The house is very quiet. My parents left last night to go back to England armed with belated xmas thank you letters. We just clocked up five straight weeks of visitors and frankly we all got used to the company.
Now I have to begin 2009 properly, start a to get into a routine, get on with tackling new years resolutions, write more, achieve something, get going, no excuses and no 'what shall we do for lunch today?' or 'shall we all sit down and have a coffee?'
I kicked off by going to the gym. The class was packed with people like me trying to shift excess christmas pounds, high kicking, sweating and groaning all at the same time.
We are still basking in the sun here in Nairobi after a couple of unexpected but much needed days of rain. It had been impossibly dusty. My friend in UK said that she couldn't face reading my blog with tales what we have been up to as England was so depressing at the moment. I tried to explain to my Mum that this lovely weather is because it is summer here and that she has only ever been here when Nairobi is at its best. When it's summer in England, Nairobi is chilly, overcast and grey.
Things aren't so rosey here really. People are actually starving in some parts of Kenya due to the drought at the moment, and the shortage of food has been overshadowed by the MPs/local businessmen's maize scandal where individuals have been doing dodgy trading to line their own pockets, without any care of devastating repercussions on poor Kenyans. There is now not enough food in reserve for emergencies such as now. State school teachers are striking today over poor pay. Secondary school fees have gone up enormously. The news headlines remain depressing as they uncover one, then another, then yet another case of corruption. There is no opposition party to the current coalition government so the media do their best to compensate for this.
AIG has recently rounded down figures for expected economic growth in Kenya this year. One reason is that the tourist market has all but dried up due to the global economic crisis.
Our house helper is depressed about Kenya today. There was so much hope at election time in Dec 2007. She feels that things will never change or get better, powerful Kenyans will always steal from the poor. They don't care about Kenya, they only care for themselves. No one can see that changing any time soon. I wish Obama was being sworn in here instead of in the States!