Im happy!
I just had my first class. I talked to the four girls in the “Advanced PC Maintenance” class about their tests, we went through the first few questions. I talked about the non-volatile ram inside a computer, what it stores and what that information is used for; I talked about booting a computer and what that means, and why it is called boot. It’s a good story. At one point I stood on the desk and attempted to lift myself by pulling on my shoe laces (yes, it is relevant). My colleague sat that the back so I could judge from her facial epressions if I was still behaving in an acceptible way with the Kenyan students; I think that had she not been there I would not have been so confident. But the point of all this is that I really enjoyed it. I have not done any teaching for a long time. It gave me a massive lift to do some today. I have been sitting fidgetting in the staffroom doing the JavaScript past paper for the last hour because the lab is closed while one of the Cisco on-line exams is being taken. Eventually I had had enough and had to come over here to the library/internet cafe and use one of these dodgey PCs to tell you all how happy I am with my morning’s work.

I’d like to add that I cooked the chips last night, made them properly by frying them first to cook and then removing them from the oil and salting them while the oil got nice and hot to put them back in and make them brown and crisp. Meanwhile I put some onion and some of the deliciously ripe and sweet tomates that they have here (unripe and flavour-less tomatoes are one of my long-standing gripes with UK supermarkets) in a pan with olive oil and fresh correander, fried them for a bit then covered them to make them steam and go lovely and soft for the tomato salsa. It was great. It wasn’t so much that I was missing chips as I had promised some colleagues that when they come to visit I will cook them something typically British, and I don’t know how to make Chicken Tikka Massala.

Awoke at 6.15 this morning and went for a run while it was still cool. The sky was clear — contrast with overcast last time I went running at that time — and I saw a beautiful sunrise. Its hot today.

I’ll write again soon and tell you about my new nickname and with some local photos.


  1. Lydia Says:

    Quarking at school! Your chips description had made me hungry!! Really good chips are so hard to get! 😛

  2. fede Says:


    can i come visit with my sister next autumn?


  3. tygger Says:

    i wish i had teachers like you …

    btw, got your reply to my c-jam blog … don’t sigh babe! SOMEONE has to take over YOUR job of enthusing people … we only hope we can do it remotely as well as you did!

    Just thought of something else – you know what was missing this weekend? Your music … we had great music but no one played all the interesting (but still danceable) stuff you dig out … london just ain’t the same without dj bitterjug….


  4. Cad Says:

    Great to hear from you again sir 🙂
    I am a newcomer to this here blog (Hello everyone) but I hope to stop by very often from now on to keep an eye on "Our man in Mombasa".

    Mark – your illustration of booting a computer really gave me a flashback to college days and your gormet chips have me dribbling.
    Great to hear that teaching is giving you a lift, which reminds me of a Tommy Cooper gag…

    I was driving along the other day and a man waved me down.
    ‘Can I have a lift’ he asked?
    ‘Sure’ I said, ‘you look great, the world’s your oyster, go for it!!’

    Mark, I’ll try and get some spoken word to you as well as music, do you have any more tips on how to safely get CD’s through customs?
    Until then, some English words to tide you over:
    – Eccles Cakes
    – Adnams
    – Galoshes
    – Dogger, Forties, Cromarty and German Bight

    Take care,

  5. Katie O. Says:

    Mark Man,
    By all that is lindy, I swear that your nefarious plot to take over the world by teaching Kenyans to tie their shoes ineffectively will be thwarted! This blog sees all and knows all. Mwah ha ha!


    PS. Cad’s lift story reminded me of my own experience in retail humor. Customers coming in to get stamped for free parking often asked, "Can you validate me?" to which I, in turn, responded, "Yes. You are a good person." Some customers laughed uproariously at my pithy come-back, but most were unimpressed. I, of course, cackled gleefully everytime. Mwah ha ha!

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