Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fire Burning on the Dance Floor

Our infant sessions seem to be cursed. We thought that maybe it was just the hospital sessions that weren't going well, but then no one showed up at Ruuju. We had no expectations but were crossing our fingers for the first Muchui session since we had such great family sessions with them. 6 mothers came. Not ideal but it allowed us to explain everything a little bit further to make sure everyone understood everything and we got to answer a lot of questions. Once again the topic of giving raw eggs to kids came up.

We walked to the business center from the hospital in the morning before our session. It's pretty standard to share the road with herds of cows. Cows are everywhere here. Almost everywhere you look there is someone herding their 50 cows somewhere, presumably heading towards or coming back from a source of water somewhere. What we weren't expecting was to get caught in the middle of a herd of about 50 camels! I had dubbed it The Great Camel Migration. There were about 50 camels and 4 men wielding machetes all marching along the street together. 50 camels take up a lot of room, so as they approached Christina and I kind of looked at eachother not really sure what we were supposed to do. There was no where to go so I suggested we close our eyes and hope for the best. The camels passed by, brushing past our arms on either side as they went. Camels are huge, they were like 12 feet tall. Apparently in Isiolo camel meat is popular but the closest place to get them slaughtered is Nairobi, so these men were walking all the way from Isiolo to Nairobi. Not sure how many kms that is but it's like a 4 hours drive ish.

On the way home, instead of walking we took Boda Bodas home from the business center. Half motorcycle half dirt bike contraptions. On one bike was me, christina, 2 back packs and the driver and a 2kg bag of onions. We were probably the least loaded down boda boda in the history of Kenya. We were probably also the only Mzungus that this guy had ever driven. Salome told him to be extra safe and drive really slow so we wouldn't get hurt. Our driver kept getting thumbs ups and high fives from all the other drivers and the men at the Barrier Market. It was cheap and way better than walking 7 km home.

Saturdays are always the most boring days here. For something to do, we decided to make mandazi with apple and cinnemon in them (fried dough). Well the next thing we know a fire starts on the stove. The stove is propane so this is a little bit terrifying. Luckily we had turned the gas burner off about 1 minute before the whole pot burst into flames, but there were still 2 very large propane tanks about a foot away from the flames. And of course there isn't a single fire extinguisher in the entire compound. Next thing we know the flames are up to the ceiling. Amy's dad is a firefighter so she had the good sense to throw flour on the fire which probably ended up saving the entire compound from exploding when the flames eventually hit the propane tank. Meanwhile the entire hospital staff comes running because one of us ran over to the hospital to alert them that we were in the process of burning down the compound. Everyone laughed at us but the flour put the fire out so we were just really embarrassed. We'll have to repaint the ceiling as it is now black.

Saturday night Martin took us to the disco! It was the Guinness Football Challenge so there were all these tents set up and tv cameras and a huge screen showing what was being filmed. There were live performers and tons of music. For 150 kenyan shillings (about 2 bucks) we got admission, 2 free guinness, and a bottle of water. We arrived at like 7:30 pm and danced until 1 am. It was insanely fun and I'm so glad we went! We weren't going to since we were a bit rattled from the fire incident. We even got to talk to some other Mzungos from England which was a nice change. We basically had our own entourage with us though. Martin, Salome, Carole and Kinoti all accompanied us and kept a careful watch on us, making sure no gross drunk guys got to close.

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