Everything's coming up Rose's

Trip Start Oct 25, 2012
Trip End Nov 17, 2012

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Flag of Kenya  , Nairobi,
Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another glorious day in Nairobi. It started out overcast but still warm, for us that is, the Kenyans are all going around in fleeces/coats/wooly hats while we are in shorts and t-shirts. We decided to give church a miss this morning and just spent time reading, relaxing and playing games with Ella and Zaac.

At lunch time we went out with Guy, Susanna and the boys for a really nice lunch of spicy chicken and chips at a Kenyan fast food place, more tasty than we had expected! Susanna had phoned to say that they were just picking up a few items from a shop and then would be with us in about ten minutes. Forty five minutes later we called them to see if everything was ok, having texted with no replies. Guy answered his phone to tell us that they had got the shopping in the trolley and to the cash desk when they were told that the card machine was broken so they had to go to a different shop and start all over again! As Guy said, "There is a saying here, T.I.A. - This Is Africa." Anything can and does happen!

After lunch we went to see Adrian and Lindsey Rose and their beautiful children Aaron (8), Morgan (6) and Cadha (2). We know Lindsay from Aberdeen. She arrived there the year we got married and we got to know each other over the next three years before we left. Adrian is a pilot and is working for MAF, flying planes to transport people and cargo to more remote areas in Kenya and South Sudan. They have been living in Nairobi for the past four years and have just signed up for another two. Their children go to the international school nearby which they really love.

Lindsey was telling us about how the traffic laws changed last week and now they are to be enforced with a vengeance in order to try and bring order. One of Lindsey's neighbours spent an hour in a police cell as her windscreen was deemed to have too many jacaranda flowers on it (purple flowers that are currently dropping of loads of trees). Another New Life driver spent half a day in a police cell for speeding, even though the police don't actually have speed cameras and his car had speed restriction on it. They decided he was going one km per hour over the speed limit, though no one is quite sure how they came up with this. Three speeding tickets and you are banned for life. If you hit someone by accident and they die, you automatically get life imprisonment for murder. Quite pleased we are not driving here!

Elections are coming up in spring next year and things are tense, already, the teachers are striking, politicians are campaigning. The judge who goes to Guy's house group is off training judges for three weeks on electoral disputes as they are likely and expected. There is a lot of discussion about integrity even though it is completely lacking in most politicians. It's a difficult situation as lying and deceit are fairly endemic. This sounds judgmental and imperialist but there are reasons. Death is ever present, Susanna's housemaid lost her eleven year old son, her husband and another son are already dead. She lives in Kibera slums and there are many charlatan doctors who will give dodgy medicine and he developed an illness which was not properly treated until too late. Another woman at cell group had spent most of the previous night with a mother who had lost her fourteen year old to epilepsy the day before. In such an environment, lying or stealing to get a little more money to get food, medicine, pay school fees understandably seems legitimate. But such a culture becomes pervasive and affects all walks of life, including the politicians. To change the culture would mean reducing the poverty, to reduce the poverty you need honest politicians. Catch 22.

It was so nice to spend the afternoon with the Roses, eating cake, drinking coffee and catching up with old friends. MAF own the compound they live on. There are seven houses and a huge garden area which is shared but is situated all around their house so they get most of the benefit of it. There are swings, a trampoline and volleyball net as well as a great deal of space for running around which all the kids took full advantage of. They had a great time playing together, Isaac and Morgan particularly hitting it off - there were about two and a half hours in which we barely saw the two of them and when they did emerge it was only to have a drink and some cake, then straight back to whatever it was they were doing. Ella had a great time looking for bugs. She found some amazing anthills and we even tried to catch a grasshopper but it was too fast for us!

When we got home we had a light tea and then put the little ones to bed. Susanna is here now with Pip going over our report on the Ark. Tomorrow I'm taking the kids to the Ark while Pip has a busy day at New Life talking to various people to try to set up some of the structures to tackle the issues we have pinpointed. Susanna and Guy are being really supportive and positive about what we've said in the report so, God willing, some things will change in a positive way...

Here's hoping.
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