Thursday, 14 August 2008

My Take on Kenya

There is no doubt. I love Kenya.

There are some places I like more than others, but that must be true of just about any country in the world - and of course, I don't know the whole country, only little bits of it: the Nairobi area, especially the business district and the eastern suburbs, Kisii and Malindi.

That's quite a spread, though, Coastal, to over 5,500ft, village to major town to rural town.

I find the Malindi area too hot and too humid. I don't really like it.

Nairobi and its suburbs are fascinating. But I am a country boy and I have an inbuilt dislike of big cities. The public transport system has deteriorated since I have been going to Nairobi. It used to be reasonably easy to get from my base in the east suburbs to the office in the business district on top of the hill. Now it is virtually impossible.

Kisii is what I would expect a large African town to be. Chaotic, dusty (when it is not raining) noisy, busy. I like Kisii.

And then there are the people. Naturally. top of the list is my love interest, beautiful, intelligent, well educated, living on the coast.

There is the man in Nairobi that started my Kenyan adventure. He is very very friendly, plausible and pleasant, but is always finding ways of borrowing money to "invest". I don't suppose I will ever see it again. He is always trying to impress, introducing me to Daktari This and Hon. That. His promises are big but never forthcoming.

And then there is the couple I met in Kisii, young, enthusiastic, well educated, friendly, caring, honest.

I like Kisii, and I have good friends there.

So I have set up business there, with a view to ecventually settling down near the town.

Why Aren't I there already? That's personal, but I have good reason to remain at my base in the UK - most of the time. I will travel to Kenya whenever I can. The only restraint is the money for the air fare. I have managed a couple of visits within the last year, and I am about due to go out there again, as soon as I have found the money for the ticket.

But one day, I will arrive and never leave.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Bedroom Menagerie

I am in bed, under the mosquito net, sleeping like a babe, when I wake up. Why? I hear a scurrying noise, that's why. I fumble around for my torch (there is no electricity in the house) and switch it on. I sweep the walls and there they are, the biggest bl00dy cockroaches I have ever seen in my life - three of them. They are big, about 4 cm long, mid brown, but slow-moving.

They scurry away from the beam of my torch and I draw a circle around them. They are confused now. They can't escape the light. I find that I can herd them with the torchlight.

Then I hear a crunch. I scour the walls with my light. In the corner, there is a small, pale lizard. Sticking out of its mouth there is the back end of another cockroach. It's legs are still wriggling slowly.

The lizard doesn't move. It just sits (or stands) there with its prize in its mouth. It is almost too small to each its catch, let alone catch the others with its meal still in its mouth.

The other cockroaches are trying to escape the hunter, but to do so, they have to go into the light of my torch, and they don't like that!

But soon (not soon enough for the cockroaches), I grow weary of my "game". You can only herd cockroaches with a torch for so long before it becomes tiresome.

I switch off the torch, and hear the free cockroaches marching across the wall, away from their predator.

A short while later, I switch my torch on and sweep the walls again. The menagerie has disappeared. I can hear no more crunching, or the scampering of tiny feet on the plaster.