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Clare’s Travel Diary

Friday, 16 Sep 2011

MapWow what a busy, humbling and amazing day! We were up early to meet Freddie at The Walk to weight out the flour and beans we bought in big sacks into 7 smaller bags to add to the home packs. The families were sent a message by Fred to meet at The Walk centre in order to pick up the packs. Members of 4 of the 7 families turned up and we invited them into the dining room to collect them. Each person carried a large wash basin filled with all the goodies back up to their homes (a long slog up quite a steep hill) . Steve carried one as one lady was quite elderly. To be honest he struggled more than them, they shot up there with the basins balancing up on their heads at the speed of lightning.
We followed up with 4 mattresses for some of the homes. we then went round each house and showed them the goodies. We lit up the parafin lamps as Fred said this insured they were less likely to be sold new for cash. Every family was so so grateful. What a humbling experience.  Each household blessed us over and over one chau chau (that call every woman chau chau which is a respectful name for older women) took our hand and spat on it. Apparently this is also a blessing, didn't feel like one, felt wet. Haha, no I was quite proud in a wierd way that she thought we deserved her blessing spit. You should have seen Lindsay's face though, I was watching for it and held back a giggle when her hand withdrew quickly for a trouser wipe. Haha! 
The last house we visited was Steve from the Walk Centre's family. Her family are really nice and her eldest boy is off to college (supported by The Walk) studying law. When we last visited we could see his mum was very ill, Fred was ensuring she had her medicine. When we visited this time we found out she has HIV. She's not well at the moment and was struggling to pay for antibiotics and pain killers which she needed. This equated to 500 Shillings. About £3.50. Obviously we gave her the money but  couldn't help getting quite upset as we left thinking how awful a situation that is to a mother of young kids. Food or medicine, how wrong. She was really grateful and overwhelmed. I feel we haven't deserved the praise and blessings. A lot of these guys do for being such strong and supportive mothers, grandparents, friends and neighbours to each other. 
Then came the rain but that won't stop us Northern folk. We went to town to get the foodie tops for Fred's Saturday foodie club. Larry followed us in an was chatting to me for a good hour while Steve and Lindsay tried to get the useless and pretty moody shop lady to find enough tops in one colour and in the sizes we needed. Larry is just one of the many market stall blokes who try to harass and befriend you every day. He is a Masai guy originally an a bit more chilled out than the rest, he obviously has a good tactic for gaining customers as we promised we'd come to him for gifts first. As he out it 'for you, cheaper than Aldi, Larry will look after you'. Ha! 
We ventured home with 22 green t shirts and met Fred. Then myself (chief buyer) and Fred wizzed off again on a motorbike (I want one now so bad, getting a bit addicted to this mode of transport) to the woodyard to buy a door and frame. As usual, nothing surprises me now, the door and frame were tied horizontally across the bike. He got me another bike and off tithe slum we went. By far my fastest ride yet......Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee! 
As we were in the dump I decided to get a few more 'germ infested pieces of rubbish' as steve says or beautiful and original recycled necklaces and bags from magazines and plastic bags  as I like to call them. Got loads for 1000 Shillings/7 squid. 
So that's it really. Merica for dinner. Home. Bed. 
Day off tomorrow and hotel :)