Friday 5th February – Saturday 7th February
Today was spent by the pool, in and out, in and out, sleeping and a wonderful fresh fish lunch with fresh orange juice. Lesley had fresh beetroot juice with ginger in it which was beautiful as well. Nanna naps in the arvo, and more swimming. Forest Dreams Cabins are devine and I love the concept of the design. The monkeys took Lesley’s coconut with the fresh milk in it and scrambled up the tree, cheeky little things. We went to the Coastal African Pot restaurant for dinner (owned by a Kenyan Rotarian), and he remembered me from our Rotary meeting there 2 weeks earlier. Service was of the highest as he organised fresh plates, food etc., for us – it was smorgasboard night. The view around the restaurant was most interesting. Dutch and German women having a fantastic time together dancing and singing with the African music.
They would have been in their late 70’s, but getting down and boogying. Loved watching them enjoy themselves. Think Lesley in overload taking it all in. We ate dinner and went back to our cabins and to bed. So relaxed and Lesley so jetlagged. Saturday we went down to internet café and Lesley experienced her first matatu ride…. We were squashed in like sardines once I had refused to pay the $300 Kenya shillings he wanted to go 4 km down the road (A$3.00). I knew it was only 30 ks, (30 cents Australian) so I let him know it was worth only that because that’s what I’ve always paid and my Kenyan friends have told me that, and he began arguing with me, so I told him to go. I had done this route many times, and it was only that, and I was paying no more. He quickly made room for us. Bloody hell – if you don’t know the prices to pay how easily to get ripped off being white. So we spent a couple hours at internet café and lovely to have good internet service. We had to organise our Tanzanian trip so went back to our cabins and driver came so we paid our deposit and had him arrange everything. We had seen the buses that go to Tanzania so thought no, no, no, we’ll do the journey by car and pay the higher price – just for the comfort and no overcrowding, no thieving, no ripped torn seats, with springs to sit on, and no airconditioning, and no body odour, made it all that much more appealing, and we have someone picking us up at the border to head to Arusha. Our driver takes us to the border then we get collected there. I love having Kenyan friends whom I can trust. So all organised. People our age need ‘some comforts’ in Kenya, occasionally. After so long here already it will be nice to not have to be in overcrowded transport, and have seatbelts. This arvo we had Hummer our driver pick us up and take us to Shimba Hills back to the orphanage.
We got him to stop off at the supermarket so we could stock up on chocolates, nuts, and dare I say it buy 6 cans of tusker to drink on the way back. I could hear this person yelling out “Cathy, Cathy!!” as I was walking towards the supermarket and it was Wade the other volunteer in his safari van just having arrived back from 3 day safari. He was as burnt as anything, and so elated over the animals he had seen and the fabulous time he had. He had also stopped off to get some ‘goodies’ to take back to our rooms. Out of the hundreds of thousands of people here you wouldn’t credit it, running into him, so we offered him a lift back with us. We drank the tinnies on the way back and had nuts and chips with them.
Lesley was sooo tired when we arrived and the children all coming to meet her and the staff. They took to her really quickly like flies to a honey pot. Kerry showed her around and I have organised for her to start teaching the 6 younger children with me this week as Kerry is pulling them out of ‘school’ for us to assess them and see where their learning is at, and guide her on what to do with them for extra tuition. Not hard already for me to see having done homework with them for weeks now. We had an early night, as big day tomorrow. We have hired Hummer to take us to Mombasa and Kikambala to the children’s feeding station. Need to prepare ourselves for a very emotional day there. We are going to take one of the kids because that is all we can fit in the car with Lesley, Wade, me and the driver. Kerry has chosen Hassan as he has been working so hard at his homework and helping others.

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Member of Rotary

Umoja Orphanage Kenya is a Project of the Sunrise Rotary Club Bundaberg 
RAWCS Project Number 51/2011-12
Umoja's founder Cathy is a member of Fitzroy Rotary Club District 9570

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