It is a typical Sunday. It started with a call to prayer at 5.50am, then the preachers with loud, rasping voices testing their sound equipment, to make sure that even people on the North Pole can hear them, followed by interminable services of joyful but repetitive music, played badly on electric pianos and sung by choirs who, frankly, can't sing.
This morning, I set up a swing for the kids, strung up in the mango tree outside the front door, and that has kept them amused ever since, thank Goodness.
Liz's Aunt, who has at least one grown-up daughter and at least one grandchild, is 8 1/2 months pregnant and an epileptic. She is in hospital and this morning it was decided to carry out an emergency Caesarian Section. Liz has shot up to Malindi to be with her and I am left with the two kids, Ian (7), Natasha (almost 5) and niece Beonce (2 weeks older than Natasha). To add to the meleé, the boy from next door has come round to play with Ian.
And it is lunchtime.
Beonce doesn't speak any English, the boy next door doesn't either, and Natasha pretends not to understand when it suits her.
Ian, on the other hand is a little star. His English, although not perfect is very understandable and he also speaks a little French.
He is happy to act as interpretor and also tries to keep his little sister in check, although it will take a lot more than a seven year old for that task. Even her mother has difficulties with her; she is very defiant - er, Natasha, not Liz.
I can usually scare the boy next door into obedience - he is not used to a mzungu in close proximity, and if I stare at Beonce for too long, she may even burst into tears.
I think I have established that all the kids like eggs, so it will be eggy bread for lunch, coz I like it.
And the added annoyance factor is that the Safaricom connection keeps dropping. The service really isn't very good in these parts.
I have heard from Liz. A healthy baby boy was born by CS, but Aunt is still aout of it.
I am beginning to think about dinner and had a look in the freezer. We don't have a fridge so everything goes in the freezer and we switch it on and of so as not to freeze everything rock-hard. We forget sometimes. Just now is such a time and I have frozen milk in my cup of coffee.
But back to dinner. Bearing in mind I am feeding 4, including myself, and it would be nice if there wassomething left for Liz when she gets back, I can do frankfurters and pasta, sausages and pasta, chicken and pasta, pasta and pasta, etc. ... with a pasta sauce of fresh tomatoes and garlic. There are little packets of herbs and spices, but they are all labelled in Swahili, so I won't be using those.
Cooking a proper meal for 5 on a single-ring gas burner is a bit daunting, but I am sure I will manage ... somehow ... if I have to, although I am hoping that Liz will arrive before I have to contemplate it.
Liz's aunt died this afternoon after a successful Caesarian Section to deliver a baby boy. The baby is in the nursery and we do not know if it will survive.
I managed to feed the kids, stop them eating what I had prepared for Liz, get them washed and virtually ready for bed when Liz came home.
She and the kids are now asleep and I am winding down after a long, cold shower. There are Tuskers in the fridge and I am tempted to drink one, but somehow, it doesn't seem right.