Saturday, 22 May 2010

Panic in the Garden

I have just been called into the garden by Nyanya Mzungu who, apparently, had caught a snake!

More curious than worried, I ambled into the garden to find her with a flowerpot and inside was ... a slow worm, not a snake at all.

I would guess that it is the same one that the dog caught last year as it had obviously lost its tail at some time.

A creature of habit!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Rhino Charge 2010, Kenya

Just received this email, thought it could be useful

For the people intending to do attend the Rhino Charge - see notice from the organizers :
Rhino Charge, Garmin and Tracks4Africa have collaborated in producing a Spectator's Map which will give spectators all the information they need to navigate to and around the Rhino Charge this year.
Because the details of the Venue of the Charge are kept confidential, this information will be released in two stages.
You will need a Garmin "Nuvi" or any current Garmin map capable device that accepts a SD card in order to access this information. These are available from Titan Avionics at Wilson Airport, Robs Magic or Extreme Outdoors at Yaya Centre and Westgate Mall.
When you arrive at Check-In at Corner Baridi, you will be given a co-ordinate to put into your GPS. This will guide you to the Venue.
From 06:30hrs on Monday 31st May, you can obtain a memory card which will give spectators all the routes available to them at the Rhino Charge Venue including other information such as the position of the gauntlet, headquarters, medical facilities etc.
I will not be attending this year as I will be in the wrong country - again. However, I am trying to arrange my life around attending the UK event in October.

Malaria and the Senses

This blog is categorised as "Curiosity in a field I know nothing about"

As my regular readers will know, we have a deaf child at the Twiga Centre, Simon, who is around 8 years old. As a baby of about 5 months, he contracted malaria and as a result [?] became deaf. Consequently, he has never learned to talk.

While I am wasting away in the UK, I am looking for ways that we may be able to help Simon; top of the list is to see if he responds to hearing aids, and I have received several from well-wishers.

But, my curiosity is asking me questions that I cannot answer. Why does malaria affect hearing (or sight, come to that)? Does it attack the mechanical bits in the ear itself, does it damage the nerves between the ear and the brain, or dies it damage the brain itself? Or, is there no one cause of deafness after malaria?

Having no knowledge of medical matters, tropical diseases and their effects, or the workings of the brain, I set about trying to work this out logically.

I only know of two people who have had adverse effects to their senses after contracting malaria, Simon, who has lost his hearing, and a Twitter friend, whose sight was severely affected after contracting the disease.

As far as I know, sight and hearing are not connected, so it would seem logical that it is a part of the brain that is affected by the illness rather than the primary organs themselves.

If this is the case, will a hearing aid help Simon? Is there any treatment, however intrusive, that could restore his hearing? I need to know.

So, I put out a plea to the doctors and hearing specialists who read blogs, who Tweet, or who stumble over this blog by other means Please can you satisfy my curiosity and possibly help this boy to regain some form of hearing, and eventually the ability to talk.

Monday, 17 May 2010

It's All Over ...

Well, it is 10 days since the UK elections which did not produce an overall winner, and it is a few days now that we have been presented with a coalition government. David Cameron and Nick Clegg have cobbled together a government from their two parties and are getting down to the business of running the country.

But now, as there is no Labour government for the press to snipe at, they are trying their best to wreck the coalition. OK, so it is virtually unknown territory for the UK not to have a clear winner at an election, but there are many countries that have had coalitions and made a success of it. Why shouldn't it work here?

But the doubters, which seems to be most journalists and political pundits obviously think that we are now being rules by aliens and they are trying to find every little reason why the coalition won't work. Maybe it won't, but I for one am willing to let it have a go.

This country is in a mess, both economically and socially. We have a debt so immense, that few can even count the digit let alone imagine what it really is. We have had a raft of New labour laws that restrict the freedom of the individual. We have seen money, our money, being wasted on numerous New Labour projects that would never work and have cost a fortune.

The new government have made a start, abolishing the ID card and database fiascos, stabilising fuel prices, etc., and there will be other measures to give back freedom to individuals. This is all good news, surely?

But the press look for the differences in policy between the two parties that make up the government, rather than focusing on the things they agree upon.

So, let's give the new boys a chance. Let's not pick on the two leaders as being toffs, just because they both went to exclusive public schools - after all, would you rather have a leader who failed at an inner city sink school?

I for one want leaders who have a good education, who are intelligent and well educated.

But that's just me.