Day: December 29, 2013
Before we got up, we’d heard birds squawking in the trees, and Meld spotted the green parrots.
Lucy’s uncle brought his children Margaret and Titus to visit.
Accompanied by Agostino, Meld and I drove to John Mulwa’s home, which proved to be a long way out from the village on a very rough road. We met his grandmother, cousins and niece.
They liked to try on my hat.
Setting out to return to Mivumoni
John’s neighbours are building a house by the road.
Back at Lucy’s we sat and chatted
After lunch, with the car loaded, we waited for Mike to return from work so that we could get some group photos (although Japhet was out with the cattle)
And so we set off, heavily laden. The blue water lilies near Milalani were stunning.
The journey proved quite easy, apart from Mombasa traffic.
Back home we had a few challenges – the gas ran out so we had to move to the charcoal jiko, and big debates with the owner of the car who wants the car back and said “come to the office tomorrow for your money for the tyre and fine” to which he got a resounding “you don’t get your car until we see the money”.
Today’s main activity was a visit to Mike’s workplace, Base Titanium, but before we set out we had to have breakfast – githeri and casava.
Agostino has become a villa fan.
At the titanium plant we only visited the catering section where Mike works, and met his bosses David (pictured) and Brian. Dave gave us a tour of the kitchen and described the operation.
After lunch in the mess we said farewell to Mike.
We drove to Ukunda for shopping, and visited the Kamba carving centre. Meld bought a karamba for school, and Ndunge demonstrated how to play it.
Bixa, used for dyes, grows well here.
Lucy working again, this time the laundry.
The new bathroom – no more views of the stars as you do your ablutions.
Japhet brings home the goats and a calf.
Meld makes sure that Sue’s Christmas decorations are still hanging on the wall – it’s been a bit breezy.
Kennedy and Japhet prepare coconuts.
I went with Maggy for a drink at the pub (well, we’d promised the owner we’d return), then back to Maggy’s where Black Jack soon jumped on my lap (having licked my feet).
Sitting tasting Maggy’s githeri I suddenly realised I’d left my camera at the pub, so Agostino, Maggy and I hurried back. Nearly to the pub we heard squeals from behind – Black Jack had followed us and was being bitten by the black ants. Maggy had to carry her to the pub and home again, and hold onto her as Agostino and I left.
Back at Lucy’s it was Chapati Party time, accompanied by green grams and potatoes fried in batter (which Meld cooked with Lucy).
Every morning found Lucy doing the washing up from the night before – it can’t be done in the evening because there is no light. It’s a careful process as all water has to be carried from the spring, so you don’t waste it.
The cattle stay in overnight.
Our car by the sitting room. (OK, this morning we did drive the car to church because we were so late, with lots of people in the back!)
Meld found my bed jumping – and this was who was in it!
Lucy’s parents took us on a tour of their shamba. The maize is growing well.
Mike explains what they are growing.
Lucy’s mum checks some low-hanging pawpaws.
Afterwards we walked to Lucy’s uncle and aunt’s for lunch and a tour of their shamba.This is the store.
Checking the oranges.
Passion flowers – there were fruit too.
Carrying home the fruit we’d collected.
Time to say farewell.
Mivumoni is named for the Mivuma trees which grow here/
We passed one of the boreholes that we helped to refurbish a few years ago, still working.
Back in Mivumoni, we went for a drink with Mike and meet some of his work colleagues and other villagers.
Lucy’s sister Ndunge
We were invited to supper with the St Joseph Sisters, who made us very welcome. Seminarian Gabriel came along too.
I should have said yesterday, Christmas started with the vigil Mass, which was full of song and joy. Starting at 10pm, home about midnight. No Christmas Carols as we know them. The church was decorated with balloons and was very festive.
Christmas Morning we got out the banana-fibre crib we bought in Nairobi.
After breakfast, Lucy was soon onto preparing lunch – a simple meal of ugali and cabbage ahead of tonight’s feast.
We were visited by the children of some neighbours (the parents were working I think)
Soon Lucy’s aunt (in pink) and uncle joined us.
We spent most of the day sitting and chatting with visitors.
The watoto eat their lunch.
In the afternoon, Lucy,Meld and I paid a visit to the St Joseph Sisters whose convent is next to the church.
The sisters loved seeing the photos on my phone, and were soon taking selfies (but the light was challenging and they weren’t very good)!
Sister Ancilla had dislocated her wrist working in the shamba.
We returned via Maggy’s home, saying hello to her family and to Black Jack.
Back at Lucy’s, preparations for dinner were under way. Our contribution was a Christmas Pudding and custard. teaming the pud wasn’t too difficult, though making custard (even from powder) on a very hot wood fire was a challenge.
Soon the pilau was served.
The Christmas pud was liked by some and not by others (just like home!). And I got to finish off the custard 🙂
And so to bed.