Just a quick update - The school trip went very well! Daughter arrived back after being out of contact for 3 days - alive and safe. She insisted on unpacking her muddy things immediately (it was 8pm) much to my horror.
'We missed you!' I said.
'Well, you could have called to say goodnight if you'd wanted.' was the response.
And, our ex-askari got his computer for the Hope Life Action trust! A friend of mine who lives in Nairobi offered him her old desktop with a printer - which was fantastic and very kind. I sent a text to our ex-askari on Friday saying 'bring helpers to carry! I'm coming over!' as with the screen, hard drive, keyboard etc. it's quite a performance to carry through Kibera.
I then panicked that I hadn't taken plastic bags to wrap/hide the various components in. I didn't want undue attention drawn to the computer, but when I said this to our ex askari he said,
'why would we need bags? - it'll be fine!'
Another kind blog reader in the States offered an old laptop. I mentioned this in passing and he said, 'Laptop? laptop? When, where, how?'
I said, maybe in one year - which is when the kind blog reader might or might not be visiting Kenya.
The desktop computer will be kept safely locked in AMREF's offices in Kibera, then will be used by 'Hope Life Action' whenever they want it. Up until this point they have been paying to borrow a computer by the hour and paying again to print things out.
'Now we will only have to pay for office supplies!' my friend said happily.
Our ex-askari also told me that his wife had a project doing 3 months HIV counselling work, for which she will be paid.
'You see, we have many blessings coming now!' he said looking happy.
I must admit, it's a great relief for us to no longer have to do those monthly cash hand-overs to cover food and rent.
On sadder news we had to put our old dog down today. We inherited him with our house when we moved in seven years ago (in true expat style) and before the previous owners acquired him, Basil was based at the KSPCA. At aged 15 years (give or take - nobody is quite sure), he's had a good innings and he was a real trooper, he only ever had cause to go to the vet for his annual vaccinations. Still, the tears rolled down our cheeks and losing a dog always makes you wonder why you put yourselves through the heartache of having pets at all. The remaining 3 dogs look confused to be without him. All this and two of our tiny baby tortoises died over the past month and one has escaped to who knows where - so we don't have a very good track record of late. At least the guinea pig is holding up .... fingers crossed.