Friday, 6 June 2008

Meandering Mind ...

Well, I am now a year older. How daft is that? On Wednesday, I was 37 (-ish, as in I w-ish), and yesterday I was 38 (-ish).

I don't feel a year older. In fact, until I actually think about the number that represents the number of years I have been on Earth, I really don't feel much different from when I was 38. Why should we feel so different? It is only one day older when we think about it.

My only regret is that I have only recently started to travel. In the past, I have lived and worked in France and South Africa (when I really was 38!), but that was just work. Once back in the UK, I didn't look for a reason to leave again. I suppose having two kids in school curtailed my wanderlust.

But it was only a couple of years ago that I discovered Kenya, and even then, I didn't go, I just worked for a Kenyan charity.

But last September, I finally took the first step and immediately regretted the time I had wasted thinking about it but doing nothing.

Now I think only of my next trip to Kenya and the only constraint now is financial. Only! HA!

On my last trip, I spent some time in Kisii, Malindi and Nairobi. As our only car had been destroyed during the PEV, I used public transport, shuttle from Nairobi to Kisii and back, overnight coach from Nairobi to Malindi and back, then matatus, Citi Hoppas and anything else I could find a seat on that would get me into the city from the suburbs.

It was an experience, and I suppose, one I would not have wanted to miss. But do it again? I am not so sure.

The problem is, Going to Kisii, we obviously traversed the Rift Valley. If I had been in a car, I would have stopped to look at the scenery, animlals, etc. In a shuttle, it took all my energy and concentration to stay in my seat, and we only stopped once, in Narok.

The coach to Malindi is an overnighter, so although it traverses Tsavo, we see nothing!

So, not only do I need to get my air fare together, I also need to go with enough money to buy a car. Hmm ...

BTW, my real age is 58 - just!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Today, I took a friend to the local main hospital. She had broken her foot a couple of weeks ago and today was decision time, whether to operate of leave well alone.

Sitting around, my mind drifted back to last March when I took one of our little boys (a black little boy) to the hospital in Kisii, a) to treat him for an intestinal parasite and b) to check his HIV status.

People have said that I cannot compare my treatment in Kisii with my treatment here. In Kisii, I am an oddity, a mzungu in an area where there are few wazungu.

OK, maybe the staff helped me to jump the queue, but that is not the issue. I was impressed with the care and concern shown to an under-nourished, small, skinny orphan kid (in fact, he is, as far as we know, not an orphan, but was abandoned at birth).

The over-worked (and probably underpaid) staff were extraordinarily caring for this little mite. And he was one of scores of kids in the hospital that day. Do they treat all the kids like this? There is no reason to believe that they don't. I cannot believe that my little boy got preferential treatment because he was with a mzungu - or did he?

Either way, I think the staff at Kisii hospital are brilliant!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Spanner in the Works

I have finally managed to contact my man in Kisii. He contacted me through Skype, as usual, from the usual cyber café, which should be, by now, mine!

But it wasn't. At the last minute, the seller doubled the price of the business, and the landlord increased the monthly rent by 2,000/- a month.

My man in Kisii refused to pay the extras after having had an agreement from the seller's agent for the original prices.

He went on the offensive and found new premises with an asking rent actually less than the original price. He bought six PCs with a higher specification, and is in the process of acquiring the necessary furniture.

All we need now to open a fully functioning cyber café is:

  • a hub
  • a modem
  • CAT5 cabling

and once open, to be able to offer the full range of services:

  • a scanner
  • a printer
  • a land line and fax machine

Unfortunately, we have run out of money!

So, from last week's fully functioning ready-to-run business, I now have an almost ready, non-functional business, and, until/unless my sales on eBay come to fruition, no way of opening!

As I once saw on another blog, "Shut Happens"

No communication

I had a [well-earned?] day off yesterday and took my grandson and his friend swimming. My grandson, (nearly 12 years) has recently started to swim well and as such, is not too much of a worry for me.

His friend (9 years), on the other hand can just about keep his head above water and needs constant supervision.

Until I had the bright idea to see if he could swim on his back. After a little coaxing, he tried it, and promptly swam four lengths of the pool. Of course, I had to swim next to him just in case he got into difficulties, but he surprised both of us and didn't.

This pass-time took my mind off the business in Kisii. I haven't had any contact with my man in Kisii for a few days. That is not to say that he hasn't tried to contact me (we converse through Skype), but I have been out a lot this week and we kept missing each other.

But today, without theh distraction of a couple of kids, I need to know what is happening.

Now, my man in Kisii always contacts me on Sundays - until today. But then, today is the first day that the business is officially mine. It is, of course, open 7 days a week, so is he doing his cyber café manager bit, and therefore not having the time to contact me?

Has the power failed in Kisii - not uncommon? Or the Internet connection - also not uncommon? Has there been a last-minute hitch? I need to know!