Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

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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