Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Happy New Year

Obviously I haven't made any resolutions because I have the same ones that just roll over unachieved from year to year...to be skinny and rich!!  I think my resolution this year is to have a bit more adventure in our lives.

Life is going  well here in Kenya, I finally feel settled and like Nanyuki is our home.  I've not written for a few months, not because we've not done anything blog-worthy but because I've just not been able to find the right words.  Life has definitely had it's ups and downs but I feel like this year is going to be a good one and I'm determined to make it so.


 
 
We decided to start 2014 as we mean to go on....with an adventure! I'd heard about the Mau Mau caves, there are many of them all over Kenya but some are very close to Nanyuki.  The Mau Mau people hid in them during the uprising in the 60's.  A few weeks ago we tried (unsuccessfully) to find them.  Our neighbours had been to them and gave us the grid reference and accurate directions for our second attempt.


 
 
So we packed up a picnic, lots of water and a first aid kit (just in case) and off we went. After a short drive we arrived at the right place, then we began the walk to the actual caves.  According to the GPS it's only about 5km to get there, but if you bear in mind we're already at a fairly high altitude and we climbed another 100m or so during our hour and a half walk in baking sun you can appreciate that it was a fairly hard walk.


 
 
The path we walked along took us through woodland, not dissimilar to a wood in the UK if you don't look too closely...the ENORMOUS baboons that we had to stop for reminded us pretty quickly that we were most definitely not in the UK!!!


 
 
The other thing that reminded us we weren't in the UK was the weather (sorry to gloat) it's so hot here at the moment, if it hadn't been for the shade of the forest we would never have made it to the caves.  It was lovely strolling along, watching the way the light dappled the path.  There were so many butterflies but I failed to get any pictures of them, the colours were beautiful; blue, yellow, tiny weeny orange and white ones.


 
 
As we neared the caves we began to hear water and were confronted with some rather unimpressive puddles.  Like I say it's really hot here at the moment so we've had no rain for several weeks now.
 


 
 
As I'm a complete wimp when it comes to cliff edge situations. Jeffwa explored the far side of the rock face and confirmed that yes we were in the right place.  We were quite disappointed at this point because it appeared that this was as much cave as we would be seeing.  After exploring further we discovered a track that led down to the small lake at the bottom.  You have no idea how proud of myself I am for negotiating it, I most definitely was not a mountain goat in a previous life.  I had a few moments where I truly thought I couldn't walk down but had a word with myself and slowly made my way down (some of it on my bottom as I was so scared)
 
It was so worth it!!!!!!
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
What a place! What's really incredible is that people actually lived here.
 


 

 
 
 
Then we had to cross the most rickety bridge....obviously I made Jeffwa go across first!! Cue more shaking and self doubt from me, because once we established that it was safe as he didn't plunge to his death, it was my turn.
 
 
 
                           



It was soooo worth it (again)


  
 
 

 
 

 


 I won't bore you with the details of our picnic (it was well deserved let me tell you) but safe to say we had a fantastic mini adventure and we're already planning the next one!  Hopefully our feet won't be so sore next time.  The walk back was not as fun mainly because we struggled to find the car!

Happy New Year again, miss you all lots

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Monday, 28 October 2013

Sweetwaters

Every so often it's good to get out of Nanyuki to remind ourselves why we're here.  Life becomes a bit to routine otherwise and merges into a never ending cycle of trips to the market, the supermarket and A.N.Other coffee shops.

We jumped into the car and toddled up the road to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.  It's about a 40 minute drive to get there, if the road was tarmacked it would only be a 20 minute drive! But we're in Kenya after all so it's not wise to set your hopes too high.

In case you don't know what the Big 5 are (and they have them all here) let me tell you. We have lions, African buffalo,African elephant, rhino and leopard.  We did quite well on our first visit to see 3 out of 5..I'm not hopeful of seeing all of them before we leave as leopards are notoriously difficult to spot, but we might go and camp there so we'll have a pretty good chance of seeing the lions.

We had an amazing day.......








 
 
All in all an AMAZING day!! I can't wait to go again next month, it's only up the road after all.
 
 
Love to you all, miss you lots
 
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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Domestic Stuff

One of the other wives here brought her maid to see me yesterday.  Everyone here has someone to do their housework for them, it’s a very new experience for me.  I feel frightfully middle class sat here writing this while she scrubs my kitchen from top to bottom! I think I’ll get used to it fairly quickly though.  I’m only going to employ her 2 days a week, she works for the other lady 3 days a week so gets a full time job from both of us combined.  She seems really sweet and really hard working.  I was only going to have her from 10-2 but she wants 10-4 so I think I’ll go for that.  Her name is Eselina, she’s 27, married with 2 small children and has a husband out of work.  Between us we’ll pay her 2250ksh which is about £16.50 a week.  It certainly makes me realise how lucky we are in the UK, even if we’re ‘skint’ we have more than that to live on, let alone support a family of 4.  I actually feel quite emotional about the whole thing, despite me paying her so little this is the going rate and she is so grateful to have work, I feel that we truly don’t know we’re born in the UK.

It’s very strange having someone in the house while I sit doing not very much! After a few weeks I think I’ll be able to leave her here while I go out but for now I need to be here just to make sure she ‘s trustworthy...

We also have a guard and a gardener employed by the Army. My guard, Sammy, is great.  They get paid peanuts, 200ksh per 12 hour shift 6 days a week.  So I make sure I give him lots of tea and coffee and will be buying him a newspaper once I work out where to buy one from.  Our gardener hasn’t been this week...I think I’m supposed to report it but I’m not sure who to.  She seems really nice too. In fact all the local people we’ve come in to contact with are lovely, so happy and friendly. They are so so proud to be Kenyan, and especially here in Nanyuki they are really pleased that the British Army are here because we provide lots of jobs for them.  To an outsider it may seem like exploitation but it really isn’t.  After being here for just under a week it’s clear to us that these people would live in slums and starve if we didn’t employ them, the women would be prostitutes and more than likely have HIV.


All in all our Kenyan adventure is becoming a very humbling experience that everyone could learn a lot from.