haryson arrived and we went looking for sweet (sugar) bananas, but there weren’t any locally, it was a nice change to go around the back streets where I hadn’t ventured and made some new friends along the way. We got a taxi and drove for 40 mins south into the eastern part of the Mara to his home where I met his ni ni (Maasai for mum), his brother and sister in law. We had a quick visit with his mum in her house which was much the same as Justus’s mum home, but Haryson didn’t want to stay as it was very smokey.

We went to Lillian’s home where she made a lunch for us of chapatti, rice and potatoes, there goes my uncooked status, but this was different and I didn’t feel it was out of addiction. They just gave and included the taxi driver, who was waiting to take us back to town, something that I usually noticed didn’t happen.

This home was bigger than the others, with a tin roof with plenty of light; the sitting room we were in was about 4 x 4mtrs in size. There was two, two seater settee’s, a coffee table and sideboard with glass doors that had mugs and plates behind them, a water barrel and three rolled up roofing iron sheets.  On one wall were two posters, one listing God’s way of government, so different from man’s and one listing layman’s (Haryson’s interpretation) words in Maasai and Swahili of different verses of the bible and a few bouquets from a wedding hanging from the ceiling baton. That was it, and the dirt floor that was so clean; they were so proud of their home and enjoyed my short visit, inviting me to return at anytime which felt was so genuine, unlike many others I have received in the past.

After returning to Narok we organised transport to the Maasai Mara and confirmed at the hardware about my tools. I was ready to go and will leave in the morning on the next stage of this ever changing journey.

Thank you Luli, Mary, Karen and Michael, your love is awesome and has been felt deeply.

Denis

God is Good

Haryson and his Ni Ni

Haryson and his Ni Ni

Lillian and Namunyak

Lillian and Namunyak

 

Where I Am At

23rdMay: Feedback is so scary for me and over the past few days it has come to me in abundance from Yeshua and Mary.

So much reflection needs to take place. I have a choice, to find the real me as I have always intended (in my mind) or stay as I am and let the process begin in the spirit world.

I find it so difficult to believe that this is how my whole life has been since I was a child, but the more I feel into it and talk to God about finding the truth the more reality hits me. The spirits hooking into me have me on strings, I have been a puppet for them and they have used me for their own purposes because of my fear. How do I separate genuine loving men and women from the angry ones, for sixty years they have been the same for me, all I can do is keep praying for the truth.

I find myself examining every interaction with men, trying to discern which they are, loving or angry, am I being loving to that women or just pleasing, it is so scary. I keep going back over my life asking question of myself about some of the interactions I have had with some people, but I know that won’t help me go forward, it is what lies ahead that will help me change. I know I have this opportunity in Kenya, (away from my comfort zone) to make that change and I choose to grow my soul.

I want God in my life, I want truth, love, my soul mate and I want me, someone I don’t know.

24thMay: I took the plunge today, I wrote an email that I should have done before I left Australia, but didn’t because I now know it was fear.  It was about a donation I had been given and felt it was given as a bribe or barter to do something. The reply I received had me in a panic; the response was of anger about my feelings and being told I was completely wrong and to look deeper into my feelings, I wasn’t being loved. 

I went back to my tent and prayed and sat with the feeling surging through me. Was I wrong in sending it, my gut reaction was no, but in my head there was doubt.

25thMay:  The next day I received another email which confirmed my feelings and wrote back saying that and explaining how I was feeling, rather than me blaming them.

28thMay: I am still in a place of not wanting to get into my fear and however much I try I cannot see it, my spirit friends with me are doing such a good job on me and I am not willing to challenge that which I don’t recognise. I know God is with me, but at the moment I would rather stay with the spirits, it’s what I know, it’s how it has always been.

The distractions come easily, especially the food. No matter how hard I challenge the urge to eat, I loose, the fear needs to be suppressed and I am in an environment that assists the spirits. With so many people around I have noticed a fear of judgement within me when I begin to feel anger or cry, I have to relocate.

I have had a longing to ‘go bush’ on the Maasai Mara for a while and talking with Justus about what is happening for me at the moment I asked if I could camp near his village, on his land and not just plonking myself somewhere. He readily agreed and gave me a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ to keep me safe in his eyes, including sending him a text daily of my status and has said I can go and stay in his compound at anytime.

1stJune: Haryson my face book friend was traveling home today from university for a week and we decided to meet before he left Nairobi. It was really good to see him, a tall thin young man who was quite shy, a Maasai who hadn’t seen his family for five months. It seems the only way forward in Kenya is to leave your home and family from a very young age, something that many do as there are 2000 students in the university annex at Madagi where he is learning to be a doctor. He said his mum is not learn-ed, but is managing to fund his education, together with his two younger brothers at high school. She farms a small piece of land which supplies food for the family and a few animals that are sold to provide for education. His father died in an accident when he was in grade ten.

Meeting Haryson bought me back to reality, I choose to go on, back is impossible to contemplate.

2ndJune: I want to face these fears, so have decided to do a master cleanse when I first get there, really meet those fears head on and have somewhere to process and face the judgement (should it come), from the locals. There will be no temptations from food or internet, I really want to face my fears and if they want to, may be the spirits with me will face theirs. 

I will spend the next few days getting ready, buying my supplies, water, lemons, etc,. The nearest shop is 10k walk away, something that Rose does most days as that is where the school is, not that I can get much there, charge my phone with power and credit, purchase maize, rice and beans together with local fare and hardware. As Justus has said, there needs are simple.   

4thJune: So I am as ready as will ever be and I am leaving in the morning for Narok. There I will visit my friend Haryson and his family at his home on Thursday and then head on to the Maasai Mara.

Denis

God Is Good

A day to remember

I have posted Justus’s story on a page of its own, it is more than just a blog, its life in Kenya.

Justus told me a story how he cultivated about on acre of land to grow food on, one day a herd of Elephants came through and destroyed his work just by walking over it, and we complain about the Wallabies and Rabbits.

God’s Law of Attraction, big or small, guide us to the emotions in our souls, we just have to have to ask for the truth and this I did. I had internet connection from safari.com., my computer was accepting  the signal, but I just couldn’t go online, last night or this morning to post Justus’s story.

Last night I prayed for the truth of what was happening and this morning over breakfast with P & K, I told them what going on for me. My prayer was answered, it just poured out of my mouth. I was not trusting God in my desire and if I had posted the story I would have been lying to you all because of my lack of faith. This evening it was posted.

Paige and Kerry will I am sure describe today so much better than I, for I could not do it justice at the moment, may be another day.

Today, as we met Javan and Susan, were greeted by all the singing orphans and welcomed by the family, well words cannot describe how over whelming it was. All the time we spent with them was joyous, faith poured from their veins and their love of God was intoxicating.

They greeted us, we sang with them and they loved us with open hearts.

I have not lived until now.

Denis

God is good

More on our days

Peter/PaulThe last few of days have been so good, sharing ‘The Way’ with people who choose to want to hear, for that was one of our main reasons for coming to Kenya. Us westerners are so backward in coming forward, ay!

Please have a look at                                                                                http://www.pegznkezz.wordpress.com  they have described all our experiences with the Kenyan’s so well.

9thMay: We are at breakfast and have had confirmation that the money has been paid for the Trooper, now we think we can collect it, but we are on Africa time and things move slowly and finally I collect the car in the early afternoon. Next I have find my way back to the camp and I decide to take the long way, but it was fun getting lost (that wasn’t quite true, I recognised where I was, I just didn’t know which way to go) and get used to driving in the chaos of Nairobi’s roads, in fact it was easier just allowing the Matota,s to do their thing rather than competing with them as most other drivers seem to. When I finally got back I found Innocent and left the Trooper with him to service and to start work on the roof rack.

I will try and explain what the Matota’s are,(mat-to-ta) in fact I will take a photo of some today if I can and post them, that may well help. They are usually very old mini buses, packed out with 15 seats and people for they only travel full, with a customary yellow strip around the middle and usually covered in dents and scratches They weave in and out of the traffic, filling any available space and if they can’t find space they create one, a great place to deal with emotions about road rage and anger.

The drivers have to earn money for the company by doing so many trips, and then the rest day they can earn wages, which is why they are always in such a hurry. I spoke to Innocent about them and he said the vehicles are in a much worse condition in Kissi Town and cram up 18 people in with others hanging onto the open door frames.

10thMay: The owners arrived back from Australia late yesterday afternoon and there is heaviness about this place now. The Kenyan’s who work here are decidedly quieter now, but still very polite and looking to serve, but they aren’t mixing as much now, and although it is a beautiful place it has lost its brightness.

Innocent came and picked me up and we headed into the smoke of Nairobi CBD to register the Trooper and left P & K to shop for supplies. We had decided earlier to fast track the paper work process if it didn’t cost too much more, as normally it takes three months and we might not be here then. To get into the building I had a passport check, then security check and another passport check, that is when I saw the queues and I decided fast track was the best option rather than queue up and may be not get seen today, or possibly ever again.

The official who came checked the papers and led me to another counter and walked to the front of a queue and asked the staff there about the vehicle being registered to an Australian (Aussie, Aussie, oy oy oy). After much deliberation he came back and asked if I had a pin number, luckily I had noticed on the registration document that a I.D. number (I used my passport) and pin number were required so I knew he wasn’t going to unload my card. I didn’t of course and he asked if I had a letter of introduction as I was going to work here. I decided not to go into stuff about work, etc., and said I didn’t have it with me, to which he replied come back on Monday. We had planned to travel down to see Javan this weekend, (well we thought we better had, being here so long), and I reluctantly agreed.

As we traveled back to camp I asked Innocent if it was OK to drive the Trooper, sure he said, the government have the log book, so the process has begun everything is legal. When I saw P & K, they were just going out “bead making and learning,” I think, and I suggested we still go to Kissi and return the following Monday to complete (maybe) the paperwork, so Innocent arranged it. This guy is worth his weight in gold.

I feel OK about this long drawn out process as I can remember the same scenarios back in the UK 30 years ago, or maybe I am in denial, but I don’t think so. It employs far more Kenyans than an computerized system would. The same is true of the guys who cut the grass by hand, swinging a sharp long bladed knife to and fro and steadily walking forward, lawn mowers would reduce jobs, but also add to the pollution.

As soon as I can collect the car tonight we will load it up for an early start tomorrow after breakfast.

12thMay: So Kissi town here we come (after a little more shopping). The roads out of Nairobi were fairly smooth flowing and soon we were out in the country side. Heaps of pot holes and road humps before, during and after each village and sometimes just there in the middle of nowhere. Avoiding the pot holes was like a down hill slalom, but without the flags marking the holes, which sometimes covered half the road, no sleeping on this journey. When a speed hump came out of nowhere poor Kerry got a piece of luggage in the back of the head, but I got used to reading the road as we went on and by watching vehicles ahead, bobbing up and down.

We made good time and with a lunch break, with the young man in the picture (Peter/Paul not sure which), watching us all the time we were there, still arrived by 4.00 as planned, sorted out a hotel and now going for a meal so I will post this.

Love to you all

Denis

God is good