It’s all about the goat

Wednesday morning Ken had some quiet time at the camp while Emma, Vish and I headed over to Dagareti. Catching a matatu proved non-trivial (briefly) as for about 10 minutes we didn’t see any. A brief foray with a bus ended quickly when, in spite of checking that it was going directly to Karen, it immediately turned left and would have taken over an hour. And then the Karen to Racecourse leg of the journey was pretty much all done at a crawl due to traffic. Boo!

Added together, this meant that we were half an hour late for our meeting with Amref, a charity who are working in the area. There isn’t as much overlap as we would like, either in what we are doing or geographically (they are based in the Waimuru district, and we …aren’t (yet)), but the woman we met was very open and clearly wanted to be helpful. She gave us the names and contacts for key people at Ngong health centre which will hopefully expedite some of our programs.

We went on, after taking a quick drink of juice at John’s house, to help serve lunch at Lizpal. We arrived to find the whole school apart from the baby class in the courtyard, lined up with their bowls, and were overwhelmed with loud cheering. Seeing what the children are getting is very useful, and we know that the balance isn’t quite right yet. The ratio of beans to rice isn’t right, but we get the impression it will be hard to reduce the rice as although it’s nutritionally poor, it fills them up. However, we have a plan for helping to make sure enough is dished out to each child, involving slotted spoons… Vish found one online which has a Nessie head, but this was swiftly dismissed as an indulgence.

After lunch we returned to Excel as yet more generosity was being showered upon us. Titus, the head teacher, had his mother slaughter & pack up a goat to be sent down from his homeland in the country. Ken had warned us that this is then turned into all kinds of exotic stew involving visible body parts, however I’m guessing that our delicate ways were accommodated this time as we were presented at first with tasty stew, and then with “choma”, which was barbecued goat. Teacher Andrew carved with a machete and we all dug in. The other head teachers & deputies joined us for this, so it was quite the party. Again, it’s really touching to be hosted so generously by people who have so little.

After this, we went to a builders merchant for a water tank & stand. Sadly neither outlet would budge on price, so the hunt continues – we have more options to explore, which is pencilled in for Thursday.

The evening was spent quietly back at Eco Wildebeast uploading photos and being deafened by the toads (they sound like very loud woodpeckers). My leg is still really sore & would ideally be elevated more than it is – all the walking we are doing is not really helping the healing process so I’ll just have to do a lot of sitting when I get back…

And finally, after the torrential rain on Tuesday night, a mud update. It actually wasn’t too bad. There were quite a few puddles about, and you can see how the rainy season could be a total nightmare, but most of the water has just run off into the ditches, etc. The playground at Excel needs some work to drain effectively, but at no point were we “forced” to wade through knee deep mud. Again, it’s not like at Glasto 😉

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This is the big ditch across the road we have to negotiate each day – as it involves tromping over a muddy temporary dyke with deep water each side, we were a bit concerned it would have been washed away, but it was fine. In the UK this road would be closed to through traffic, but they hold no truck with that kind of thing here – this is what we nearly drove into on our way from the airport. Another ditch sprang up further up the road the other night (Tuesday, when it was raining) and it was helpfully marked as a hazard with a pair of boots and red & white stripy tape. Finding our way around that in the dark meant we all wound up wearing an extra 2″ of mud on the bottom of our shoes.

Today we are due to look at a couple of prospective schools while Ken & Vish go in search of water tanks.