The 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
God is good