16/05/18 Kisumu airport collection
Rain stopped around 02:00, intermittent sleep and up for 05:30, pass on the swim this morning, still dark outside and a lot of uneven surfaces between my room and the pool. This had been the first night under the new mozzarella net, great improvement. Trusting now that the funshi (tradesman) turns up whilst we’re at the airport and installs the other five.
Breakfast at 06:00, cereal, Spanish omelette and sausage, hot and fresh. Tom and I are ready for 07:00. Sam and the minivan arrive just before 08:00, after some ribbing around the lateness of the hour we head off. We stop briefly in Ndhiwa to pick up a teacher who needs a lift to Kisumu. All the teachers are government employees and it seems that they are moved positions on a whim. This gentleman had been informed that he would be transferred to a town west of Kisumu from the 21st, just two weeks notice. He was a grabbing a lift to save money , leaving his wife and family in Ndhiwa and hopefully finding accommodation near to his new school. The van is old,rattles, stuffing long gone from the seats, but hopefully it will get us there and back, plus currently only me and the driver in the front of the vehicle. We are regularly waved at from the roadside, but we ignore all comers
No real issues on the journey and we arrive around 40 mins after the group have cleared customs. We get a wave as we drive around the drop off lane to pick them all up. Well there was a lot of luggage! The rear six seats were lost to towers of cases, rucksacks, bags and the water filter cases. I now shared the front seat with Elaine and the driver, everyone else shoehorned into the back. We head for HomaBay and the replacement pipes, roads not too bad and takes a couple of hours. Their journey out had been uneventful other than security needing the filter boxes opened, obviously packed full of the filters and the space creamed with the gifts that we had all brought out.
A fruitless journey around the backstreets of HomaBay, no 2.5 pipe available anywhere. I did pick up a 5m Tape and a 13amp plugin the rounds. The extension bar in the reception area has been operating with just a couple of leads poked into the outlet sine Tom and I arrived. Discussions on the missing pipes and decide to call the original supplier in Nairobi and have them shipped on the overnight bus to save any more hassle. Tom now needs access to a bank to arrange money transfer. We drop him at Barclays, driving around the corner to the supermarket to allow everyone the opportunity to stretch their legs and grab any snacks they may wish. I opted for another bottle of Legend Brandy and a couple of cartons of fruit juice. The others seemed to prefer the crisps and biscuit ranges. Still time to kill some walk around some of the adjoining market, a lot more stalls than on or visit last Sunday.
Tom is back with us so time to finish this trip, everyone squeezed back into the van and we’re away. We pull into a petrol station as we note a Coca Cola wagon delivering, we just need to squeeze in cases of bottled water for the new arrivals, we should each be drinking an absolute minimum of 1lt of water a day, ideally 2 or more. Whilst Tom and Sam dealt with the water, I noticed a lad selling sliced pineapple from a wheelbarrow on the forecourt. From my privilege position in the front I wandered over and purchased 16 slices for 200 K$, all the same denomination money I had with me. Certainly more thirst quenching than the sodas and gratefully received in the rear of the mini bus. The approach to the hotel is a real eye opener for our new colleagues, the impact of the heavy rains on the local infrastructure is clearly visible. Back at base and everything unloaded and people allocated to rooms and time to just wander. All the new mozzarella nerds have been fitted (300K$ for the nets each 250K$ for each installation). We’ll meet up in a cabana in 20 minutes or so for a discussion and then a Pastor Stephen is going to join us. The Pastor is part of a project that delivers, as part of their remit, hand wash and sexual education to 19 schools, Rakoro and Sangwe we will be working at and want to ensure that we do not provide contradictory advice to the children.
A round of sodas to quench thirsts and discussions around the forthcoming programme. Tom explains what we have achieved so far at Ndhiwa hospital primary and Otange, and that we will concentrate on getting those two projects completed before we move on. There will be issues in getting to Rakoro and Songwe because of the road conditions. It is currently impossible to get a car up to them, even the tractor and trailer had struggled. It is likely therefore that we will all need to ride pillion and potentially still walk for the last half mile or so.
Pastor Stephen now joined us and following introductions started to detail his groups work, it appeared that they worked primarily with children from 10 explaining the importance of hand washing, in fact there were hand washing clubs in both schools. He went on then to describe the sexual health messages for the different age children and started to talk about a counselling programme. At this stage, although this information was interesting we would in no way be conflicting with these parts of their project and I was very aware that the new volunteers were asleep on their feet. Thanking Pastor Stephen for his time and very interesting information, it was suggested that when we came to deliver our hand was message, that someone from the Pastors team be present at the two schools. He was very happy to accept this offer and our meeting came to an end around 16:00. Everyone was reminded that dinner would be served at 18:00.
I headed for the pool, the others I think to attempt a short nap. Dinner service had moved to what the hotel described as buffet service. Placed on the table were trays of braised beef, chicken pieces in a sauce, pan fried diced potatoes with chopped peppers and coriander, shredded cabbage and a mung bean Dahl. Even Elaine , our vegetarian (Elaine does eat fish) had her fill at the table. Arrangements had been made for a crate (25) of Tuskers lights to deliver to the hotel (boda boda) for consumption in the evenings. There was general chatter in the lounge for a short time, the newer members of our team disappearing off to their rooms to catch up on sleep. The inevitable issues with power and wifi access having been an interesting set of topics