Dutch guests and bus fare arguments

Yesterday, while at the giraffe place ( or it might have been the elephant place) the others met a Danish woman who is with some Dutch engineers, who expressed interest in seeing what we are doing. Phone numbers were exchanged with a promise to be in touch. I think at the time Ken, Vish & Emma were trying to shake off a pushy Canadian called Keith who had pushily tagged along with them, so they were probably hoping for no follow up.

As it turns out, they are quite keen, so we met up with them in Karen this morning and made the second matatu journey as a group of 11.

The matatu negotiation generally goes (while in the middle of a crowd of people who are all trying to have the same conversation with you):
“You want matatu?”
“Yes. Racecourse. How much?”
“50 bob”
“Not mzungu prices, mkenya”
“Uh… 20 bob”
“Thank you, that will do nicely kind sir”
Then we get in the vehicle.

We had this conversation, only it was a bus-sized vehicle rather than mini van and there were 11 of us. The agreed price was 10 Bob (140 Bob to the £, to give some context).

When Vish tried to pay for us, the chap denied any knowledge of the verbal contract that had been made and refused to be paid until he was paid the right amount. This dispute was unresolved at the point where we wanted to get off, and the guy’s way of dealing with us was to not let us off the bus. Some of the other passengers backed us up, otherwise we might just have coughed up the £1 or so. At one point, the one where I was next off the moving-again bus, the passenger by the door was holding on to me to stop me from hurting myself jumping off the bus. It was all very exciting and clearly the image we want to convey to guests…

We went to Lizpal first, where Vish and I offloaded the job of dishing up food to our guests while we sat in the shade drinking soda…

The children are super-well-behaved – this queue pretty much wound up going all the way around the corner into the main courtyard of the school. The new holey spoon we bought last week appeared to work a treat as well. making sure that all of the children get the right amount of beans compared to rice & stew-gravy.

Work is underway at Glad kids to build their new kitchen. A suspicious amount of work was carried out between the time of our arrival and when we left compared to what must have gone on beforehand… but we’ll see. Hopefully if we keep popping in it will all be done before too long…


Emma was copying names into the health book we are setting up to track the childrens’ growth, and two little heads kept popping up to say hello.

(In case you think we actually slacked off all afternoon, I should tell you that Vish and I took new photos of all the staff for the charity website, and Vish helped take the visitors on a walking tour of Lenana. While I sat on my butt at the school. Um. Oh, no, then Emma and I took staff photos at Excel. So not so much slacking.)

I’m going to miss the celebrity status in a few days…