Saturday, December 17, 2011

What I've Been Up To Recently

So you’ve probably noticed by now that my blog-posting has become less frequent over the last fortnight or so. This is for two reasons. I am now pretty busy in work as described in my previous post. And I have a growing social schedule (I know, I’m as surprised as you are). This is just a quick round-up of a few things I’ve been up to over the past couple of weekends.

Cooing over baby elephants

I think I have found Úna Faulkner’s happy place. A couple of Sundays ago some of my housemates and I ventured out to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust just outside of Nairobi. The trust takes care of young elephants and rhinos that are found abandoned in the wild. The keepers there told us the stories of each and every one of the elephants in their care. Most of them seem to have been orphaned as a result of poaching or hunting. Once they are found in any of Kenya’s many national parks they are brought to the Wildlife Trust where they are cared for 24/7. The keepers actually sleep in the sheds with the elephants (I know, I have seen their bunks). The youngest of them was only 9 days old and had to wear a blanket as the major danger for such a little elephant that’s been separated from its mother is that it will get pneumonia. The sight of the little elephant walking around with blankets strapped on top of it was without a doubt the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Having Christmas Dinner

Thanks to the Kenya Irish Society I have had a proper Christmas dinner with turkey, ham and even Christmas pudding. All on a sunny Sunday in the Rusty Nail bar in Karen. Thanks to the friend of my friend’s boyfriend (a tenuous link even I’ll admit) I was invited to the Society’s annual Christmas lunch the Sunday before last. It was attended by about 150 people, most of whom were Irish but there were quite a few other nationalities represented aswell. I was sat at the young, international (and therefore I think cool) table which boasted English people, Scots, Swedes, a Namibian lady and an Argentinian. As well as Irish folk.

Santa also made an appearance to entertain the younger guests again (he didn’t make an appearance at our table sadly). So I got to meet a nice new group of people, some of whom work in the UN aswell so I now have a few more Gigiri lunch and coffee buddies!

VSOC Meeting

I’m pretty sure VSOC stands for Voluntary Services Overseas Committee but right up until this moment it hadn’t even occurred to me to question what it meant. Basically VSOC meetings happen about every time months and they are a chance for volunteers to get together to discuss any problems their having, air any grievances, have a nice lunch and basically a good catch-up with each other. This time it was held at the YMCA which gave me the worst feeling of déjà-vu ever when I walked in first. I had completely forgotten until walked in the gate again that Kevin Lewis and I (hi Kev!) had stayed there for a night back in 2009 when we’d first arrived in Nairobi. Despite it being a very reasonable place to stay we were travellers on an extremely limited budget at the time and so we moved to a not so comfortable, but oh so cheap place downtown the next night. Anyways, I’m now ramblings about old Kenya times, back to new Kenya times.

Jamhuri Day Lunch

Last weekend was a long one in celebration of Jamhuri (Independence Day) which was yesterday. All four of us housemates were invited to Barbara’s colleague Josephine’s house for lunch. It was an absolutely lovely day with great Kenyan food and wonderful company in the form of Josephine and some of her family as well as Barbara’s other colleagues Nancy and Jacinta. She also took us on a mini tour of Kangemi, the… well the slum area that borders our estate where we got the loveliest welcome from the children. We were followed around everywhere we went, like some wazungu Pied Pipers, and every so often a voice from the mass of children would shout ‘hawayu’. A response in English or Swahili from any of us would generate many, many shy giggles, it was adorable. Jamhuri Day has been one of my favourite days in Kenya thus far.

Right, I had intended up put up some photos to accompany this post but sadly I am tired and it is late. I promise the very next post will have pictures from both the above and subsequent happenings!

Kweri! xx

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