Rain

It rained yesterday. I mean properly. There had been drizzle on sunday but it rained properly yesterday for about an hour. Hopefully this means we’ll get some more and peoiple can start to grow food again.

I’m hobbling about because I got an Acacia thorn in my foot through the sole of my red rubber flip-flop on sunday when I was hanging out the washing (in time for it to get rained on). As I limped up past the college yesterdy in the clearing shower I saw students holding their supper dishes under the rainwater flowing from the roof to wash them.

This morning one of the Sisters complained about people bringing mud into the staff room on their shoes.

In the car on monday…

On the way back from Nairobi with some donated computers in the back, the driver drew my attention to a place by the road where there were a lot of people.
“Your government”, he said, ” and other governments, are giving away food”
There is a famine in this area at the moment due to failed rains and poor planning; many people are starving. Apparently some governments are giving away bags of maize to these people.
“Sometimes they bring yellow maize”, he told me, “I don’t want to do with that”.
I thought, at first, that he didn’t like the yellow imported corn. But that wasn’t it.

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‘Ello Miss!

Sister Pauline has gone to Naivasha to collect our new volunteer. Yes! New volunteer: we’re getting a Peace Corps volunteer who — apparently — will have been trained in the CISCO Network Academy Programme. She’s here in Kenya now and doing the massive 8 week training (cut from 3 months! because of funding cuts to Peace Corps, compare with 1 week for VSO) and as part of that she comes to stay at her placement for one week next week and then goes back for further training.

Or something.

Anyway, Sister was away and sent a phone message to the Deputy Principal asking him to sit with me and another colleague and draft an agreement that must be signed by all those students who have been sent home as a result of our recent strike. The day after the strike stage II and III students refused to come to lessons (Stage III seem to be the trouble makers here), and just sat in the hostel in their civilian clothes waiting for their “demands” to be met. Sister sent them **all** home to bring their parents to review the lists of demands. So yesterday I was working with the Deputy on the readmission agreement where they decide whether to come back as boarding students, day schollars or to leave all together.
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Cleaning

Today I dragged myself out of bed late and put off cleaning the floor of the house until after I’d whittled new rawl plugs for the towel rail which keeps falling off the wall in the bathroom.

After sweeping up most of the sawdust and wood shavings I set off to the computer lab… to pick up a galvanized bucket with mop-squeezing attachment. There were a supprising number of teachers present for a Saturday. I told them I wanted to borrow the bucket and one said incredulously:
“you’re going to wash your house?”
and another — female — said:
“you should contract me!”
I looked at her:
“You want to wash my house?”
“Yes!”
“Youre crazy!”
and I walked off clanking my bucket behind me.
“Why don’t you want me to clean your house?” she shouted behind me.
I just laughed.
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Goods and services

We, at college, have just been joined by a student doing his work attachment. He’s very good at PC repair and we’re learning from each other. Last week he replaced the faulty network adapter card in one of the PCs wiht a good one from an otherwise bad PC. He approached me with the defective card in his hand.
“This needs to be stored separately because it doesn’t work”, he said, “or labled so we don’t mistake it for a good one”.
I looked at the small piece of plastic with two chips glued and soldered to it, and a metal plate for attaching it to the PC case. The words “no user serviceable parts inside” did not come to mind, but they do now as I look back on the event.
“OK”, I replied, “lets store it separately in the bin”
He laughed. I don’t think he thought I was serious. I took the card from him and tossed it into the yellow plastic waste-paper basket in the lab. He looked horrified.
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