Tag Archives: friendship

One Day…

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I wasn’t sure it was possible for one person to cry so much!

I feel so pathetic today.  Mum just asked what I wanted to do on Christmas day…stay at home with the family or go somewhere else.  The thought of having to pretend to be ok at someone else’s house made me feel so nervous I burst into tears! That isn’t normal.

All I want is to feel normal. To not burst into tears at the tiniest thing, to not feel sick due to a Facebook update or a tweet, to sleep properly, to not cry when someone is nice to me. Is that too much to ask??

I wish there was a way that I could click my fingers and everything would be ok.  One day I know it will be.  One day I will get up in the morning and not have to find the energy to put on a smile and pretend that I am ok because I wont need to pretend any more.  Until that day I guess I just have to accept that there will be days when my mascara gets ruined, my heart hurts and my sleep pattern is just none existent!

I say this every post but I am so thankful for my amazing friends and family for getting me through the bad days. Your support means the world to me.

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The best laid plans…

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Day 8

Today’s plan was to get up, tidy up, do some laundry and head out to enjoy a weekend off.  Well the best laid plans tend to take turns for the worst!

Although we got up early ish neither one could be bothered to tidy and there was a distinct lack of buckets for laundry.  By the time we were finished and ready to head out it was very close to new arrivals time so we decided to wait.  Not sure that was the best decision I have ever made!

Daniel is typical Kenyan, runs his own schedule and doesn’t think of the implications this may have on other people and their schedules.  So with this in mind we decide to say a quick hello to the girls and head to Colobus Trust to see Juma and the Monkeys and then to the beach to chill out before Carla leaves me again!  Again, our plan did not QUITE come to pass!

By the time the women (not girls, they turned out to both be old enough to be my mum) arrived, sorted their millions of belongings (we are talking 2 suitcases and 1 hand luggage EACH) and we had lunch it was gone 2pm!  Daniel offered Carla and I a lift to Nakumat where we would pick up a Mat to the monkeys!

Well, it looks like today was a day not for plans! Yes, we did get a lift to Nakumat (delayed of course) but we got a little stuck in the shop!

We decided that a quick trip to the loo was needed before being stranded without a toilet on the beach…the trip was not so quick!  The handle to the main toilet door broke as we were in there, resulting in us being stuck in a small, windowless room which was getting increasingly more sweaty much to the amusement of the staff!  20 minutes later we were out, unharmed, hot and slightly embarrassed.

A quick trip round the store resulted in a fan for the bedroom (for which I will be forever thankful to Carla for) and off we went in a Tuk Tuk  to Colobus.  Here, I got pretty close to “Handy Joe” one of the resident monkeys, which, and anyone who knows about my slight monkey obsession will already know this, was exceptionally exciting!

Daniel then calls saying he has dropped Ana and Laura off at the beach (read pub) and will come to meet us to pick up the fan.  Expecting him within a few minutes we stay at Colobus.  40 minutes later he arrives, dramatically reducing our time at the beach to zero minutes.

So my day drew to a close in 40’s bar with 2 volunteers that are old enough to be my mum, feeling increasingly more aggravated, waiting for an unorganised host.

But, tomorrow is another day.  Tomorrow is Safari day!!!

 

Oh…just as a little aside to this post…I got an update on James today.  I now know what went on in Sudan and how come he is home.  It is pretty horrendous and it’s not my place to tell you all.  But knowing what went on makes it so much easier for me to try and relate to what he is going through.  Weekly emails still being sent, even from Kenya, and I just hope I am having an impact!

What a difference a shoe makes…

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What a difference a shoe makes…

Today I got ASKED where my next blog post was! This made me smile….so here it is!

 

Day 7

1 week gone already and I am so attached to the kids at Shikamana it is crazy!

When I walked in to the school today and was met by a round of “Jambo” everywhere I went, hand shakes from the staff and high fives from the kids (which HURT, they don’t realise its meant to be a gentle smack….full force)  It put such a smile on my face I felt I was making an impact on their day which was great.

I arrived pretty early today which meant I got to join in with a PPI lesson (don’t ask me what PPI stands for…its not Payment Protection Insurance) which was really interesting.  Seeing kids getting excited about God was cool and is something I will definitely be taking back to the UK for my kids church lessons.

KG1 were WILD today.

Running and jumping everywhere, climbing on tables, fighting and shouting.  My basic knowledge of Swahili just wasn’t enough.  There is only so many times you can say Kachini and be laughed at.  I was followed everywhere I went like the pied piper and I don’t know what ‘go back to class’ is and the kids don’t know enough English to understand me!  I was left alone quite a few times by the teacher today which was hard work but balloons helped.

One of the young boys, who comes from a very poor family stubbed his toe today.  Which, if you are wearing shoes hurts, but if like little Ruwa you can’t afford shoes it can result in a detached toe nail and lots of blood & pain.

I always carry a first aid kit in my bag due to my serious accident prone nature, so I was able to clean it up pretty nicely, put a plaster on his tiny little toe, which he sat incredibly still for surprisingly.  I then gained a friend for the rest of the day as we both got a little attached.  Well, wouldn’t you?!

My little wounded soldier!

We went outside for our ‘outdoor play’ session and one of the other children stood on his toe which caused more tears and an immediate turn for a cuddle.  I am not sure if parents just don’t have the time or it’s not something Kenyan’s do but a little bit of love has gone a long long way today.  He also fell asleep on me today which, although it is cute, I was unbearably hot as I think he may be running a fever.

I am going to buy him some shoes as soon as possible to prevent this kind of thing happening again.  And the school needs a good first aid kit, which I think I will have to get back in the UK as they just don’t have the things I want in Kenya!  Everyone should have access to basic items which prevent infection.  If anyone would like to help out with this please drop me an email or comment (or donate to the Kenya fund HERE, funds are going to help these amazing kids and the school they learn in)  I want to be able to equip this place with simple supplies that they so desperately need.  These kids run around in the dust and dirt all day, risking Jiggers and various other infections.  Antiseptic, plasters and shoes could stop this!  For just 100KSH you can buy shoes which protect against jiggers, for around 600 KSH you can get some really good, really sturdy school shoes. (remember £1 = 127 KSH)

After school Daniel and I took a trip to collect Carla from the dispensary in Msulwa, meeting a few unusual obstacles on the way:

But the dispensary is an amazing hospital in the hills near Shimba with VERY basic supplies.  Carla showed me where women would give birth.  It is currently in a corner of what looks like a storage room.  The bed does at least have stirrups and there looks like there is sanitation equipment but it is VERY basic and makes me very thankful for the NHS, however much I complain about them!

There is a German couple who are funding the building of a new maternity unit at Msulwa, with a dedicated delivery room, a shower and clean running water which will make all the difference.  But, it wont be finished until at least November.  They have issues with tiles that have been laid and won’t let the work continue until they can over see the project!

Anyway, when we finally got home Carla and I managed to escape the father figure of the house and headed to Forty’s bar in Diani.  It was great to be away from the house and back in the company of people the same age and with similar interests.  We met up with Juma and a few of the volunteers from Colobus trust.  It was meant to be a quick night out but, we got home at 3am…ready for an early start for the new arrivals tomorrow….

“The better part of ones life consists of his [her] friendships”

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Image(This post has been delayed a few more days than planned.  Not out of laziness, or even unwillingness, simply by the fact that life has come and gone far too quickly over the past few weeks.  I was meant to write it on Wednesday, I actually wrote it on Saturday and now I am publishing it on Tuesday!!)

With less than a week to go I am writing this, not from the comfort of my on a break from organising my packing and finalising details.  No, I am writing this on a train, heading to do what I have been neglecting recently, spend some time with friends.  Bad timing?  Possibly, but this is one weekend that I wouldn’t miss for the world.   Yes I still have a lot to prepare and no, I don’t feel at all ready to leave, but as much as this weekend could be used to do all the last minute things that I really need to do, but I am definitely guilty of neglecting my friends recently, and although I presume you all understand the reasons, I am sorry.

It is not that I haven’t wanted to spend time with you all, I have just started to run out of time.  You may have noticed that the grand ideas of a pub quiz and cake sales seem to have vanished.  This isn’t through lack of trying, it is through lack of REAL time to plan and make it work.   Getting injections, buying travel insurance, sorting out my bank stuff, buying summer clothes in February, working 45 hours a week and trying to plan our Kids Church programme has kind of taken over my life.   I only decided I was going on this trip 4 weeks ago and although I am excited I am also a little sad that it is next week.  I almost want another 2-3 weeks to plan and prepare.  I am all about lists and planning!!  But for this weekend (well from 13:13 when my train gets in to Poole until 16:30 when I get back to Waterloo) Kenya and James are not being pushed to the back of my mind, but definitely more to the side so I can concentrate on celebrating with one of the people who fill my life with joy.

Next up – KENYA UPDATE!!!

Just another Tuesday?

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Just another Tuesday?

Today’s post was meant to be about Kenya and the stuff going on behind the scenes but, given the date and the current twist in the roller-coaster that is my life I have decided to postpone that entry until tomorrow at the earliest.

Valentine’s Day

Every year, single or attached I always have issues with Feb 14th.  I think it is a commercial holiday, designed by retailers to combat the post-Christmas/post sales dip in revenue.  When single, I bash it, loudly professing my dislike for the commercialism of it all and the thought that if you need a special day to show someone you love them then why bother with the relationship, all the while secretly hoping that when I get home from work there will be a card and/or a bunch of flowers waiting for me.
When attached, I openly begrudge paying hiked up prices just to have dinner with my boyfriend or how expensive flowers and cards are, but also know that if we didn’t do something special I would feel a little hard done by.

This year I found myself approaching Valentine’s with a weird outlook.  I didn’t quite fall in to either category, neither fully single nor fully attached and this SUCKED!!!  The guy I wanted to spend today with, or at least this evening with, is currently, for all intents and purposes M.I.A.
It turns out that James cut his trip a little short, coming home and not telling anybody.  Now, I don’t know a lot of the details and the ones I do know I am not sure I can talk about without crying my eyes out so I wont.  If I can talk about it to you I will but it is all a bit raw right now.  Let’s just say he is home but not exactly safe and sound, in short he is not currently the James I know and care for.  This makes me pretty bummed out.  I feel pretty helpless, useless and all in all unsure of everything!

He is not talking to anyone, doesn’t want his phone back and has relayed a message that I am far too good for him and he doesn’t deserve me.  (Surely that is my decision right?)  So today felt pretty weird, I can’t message him saying something like ‘Happy Valentine’s day’ because he wont get it (I have vowed, through discussions with friends that 1 email a week will be my only contact until he shows signs of wanting to talk) and I kind of felt flat all day.

That is until I got home…

My adopted big sister in London Nina is off for half term right now, she has had a very productive love filled valentines day!  I walked into the house to be met by the smell of chicken baking in the oven, the front room filled with candles and a table set for 3 – Nina, her husband John and myself, which was decorated in heart confetti.

I then walk into my room and find this:

I felt so loved and cared for I burst into tears!  Nina & John are amazing, amazing people with huge hearts.  I am so so thankful for them and for this little boost to my day! If I can’t be with James then this is definitely the next best thing, being surrounded by people who genuinely care.

So if you have found yourself today feeling a bit low, a little lost with your relationship or simply unloved, just remember, Valentine’s day is not just about boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, it is for everyone you love and cherish.  If you haven’t done so already tell them you care., it may just be the boost they need.  And with that, I am off to draft my weekly email to tell someone just how much I care so I can send it tomorrow (Wednesday is ‘the day’)

Love and happiness to you all

Gems