Study, travel, study…

Like Spike Milligan’s Silly Old Baboon, I put on a spurt last week, and got to the end of semester three of the CCNA stuff. Then I broke loose from college and went traveling with Penny and Jonny. We visited Christine in Nanyuki, which was fab, and then to lake Naivasha and Hell’s Gate National Park which I have visited before. There are photos and stories of these things to come but today — back once again in front of a screen full of CCNA4 — I just wanted to check in and say I’m back!

p.s. “Rat Zinger”? I’ve zinged a few rats myself over the past year or so; thankfully nobody has offered me a senior position in the Catholic church.


  1. natty Says:

    I was working in the tea shop yesterday when the headline popped up on Yahoo. So I told everyone in the store "They picked Ratzinger."

    Remember of course that New Orleans is very, very Catholic but also very, very liberal.

    One of the ladies said, "Oh God, isn’t that the conservative guy?"

    "Yep," I said.

    She rolled her eyes. "How old is he, again?"

    I scanned the article and said, "He just turned 78."

    The woman and her friend smiled and laughed and said, "Oh, that’s ok, then." Then she covered her mouth in horror and apologized in case anyone else in the store was offended, but everyone here seems to have the same opinion: let’s hope he dies off quickly and get a reformist in there.

  2. Mark Says:

    You have an internet connection IN THE TEA SHOP???

    Cyber tea-room!

    OK I guess that’s not so supprising, but its a million miles away from rural Kenya and, even though I spent last night stealing small bottles of lotion and shampoo (!) from the Stanely Hotel in Nairobi, I still think im in for a bit of a shock when I hit “western” civilisation again.

    I liked the bit on CNN yesterday, about twelve minutes after the election, when the announcer expounded an elaborate theory about the fact that Ratzinger, being a retiring sort of fellow, might:

    a) retire at 80, and
    b) not get in the hair of a new pope if he did (he’d just stay in Bavaria with his books and be happy)
    c) thus set a precident for Popes stepping down rather than continuing their papacy well into their PVS comas.

    He asked his guest — some Vatican expert or other — to comment on this theory.

    "I think it’s too early to start speculating about his retirement"

    Then, on Kenyan FM radio in the Matatu today I heard the announcer say that Ratzinger was known as "Cardinal Ratzi" for short (I have **no idea** if any of this is true, Im just repeating what the Kenyan DJ said) and so now that he’s Pope he should be caled …

    Papa Ratzi :crazy:

  3. Lydia Says:

    I sat in front of the tv yesterday after the bell started ringing in St Peter’s square saying Please not Ratzinger and then the cardinal came out and started talking and as soon as he said "Josephum" my heart just sank. I felt as though a door had been slammed shut. I feel that I am not just standing on the fringes of the church which has been a part of me and my life since I was born but that who I am and the challenges that life has thrown up for me to deal with make me beyond the toleration of those who run it; that however much I try to live my life in a way that loves and supports others and keeps peace with my soul, I will never be good enough. I stood at the window and wept.

  4. jan Says:

    Hi Mark I have just had a quick chat with penny she seemed happy and tiard, she says you need a toilet seat and I am the lucky carrier of this good news…and Item, As I will proberbly use it it seems a good thing.
    and you seem to think we are Hireing a car in kenya .. NO we are not even thinking of it …
    I will be driving up to see her next monday and so will be better equiped with info later thanks and see you soon is there anything you need ?? thanks and hugs Jan and Steve

  5. natty Says:

    Not only do we have internet, we have free wireless set up for our customers.

    Re: CNN: Thank God we chucked our tv almost two years ago. Gets away from the 24 hour wank-fest to fill tv time that CNN and all our other news channels have become. I listen to NPR in the mornings and keep up with the Associated Press on Yahoo, then read for interesting discussions. is pretty good for getting EVERYTHING.

    Lydia: We’re all still pretty mad over here that they let Cardinal Law say mass at the Pope’s funeral, evil pedophilia-hiding bastard that he is. The concensus in the US is that Ratzinger (also called the Rottweiler and the Panzercardinal I’ve heard, Mark) won’t live very long, and THEN the church will REALLY figure out what it’s going to do. There may be some hope for Catholicism in the not too distant future.

    There’s always the Episcopal church in America. All the beauty of the Catholic service, and anyone can be a preacher (including Em’s black lesbian one in Atlanta). I figure if I ever decided to be Christian, that’d be the church for me.

  6. Mark Says:

    Wow :confused: there are so many threads going on on this page now I don’t know where to begin.

    – Although I have said that internet in the tea room is a million miles away from rural Kenya, here I am trying to set up wireless internet access in the middle of that same parish. I’d like to take tea in your shop one day when I visit New Orleans.

    – I’ve not had a TV for about 5 years and hardly ever watched it for 10 years before that (used to have a 12" portable B+W that my dad bought for me 2nd hand in 1982 to use with my Sinclair ZX Spectrum). Happened to be in the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi the other day, thanks to Penny, and there was Cable TV. I wouldn’t have even thought of turning it on but Jonny did and there was the cardinal, in glorious technicolour (well, mainly red) saying hello brothers and sisters in a lot of (miainly European) languages.

    – I was brought up in the Church of England, and have moved away from it as a matter of choice. (there is, of course, a story attached to that, but not one for today). The influence of the church on my life is much less than it used to be; even then it was mainly my parent’s interpretation that affected me and my behaviour / identity. Parental influence began to wain when Mum’s brain started to degenerate, though I’m still working through all the guilt. Now I think that religeon, like everything else pretty much, is about choice. Faith, after all, is a choice. But on top of faith, we have the edicts of the catholic church which constitute and code of behaviour, and a controversial one at that. I think that for those who have not thought deeply about morals and behaviour, moving away from the church is not an issue and they bob about in life like tourists on a lilo. Those who have thought deeply about it but found the dogma of their religious upbringing to be difficult to work with find it hard to move away from the shore and swim under their own direction.

    OK I need to get on with my Cisco exams and stop all this half-baked philosophical claptrap.

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