Thursday, 11 August 2016

Wednesday restday

I had mentally assigned Wednesday as a rest day and, given my tummy upset, it turned out to be a wise decision.  God is definitely looking after me here and making sure things happen in a way which allow me space - and maybe I have also learnt to listen to the counsel of my wiser friends!  I have been finding things to enjoy each day - and one of the things which has struck me are the flowers around the hotel:

I had a lovely start to the day with a Facetime conversation with Michelle while sitting on my verandah.

The wifi connection is much better here in the mornings - by the evening it is clearly overloaded with people catching up digitally.  It was so good to talk with a friend from home, and set me up well for the day.

After some time resting on my verandah, watching the monkeys, I had a phone call to say I had a visitor.  Jess had come over to see me from Casuarina.  We shared some wine at the bar and it was lovely to sit and chat.

I returned to my room for some more chill out time, and then it was time to meet Juma.  We had arranged for him to come after work so that we could go down to Nakumatt and buy the things for his sister's salon - a hair dryer, some straighteners, and a water heater.  He had also agreed to introduce me to the major way in which Kenyans get around - the matatu.  A matatu is a safari bus - a bit smaller than minibuses in England - onto which as many people as possible are crammed!  They have set routes and stop wherever they see a customer.  Prices are much cheaper than by taxi or by tuktuk.  Our matatu came very quickly and Patrick explained that if I wanted to go to Nakumatt from Severin I could get on any matatu as they all passed Nakumatt.  The fare was 20 shillings - compared to 200 shillings for a tuktuk or 250 for a taxi.  The shopping was successful, and I also bought a blender for a lady Jess had told me about; I look forward to giving it to her tomorrow. 

Coming back was interesting;  Waiting for the matatu (many passed on by because they were already full, it being rush hour) we had tutktuks and taxis stop to persuade us that we should travel with them; the concept of a muzungu riding a matatu seemed unbelievable!  One very full matatu tried to persuade us to pay 70 shillings for a ride because it was rush hour. When a matatu with space arrived,  I had to get through to the back seats.  I know I am getting a little larger in the hips these days, but it was a very tight squeeze between the seats to reach the back! I then had to keep my hand above my head to protect it while bouncing along.  All driving experiences are interesting in Kenya, I have decided.  The road we were driving along has two lanes, with just enough room to overtake.  Vehicles overtaking toot their horns, basically to say "get out of the way" and the slower vehicles pull as far in to the side as possible.  Matatus, however, will frequently undertake, driving along the earth verges of the road (which are full of potholes) as they pull in and out of the traffic to pick up passengers.  Vehicles do not wait for a gap in the traffic in order to join the road; they simply pull in if they think they can get away with it (which they usually do believe!)  Suffice it to say I have no intention of driving anywhere in Kenya!
After the excursion it was back to the hotel and a quiet evening.

I wanted to include the pictures below, showing something which has interested me during my stay this week.  The majority of the hotel accommodation is thatched int he traditional style, and one of the buildings has been rethatched this week.  It was really interesting to watch the process - though I think those doing the thatching may have been a bit bemused by the "muzungu" who took so much interest!
Delivering the materials
A hand cart used to take the rushes to the building

Thatching in progress



  1. Lovely to hear that you had not only some relaxation but quite an adventure it seems! The photos are terrific - the flowers very exotic. It was great to catch up and see you looking so well. Ronnie will try to FaceTime you on Sunday. God truly is blessing you with an abundance of opportunities. I am amazed st the speed of it all and fully support the philosophy behind the project. Changing the local economy for these women creates a basis for independence and a ability to feed their families. Fantastic! You started this from scratch through your own selfless efforts and God is now blessing you with the fruits of that mammoth work. You deserve every moment of joy that comes your way through this. Keep going and keep your eyes firmly fix on the God. FANTASTIC!!!

  2. Yes,I agree with everything Michelle has said. The matatus ride sounds fun. We used them in Ghana and I was taught that depending on the position of your arm when stopping the vehicle,showed the driver where you wanted to go. He then made the decision whether to pick you up or not!! Health and safety is unheard of.Loved the flowers and would like to know what the birds are.I saw them too but wasn't quick enough to get a photo.They will be getting you thatching next,all sounds very interesting. Glad you are feeling better,Sue and Phil arrive tomorrow,bet you can't wait. Thanks for keeping us so we'll informed. X

  3. Thank you Michelle. Your comments help me to see what I am doing through someone else's eyes; I worry a lot that I am not doing enough. I too am amazed at how fast everything is moving; I think it is because the money is available and that makes things happen.

  4. Thanks Ronnie. I am looking forward to Sue and Phil's arrival tomorrow, as well as to yours next week. Hard to believe I am half way through my time here. Maybe we will take a matatu to Nakumatt together while you are here. I was told that the matatus stop whenever they see someone on the side - unless they are full - and you just have to tell them if you don't want theirs. The destinations are all on the sides. You then tell the fare taker when you want to get off, or bang on the side of the bus!.