This morning, it is grey and damp after heavy rain last night. But it is early yet and the cloud looks thin enough to quickly burn off once the sun gets warm.
I have planned (once again) to go into town to get my bus ticket to go to coast for about 10 days to see my girlfriend.
I will be very sorry to leave Kisii and not see the Twiga kids until my planned return in about 3 or 4 months, funds permitting.
So far, today has been typically African, as far as I can judge, with people popping in for a chat.
Benta and Josephat are at school, but the two little ones are running around the house making a noise and mess, as small kids do.
I have now updated the Twiga database with Vincent, who keeps 99% of the information in his head.
I am amazed at who is related to whom! I am also astonished at how many of the kids have been abandoned by their widowed fathers who have remarried and moved out of the area, leaving the kids to fend for themselves.
Of course, we have our share of AIDS orphans, or kids with a single parent too sick to look after their children. The age range is from about 3 years to maybe 14 or 15.
We have one teenage girl who has no idea how old she is, although I would guess that she is 15 years old. She has never been to school as she is an epileptic haemophiliac and no school would take the chance on taking her on. She also has a physical disability as her left arm and hand are deformed. I am wondering if it can be made good surgically – if only I could find someone to carry out an examination.
She needs to learn to read, write and speak English. She has a couple of younger siblings who she tries to look after as best she can.
So far, we have been lucky. Apart from little Evelyn (3 years) who was HIV+ and died last year, apart from a couple of cases of malaria, we have not had much in the way of serious illness this last year – I hope I am not talking too soon.
One boy, whose mother deserted the family, went off to find her and when he returned, he was ill, but I think this is partially his state of mind at the moment. His mother is HIV+ and appears to be a little unbalanced. It must be difficult to live with an illness that you know is going to take you sooner of later. At least the boy is back with us so we can care for him.
Next weekend will be my last for a while up at Twiga. I hope that I will be able to report that the seeds have sprouted and that we have a bed full of healthy seedlings. That will please the kids who put in so much hard work last weekend to clear the plot and prepare the soil.
I have another concern. Knowing how, in the UK, snakes tend to nest in compost heaps, we have just started a compost heap on the plot, and we also found a black mamba that had fallen into the unfinished deep-pit latrine. Putting two and two together and probably making five, I am wondering if we are inviting or encouraging snakes onto the plot by composting our waste vegetable matter.
Time will tell, but we must remember to warn the kids about snakes and compost and the like – although I am sure they are more aware than I am.
Well, I have my ticket from Kisii to Mombasa. I leave on Monday afternoon – I can say now, with a heavy heart, but I still have a weekend at the Twiga plot. It will be interesting to see how or even if, the seeds are sprouting. We sowed a few at the house, yesterday and they have sprouted already. Now I fear that they will grow so quickly that they will go to seed before anyone can benefit from them. Time will tell.