Archive for the ‘Miwani’ Category

Leaving Miwani & Nancy Odwaro

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

June 7th
Oh my goodness.  This morning I woke up around 6:30am to an amazingly large noise of birds chirping.  There was so many of them it sounded akin to a heavy rainfall on a tin roof.  The chirping and fluttering and more chirping.  Crazy loud.  Anyways, it was a good time to get up, everyone else stayed asleep or in their rooms until 7-8 so I got some nice quiet time in the front room overlooking the farm.  Very pleasant, very relaxing. 

Later in the morning we walked over to Karunga School, which was, in essence, personal project for some of the original farm members.  They diligently worked on enhancing their library, studies, and buildings.  Valerie just wanted to show us the school and the kids. 

Then we packed up and headed out from Miwani.  A couple years ago I spent 3 months there, this time, just a night.  Next we headed back into the Kisumu “suburbs” – I’m not really sure what you’d call the non-downtown areas of a large city – towards Nancy Odwaro’s House for the Olive Branch Documentary.  She put together a thanksgiving feast for us!  I wish I had pictures.  Rice, a few meat sauces, pineapple, mango, homemade juice, bread, the table was packed!!  And it was all mightily delicious.

During the documentary us boys, who didn’t have a part to play at this particular time, hung around outside talking, and keeping quiet as our voices could carry.  I checked out Nancy’s house and plot of land.  She is quite the efficient woman!  It isn’t a big plot of land but she had a couple cows, goats, chickens & mango trees.  A worker was working on her water flow system while we were there.  Most Kenyan residents who can afford it generally seem to install a series of concrete gutters to take in the heavy rains that come and dump it where they want to dump it, and take it away from the house.

I talked quite a bit with Mesh during this interlude, about his business ideas and the local response to the Chinese presence.  As figured, most didn’t mind the investment and all the workers.  They generally kept to themselves and didn’t want to socialize with the Kenyans, and so the Kenyan’s let them be.  Anywhoo, we talked and at one point Mesh stood to move away but as he stood I had some serious deja vu.  At that moment I stopped talking and asked if we had talked about this before.  The image of him in front of the van and me sitting down at Nancy’s place was stuck in my mind from a prior time.  I must have dreamed that conversation at some point in the past.  Strongest deja vu feeling of my life and I am dead serious on that.  Based on that deja vu I made a few decisions later on and we shall see where that will lead later on in life.

Anyways, we were at Nancy’s for a decent number of hours.  When we were done we headed to our next hotel, the Sheywe House, dumped all our goods and went to have a late dinner at the hotel restaurant.  We had a great view of some amazing lighting storms in the background.  The power kept going out putting us in total darkness, which while it gave good darkness for watching lighting, when you are hungry and the cooks need electricity to cook you food; well, let’s just say it was about 1.5-2 hours before we were all served.  Many dishes were served cold because they wouldn’t bring them out as they were done.  They waited until all dishes were ready.  Poor Valerie, she always seemed to get the brunt of food issues on this trip.  Either being served last, or served cold food, or both.  Both happened to her this time, cold and served last. 

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Miwani Farm and the Gals

Monday, June 6th, 2011

June 6th
We also got to meet 3 Indian sisters who are neighbors to the Miwani farm.  They live a few miles down the road toward Kisumu – in farm country all your neighbors are miles away, funny how that works.  These were great gals, each had a unique testimony about coming to Christ in a very strongly Hindu environment.  At least, I’m pretty sure it was Hindu, I didn’t write it down nor the specific Hindu sect as there are plenty.  Anyways, great testimonies that involved physical healings and spiritual manifestations.  We also got to visit their house the following day, but more on that later.

One of the gals, Aran, does some computer-based work, I don’t remember if it was photoshop or some form of programing.  But either way, I made sure to give her links for ODesk and ELance as potential places to find some work.  Hopefully she was, or is, able to find something that way. 

Also funny, was the fact that I heard there was another gal staying on the farm for a bit of time.  So a little bit after we arrived I turned a corner and there was a long time family friend Anneliese.  Not who I was expecting so I was quite surprised.  Last time I also saw her randomly at a roommates surprise birthday party – one of those “How do you know my roommate?!” crazy but fun occasions.  So today was no exception as I had no idea that she was in Kenya, let alone the farm.  Anneliese had been there for a few months at this point and was hoping to stay on for another few months to work with a local medical camp that was taking place, but there was some visa trouble.  In retrospect as I’m writing this 2.5 months late, with God’s grace and to the extend of my knowledge the visa stuff worked itself out and she was able to stay on. 

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Posted in Miwani |

Kisumu and Miwani Farm

Monday, June 6th, 2011

June 6th
Waking up at 4:30am to catch a flight is always quite enjoyable!  Some of the breakfast foods weren’t so good at that time in the morning however.  They hadn’t been replaced from the night before so ants or some sort of bugs got into a few of the foods (samosas mainly I think).  Luckily the hard boiled eggs were still good, and the fruit was covered.  Still makes a good brekky!

Anyways, we flew out of Nairobi to Kisumu, which is a short 1.5ish hour flight across the country; to contrast to Washington state it’s like flying from Seattle to Spokane.  And check out the Prop Plane!  Awesome!  Heather even got a picture of the Plane stalling!  Oh wait, no it was just a high iso and it looks that way.  Silly Jolly.

While in Kisumu we dropped by the large grocery and other items store (Kenya’s Safeway) called Nakumatt to pick up a few food items for dinner.  I wish I got a picture of it but they were selling a Ham In A Box.  Hilarious, think Chicken in a Can but Ham; and Box.  Definitely a “Whoa!” item.  As in most places in the Kisumu area, lots of wonderful green growth everywhere.  This is in the center of the large shopping mall of which Nakumatt is part of, hence the Elephant I figure which is Nakumatt’s symbol.

We met up with a gal named Dinah while there, I guess she was quite close to achieving a Senate seat last election cycle but got terribly ill during the last bit of the campaign and either dropped out or stopped campaigning.  She’s definitely a strong woman though.  She gives me the impression of making an awesome friend, and a terrible enemy.  Luckily she likes almost everybody.

We drove the 20min to 1/2hr trip to the Farm.  It was a pleasant drive and one of the few things I strongly recognized in this trip so far.  Good to be back in an area that I remember well.  and I certainly remember these roads and the bony cow herds!

One new thing though was this nearby village got some new housing.  Now, keep in mind that the metal roofing is generally regarded as a better roof, for the wealthier of people, but I can’t see why they would want this over a thatch roof.  Granted, less maintenence, but my goodness, can you imagine the heat from a 80-95degree sunny day (practically every afternoon throughout the year) and the noise from the crazy hard rainstorms (3x a week average in “winter”, 2x a month in summer).  And I mean crazy hard rainstorms, not the piddle paddle of Seattle.  A good rainstorm here can dump the entire years worth of Seattle rain in a night.  I don’t think I could sleep on a night like that with a metal roof.  Granted, I’m not one to judge and I’m sure they have their reasons, but I think I explained my case well enough above.  😉

And lastly for this post: a picture of a lovely mango on a tree:

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Posted in Kisumu, Miwani, Travel |

The Ol’ Kenyan Boot

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Sorry about the delay in this blog, I wanted to surprise a number of people first. But in essense, this blog states that I am now back in the ol’ Seattle area. That’s right, Kenya decided they didn’t want me, or rather, that it was best if I wasn’t around in case things got worse. Surprise!

Arrived back home last Sunday to be exact, Feb 2nd I do believe. Surprised my parents and brother rather well as they didn’t know I was coming back. Dan and Dad just stared at me for a couple seconds with a good look on their faces, Mom naturally had some tears and complained about how skinny I was (I think that was the first thing she said!)

Story:
Jan 31st
So, this may seem a bit sudden, and it seems that way because it is. From my being notified that we were leaving to arriving back home was a span of about 100 hours. Jan 31st started out as a normal day, and I was in the orchard with some of the boys working with a hoe around the trees. We were working some cow manure into the ground for fertilizer. Steve, a German gent, came by and picked me up in the Tractor saying “we’re leaving this weekend”, which was news to me. Within a couple hours “we’re leaving this weekend” turned into “volunteers leaving tomorrow” to “all Westerners leaving tomorrow” to “get ready tonight, you got 1/2 hour”. What we ended up doing was riding to a ministry (DOM: Disciples of Mercy) in Kisumu with a military guard. Not armored vehicles or anything, just a couple guys in camo with rifles; rifles meaning guns with 2inch bullets. Just on the outskirts of Kisumu we switched vehicles to a DOM van with no guard and entered Kisumu. We switched as a road block was set up and I guess the DOM van was allowed to pass back and forth. The primary reason for the fast exodus was because a 2nd Member of Parliament was killed within 36 hours of the first one. The Farm manager was in Kisumu when the news hit and the people in Kisumu weren’t too fond of hearing that a second MP of theirs was killed. Kisumu wasn’t the best place to be. I guess within 5 minutes of the news hitting, Kisumu had road blocks everywhere and more burning. Given that there’s a decent chance that the MPs were killed for political reasons, and that it was unknown if more were going to be killed; it was decided that we should leave while we can. Thankfully, it appears that things haven’t gotten much worse, and no more opposition MPs have been killed, but Kenya is still in turmoil.

Feb 1st:
So we stayed the night at the DOM compound and the next morning around 5:45, under cover of darkness, bogarted it over to the Kisumu airport. From Kisumu, we took a half hour flight to Nairobi where the others got flights out. Unfortunately, as Seattle is asleep when I’m awake, and awake when I’m asleep, I wasn’t able to get a ticket for that same day and ticket changing was somewhat difficult (send an email one day, get reply back next day kinda thing). The travel agency was thankfully very flexible and got me a ticket for Feb 2nd, in the evening. I got a ride to a 20dollar a night hotel in the city center and spent a couple hours before dark in the city center. I had a rough night though. I went to bed around 9:30, a little early, but not to abnormal of a bed time for me while in Kenya, but only slept till 12:30 and was awake till 5 when I fell asleep again till 7. Those 4.5 hours my mind was awake and racing I couldn’t fall asleep again no matter what. Not like I had anything else to do either so I was bored out of my mind as well. Sucked hardcore.

Feb 2nd:
Spent the morning in the city as well, enjoyed some good city food, talked to some of the local shop owners about politics and all that jazz. Funny, people always wanna know how America does democracy and how come we aren’t ours isn’t corrupt like their government is. I think my response to that was “American democracy is corrupt as well, and we rig elections too, but we do with with style so the people don’t care so much”. Which is true and sad, but I still thought it was ironically humorous. I got a ride back to the airport around 11 and confirmed that my tickets existed, then had to sit around till the 6:10pm flight. I got their so early, because I wasn’t sure at this point of I was actually ‘on’ the 6:10 flight, and if I wasn’t, I wanted time to get on it.

So, only a short 2 hour flight to Ethiopia with a 2hour layover and I was on my way back to the states. Granted, from Feb 2nd, 6:10pm Nairobi time to Feb 3rd, 3:45pm Seattle time is 32.5 hours, which is a lot of time on an airplane. A LOT! Sucky flight, bored out of my mind most of the time and as I couldn’t sleep (can’t sleep much on an airplane) I was also sleep deprived which meant mentally unstable. Thank God for movies. But still, on a 32.5 hour flight, the 3 movies I watched only account for 15% of the time, which is too small. Anywhoo, I’m relieved to be home and no longer crammed on a plane.

Now Back Home:
Since this will get read by a decent (I think) number of people, I’ll take this chance to also throw out that I will shortly be looking for a place to stay again. If anyone knows of a place that has a garage or workspace that I could also rent, let me know. I’m very keen on finding a place that allows me to work on little pet projects. Everything else is pretty much negotiable (room size, roommates type, blah blah), heck, I don’t even care if I gotta sleep in the garage/workshop. While that’s probably not legal, but I won’t tell if you won’t tell! 🙂 As for me as a roommate, I can be a hermit a majority of the time, quiet, clean, and all that. If you need a reference, with my ex-roommates permission, I will give out his contact info to those that ask.

Also, I got my old phone back up and running. Same number and all.

Oh, and yes, it’s friggin’ cold here. but now after about a week I’m starting to re-adapt to it. but those first few days were pretty harsh, I thought I couldn’t get warm. In fact, I was only really warm after a scalding shower, in which, like a snake, I would absorb heat energy with which I would stay warm for about an hour after words and then freeze again.

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Compuka Urine

Friday, January 18th, 2008

I gotta get this down before I forget any details. Tonight I had another little fiasco with the youngest African boy.

While I was talking about some things on Wolfgangs IBook Apple Laptop thingy with Stephanie (one of the German gals), the youngest boy in that house, Mustafa, came by and was drinking some compukat (spelling? I dunno. It’s a fruit juice that is carbonated by a mushroom. crazy germans!). In the midst of all this, he put his cup down ontop of the laptop, on the keyboard. Now, any one who’s ever been around a computer knows this is a no no. So my immediate, natural reaction was to quickly remove the cup with a “aaaaaaye! Don’t put that on the computer! Not near a computer”. Mustafa, not one to take any sort of reprimand in any kind of pleasant way puts the cup down next to the computer. Not on it this time, but next to it. Seeing where this is going (spilled carbonated, sugary liquid on or near the computer) and not needing that, I grab the cup and down it in a quick gulp.

This did not make Mustafa happy.

I should clarify before hand, normally Mustafa and I are great friends (he’s age 10ish). But any sort of reprimand really goats these African’s. So, having gone through Mustafa’s “you did something to me so you should fix it even though your actions where clearly in response to something I did that I shouldn’t have done” he proceeded to complain heavily and wanted me to get him more compukat. He gives me the cup, I put it down on the table (not where the laptop is, but the dining room table). He gets it, complains somemore and gives it to me again. We go through this who knows how many times. Unfortunatly, his patience at ‘being wronged’ surpasses my ‘I can only handle so much’. Last time we had our little complaint-fest I had to leave before I exploded. and actually I just went and did some pull ups. Highest number of pull ups I’ve ever done. Pretty proud of that, though it took an hour of built up adrenaline and angst to do it. anyways, sidetrack. This time around both Stephanie and myself are rolling eyes and explaining over and over again why I drank his compukat, and that if he want’s more, there is some right there on the dining room table. But to no avail, as Mustafa doesn’t listen and continues to complain and wants me to get him compuka since I drank it. Being the big-egoed, hard hearted, disciplinarian I am, that’s not gonna happen. At one point, Stephanie says “fine!” and is about to get up and get Mustafa some compukat. I say, somewhat forcibly, “Nine!” (German ‘no’) and she doesn’t get up. I apologize later for that to her, as my agitation was directed at Mustafa not her (whoops!). But I was heavily angered at this point. Incessant complaining over nothing gets to me. In fact, I’m getting all antsy about it now. Seriously, never come me whining about nothing.

Anywhoo, I end up closing the laptop and picking Mustafa up (thankfully he’s light) and going over to the couch where we continue ‘dialogue’ for a while longer. Luckily I have decently fast reflexes when my angst is up and adrenaline is pumping so most times he goes to pinch, punch or slap me I can grab his arm and prevent it. Not that it hurts (he doesn’t do it that hard, more of a authority thing) but that I won’t allow him to do that to me for obvious reasons. Anyways, eventually I say if he wants his compuka back, he can get it back in a couple hours after my body is done with it. Not to be outdone Mustafa calls my bluff and wants it back in the same cup. Me and my big mouth.

Being a man of my word to someone like Mustafa is more important attempting to not do dumb things. Thus, a couple hours later I go to the restroom and relieve myself. I call him into the bathroom, ask him which bathroom cup is his and tell him to enjoy his processed compuka, and to please flush the toilet when he’s done. Then I make my exit, hoping that he will flush the toilet and be done. Not quite what happened, but the rest isn’t to eventful.

I’m not a parent, but I do my best with the weird issues these kids have. Maybe not the best solution, but it seems works out in the end. All the boys still like me. Either way, next time I hope I remember that they call bluffs. I gotta watch what I say as it better be something I can do if pressed. I don’t need to show off my urine again.

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Posted in Children, Kenya, Miwani |

Goose Assassination

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

So the other day I got to see a pretty sweet Goose Assassination. Can’t really say too much here, else I might be next….. but check out the pictures eh? and just in case, dont’ be eating while you look. It’s for your own safety, and that of your keyboard incase you have a weak stomach. 🙂

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Pre-Holiday/Election Catchup

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Primarily due to the fact that I’m horribly anal when it comes to doing things in ‘sequence’ here’s a couple events that preceded me leaving the Miwani Farm and going to Kakamega.

12/17/07
Armed Robbers nearby
My first case of violence in Kenya, little did I know it was just a touch of what was going to happen later. But anyways, some armed bandits robbed a Motorcycle driver going by the road that runs along the Miwani Farm. Then proceeded to escape through our compound after villagers from around the area started running everywhere (all the talking was in Swahili so I had a hard time following what was going on). Initially I had heard some shots but didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t loud where I was figured it was something else. But then I heard all the kids running and yelling as they were going to the gated entrance to the compound. Being one to follow the crowd, I joined in to see what was going on. After a few minutes they jumped the fence and ran through the middle of the compound at out the other side. No one was hurt or anything. Guess they had a bag of money.

Egg Lovin’
This was also the same day that the main leaders of the compound had gone for the weekend. The CEO’s parents came in a couple days prior to stay for Christmas and they went off for the weekend to show them some bit of Kenya. Thus, with it being just me and the three boys, I wanted eggs for lunch. So made eggs with stuff in them for the four of us. As I normally make plenty of mistakes, I didn’t want to exclude this cooking event so I broke 8 eggs in the process, all over the floor. My excuse lies in that my hands had some oil on them and the egg holder wasn’t very good and the refrigerator hit my hand and and and and. Whatever. I hate cleaning up broken eggs. Pain in the arse to get up off the floor.

Ugali is a one way dish
As this day was proving so eventful, for dinner we had Ugali (african dish) and that night I got the pleasure of regurgitating it for the sewer animals. It wasn’t the Ugali that got me as the boys were fine, but maybe the water or something on my hand? I dunno. Nice case of Food poisoning that took me out the next day as well. Oh, and Ugali is a dry maize dough/bread that is eaten with something liquidy. You can’t really eat it plain, like trying to eat saltine crackers with a dry mouth. So imagine eating a fair amount of dry dough and having it come back out. Uber thick. Uber Green. Not cool. Not kosher. Don’t want that experience again. I like barfing up malted shakes like I did when I got my wisdom teeth out.

12/19/07
Monkey Love
I saw a pack of monkeys today! I was assisting with moving a toilet house from the workshop where it was built to Tobias’ house on the far side of the compound. We all cut our hands pretty good on the sheet metal. Nothing like putting blood into your work. But I was driving the transport truck from the workshop to his house on and the way about 8 monkeys had jumped over the fence and were chillin’ on the path. Unfortunately they were too fast so I didn’t get to run them over with my Toilet Truck. or is that fortunate? I forget. 🙂

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Spider Cage Match: To the Death!

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

“I knew this fight would come whilst in Africa. Praise the Lord I am the victor and not “he who cannot be named”. The evil one, the 8 legged 32 jointed fiend that lies in wait and preys on passerbys; the one the only, SPIDER!”

I can tell this tale better with pictures so go –Here– for the tale. Start with Picture 1 and proceed. If it doesn’t work let me know.

PS the next morning Joseph told me that he almost came over because it sounded like “something was going down” like a cockroach or rat or something. But then it quieted back down shortly so he figured someone won and he would find out in the morning if I was the Victor or the loser. Naturally I was the winner.

Spider Death was Pronounced on December 14th, 9:47pm Nairobi Standard Time (Greenwich Mean Time +3 hours)

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Sickness, Cellphones and Ant Attack

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

The title reminds me of an old B Movie. Probably just he Ant Attack part. Anywhoo, Picture links should be in the section ‘title’, as in, just click the ‘Cell Phone’ of the title “11/27 – Cell Phone”

11/27 – Cell Phone
Got a cellphone for my time in Kenya. The number is 0725 381 285 and that should include the country code and all. It costs me about 10 cents to send a text/SMS and about 40 cents/minute to talk; and nothing to receive. Thus I won’t be contacting too many people outside of Kenya with it. Sweet phone though, got it for 40 bucks and it has a ‘fixed’ LCD screen. Black and white with super good battery life.

11/28 – Present (12/16) Surveying
One of my primary farm jobs are to survey and make a map of the compound. I’ve been working on that off and on now for about 2 weeks. Taking measurements is hard work! the Compound is about 2/3 mile long, 1/4 wide. And I’m measuring it with a 300ft tape measure. Which involves staking down one end, walking 300 ft with it, putting my hat down as a marker, walking back and rolling the tape measure back up, then walking back to my hat to re-stake and start again. Thus, for every 300ft I measure, I walk 900ft. Good exercise! And on some of the walls it isn’t ‘smooth’ ground but some good rivers to forge, brambles to walk through, bugs to frighten.

12/5 – Sickness
On Wednesday the 5th I started to get sick. I don’t know what kind of sickness but I was just exhausted all day with a headache and couldn’t sleep well that night. One would think dehydration so I drank a lot of water that day and was fully hydrated by lunch. Ever since that sickness I’ve had much more flem in my throat than normal. Weird. Maybe due to the Malaria meds but I dunno. Speaking of Malaria meds, they do make my dreams a little more vivid. The other night I was dreaming about Zombies (not a scary dream as one would assume, just kinda intense. My dreams rarely are scarey, but sometimes kinda intense) but I did wake up suddenly cause I thought I felt someones hand on my back and heard something. In the dream it was a zombie naturally. That startled me a bit. Oh, and I have bats in my roof that consistently make noise at night so waking up at night from weird noises is also a common occurence. As long as they don’t come into my room I’m okay with it. And despite what I thought, they fall a lot. I hear a thud from a falling bat quite often. I guess if I was trying to sleep upside down I would fall too.

12/5 – Gum Oddity
Oh, and also the day I got sick was the day I had some Gum disease. My gum on my back molar was a little sore and upon looking I noticed that a small section of it had receded and was red (more red than your generic gum red that is). This worried me as I like my teeth being healthy, but it didn’t grow anymore and the redness and pain disappeared within a couple days. It’s still receded, but I’m keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t grow. Hopefully the gum will grow back normal. I don’t know what caused that. Either way, I don’t know what sickness I had on the 5th of December. What causes restless sleeping, headaches, exhaustion, and gum deterioration? Again, I’m back to normal excluding the extra flem and a little less gum in my mouth.

12/8 – Nandi Rock Hike
On the 8th (A Saturday) a number of us went hiking up to the highest point around. Nandi Rock. Which isn’t too high but it was a good day hike and good exercise in 85-90 degree heat. Got a good sunburn on some exposed white skin (left shoulder wasn’t tan and got exposed for a bit and got nice and red. Now it’s peeling)

One tale not in the pictures is that Ants don’t like me. At one point while standing and waiting for some people to catch up I was attacked by rabid ants. Maybe I was too close to their home, I dunno. At first it felt like plants were tickling my foot which I just ignored as plants tickling your feet are common when hiking in sandals. Then suddenly it was dozens of little stinging pains all over my feet. I think my reaction was “Ow! HEY!” The ants weren’t big enough to break skin so it was just them pinching me with their pincers but it was still a surprise and not something I could just ignore. Then for the next 5 minutes wherever I stood ants would still try to get me. I must have been targeted with the “bite me” smell.

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Thanksgiving and Busted Riveters

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Thanksgiving
So Thanksgiving was pretty sweet. We drove to Kisumu and spent mid-morning/lunch and early afternoon and ate an excellent thanksgiving meal with a number of other “whites” who lived in Kisumu. the owners of the house, Swansons I believe, had known my parents (or at least went to the same church when I was younger) so I was recognized by a couple people. Recognized as in “you’re Dave Jolly’s kid?”, apparently I look like him or something :-). And yes, even in thanksgiving in Kenya, we still had Turkey! I was actually rather surprised, but I guess you can buy turkey anywhere now-a-days around thanksgiving. Enough people want it, someone will bring it and make a couple bucks.

Gecko Sleep Death
That night I also killed a Gecko in my house. Didn’t know that was possible. Those little guys are hard to catch! I must have caught him off guard as I just stepped on him when I entered my house (all lights were off and it was dark). Didn’t even know what happened until I turned the lights on (after closing the curtains so as ti minimize how many bugs fly in as soon as the light turns on). Then I saw a gecko spleen on the floor next to exploded gecko. icky is a term I would use to describe squished gecko. That’s right. Icky.

Riveters of Doom
The next couple days of work where spent in the Workshop where I was trying to be of service. Helped with a number of things, but the main one was putting up sheet metal on the Trailer. –Picture here– so you know what I’m talking about. In the process of measuring, drilling, riveting the dang riveter gave way. Granted, this riveter was on it’s last legs and was 5+ years old (German made) so it had done well. But we only got 2 sheet metal plates up and still had one more. And that one more now only had 1/10 of the rivets in it, all on 1 row on the bottom. We tried to fix it by welding the riveter back together, but that didn’t work. Just re-broke. So we tried to duct-tape the sheet metal to the Trailer so we could use the Trailer but apparently that didn’t work to well either. It’s too bumpy that the duck-tape gave way like melting butter. So 6 large clamps later, it was good to go for a trip. We got a new riveter from town on Tuesday (Initially broke prior Sat.) Unfortunately it already had a crack in the Riveter which wasn’t noticed when it was purchased. So to prevent it from breaking we used a clamp on the Riveter to “hold it together” and got the sheet metal on and was good to go. Course, later that day I tried to rivet something else and it broke like a plastic toy. But not where the clamp was, as the clamp was keeping it from breaking at that point. Instead the handle broke. That’s right, I broke a cast steel Handle. Awesome grip, booyah!! or it was just cheaply and horribly made… hmmm, I like the awesome grip story better…

Other notable events that week include but aren’t limited to:
– Helped graze the cows (meaning I stood under a tree/shade until some cows strayed and chased them back into the area where they were supposed to be grazing)
– Saw what is called a “Sausage Tree”. Apparently the fruit ferments on the tree, isn’t really edible, but it makes elephants drunk, and thus they like it. Unfortunately no elephants where I am.
– There is a lot of illegal lumber harvesting everywhere in Africa. They chop trees, burn them and sell the charcoal. I saw a group of them today and one was bathing in the river. Nothing like a charcoal covered naken man to make my day!
– Oh, and 10/28, 2 weeks after I left home, was the first night where I actually stopped and looked up into the night sky. Thought that was odd that it took me 2 weeks to remember to look up. I was just walking to my house for bed, stopped, and thought “oh yah, stars, different sky, I should look”. silly me.

and thus concludes some events around Thanksgiving time (11/22 – 11/28)

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Posted in Kenya, Miwani, Work |