Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Day 1 of our Kenyan Experience 4.0

After a taxing 9+ hours of travel, I took in the Mombasa scenery (for what I was awake for it - it's easy to fall asleep in a nice warm bus, even if you don't have a headrest) and was really struck by the enormous advertising campaigning people like Coca Cola have in Kenya; you can get a sign for your shop, so long as it's a Coca Cola advert - i.e. Coca Cola red sign with the font, but saying your own thing. Every sign is in English, and when it's not in English, it's Swahili but with English translation underneath. They're all brand sponsored, and they're all making a lot of money out of people that probably don't drink much clean water anyway.

Arriving at the hotel was wonderful - a sore sight for weary, sleepless eyes. The receptionist behaved almost as though we never even checked out 3 years ago, and the chef came to say hi and ask us how we are.

Last year, we grew an attachment to 3 local children, whose father is a Vicar (but not before being) married to 3 wives; there are 14 of his children, between them, and many of his children are expecting children. They've no electricity or decent running water, or even proper beds. We gave them many clothes and things, as promised the previous visit on our last day, and played much sand-football, to my amusement and the dismay of my poor Brother's foot, which is used to playing football in shoes!

Today we half expected to have to search for them again; but The Grandmother went for a long leisurely walk on the beach, and after asking one or two local people, found the elder brother of one of them, who later brought the three to us. I had to go to get my brother from his slumber on a sunbed, but The Grandmother and children ran towards each other, and hugged her, and then when we came, hugged us, and were really very pleased to see us: apparently, because we said we might come in 2009, but we didn't, they assumed that The Grandmother had died. Aw!

They were fantastically pleased to see us, and the brother that we met today was a real clown and chatterbox. It was great fun, and we're seeing them again tomorrow.

The hotel is just as I remember and love it, with the exception of the room situation: although we booked a room we wanted, the people that were supposed to have moved out yesterday have extended their holiday. (Don't blame them, but they should get kicked out our room, rather than us being put in this one) and we've had to have a double bed + single made up, + an extra single for us. The extra single is rock solid. We thought that the double bed was hard, since it barely budged, but my weight does nothing to the springs! If there are any. I'm going to be very sore tomorrow, since I lost out to rock-paper-scissors over the double bed. Unless I just give up and crawl in the other side, hehehehe.

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