# 10 Victoria Leaves Us
It is has exactly 2 weeks since Victoria and I arrived and she will shortly be winging her way first to Dubai, then San Francisco and finally to Portland. It will be a really really long day for her. She was up and dressed by 7:30 this morning, her plane leaves at 11:30 tonight (already 16 hours and she’s not off the ground yet). Because we had the whole day, we did many errands.
Fr Kiriti needed a new supply of hosts and altar wine, both purchased from a Carmelite convent in Nairobi. The public area is a small anteroom, with a sliding window in one wall. A smiling sister opened it and shook hands all around. I had offered her my wrist, explaining that I had a cold, but she opened my palm and shook my hand, trusting that she would be fine. I hope the antibiotic has been at work long enough! Then through the midmorning traffic jam to Nakumart, a very large shopping mall, with a huge supermarket, where we inspected a number of freezers. I had it wrong, it is a freezer and not a refrigerator that is needed by SFG. They don’t have, but not need a refrigerator, as their food is rice, porridge, ugali (maize flour) cabbage, onions, beans—not of which requires a refrigerator. However, on occasion they buy a cow or a goad to slaughter and need to store the meat. After careful consideration of size vs cost, we made our decision, but couldn’t take it until we dropped Victoria and her luggage from the car.
We headed to the other sections, where I found everything on my list and all the things that I had forgotten to put on it—even suction towel hooks (very important in a stone house—no nails), tuna fish, which I have been craving, dill pickles, a necessary go with, a new broom to replace the one that evidently has been borrowed by Harry Potter, as it is no longer here, good peanut butter (no sugar nor stabilizers, just peanuts and salt). I was a happy camper. Victoria found gifts for the last few folks she wanted to share her visit with and we were off again.
Next we went to the cathedral where Fr Kiriti had arranged to meet some people from a wood carving tribe. They make beautiful Christmas crèche pieces and we wanted to get some for Vitoria to take to Judy to sell in support of Jecinta’s work. Judy, we bought 7 sets. Hope that’s OK. While the men were packing up the sets, Fr Kiriti ran off on some other errand, leaving us with the car blocking another car. Of course the owner came along and wanted to leave. In fact, she came very close to crunching me between her car and his, until I yelled, “stop!” Fortunately she did. “Aha, his keys are in the car, I’ll just move it.” Grind, grind, grind—RATS! Forgot he has a special car jackers foil button that must be pushed before the car will start. He has never shown me where it is. I go to the driver’s window and say pointedly, “Father will be back in just a moment,” hoping that would cut us some slack. They were very nice, he showed up shortly and we were off. And now I know where the secret button is.
We stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant on the way to the airport, where we all had a big meal and enjoyed some good laughs and some of Victoria’s insights. We dropped her at 3:30, which is 6 hours before her flights, but couldn’t be helped.
Back at Nakumart, we were ready to buy our freezer. I was congratulating myself for remembering to alert VISA that I would be using the card in Kenya. But Murphy’s Law was in effect and there I was at the checkout, wanting to buy a freezer for Kh 50,000 and Visa does not allow it. RATS! I’ve already been to the ATM to pay for the crèches and I have no way to get more cash until tomorrow. We leave Nakumart with no freezer, lamenting that another trip to Nairobi is now required. By this time it is 5 pm and the traffic is horrific. I get out my card to call Visa and of course all operators were busy helping other customers, despite my call being very important to them. Finally I get a real person, who asks me all kinds of questions to verify that I am me, then connects me with the fraud department. Can you her the meter clicking on my phone? Fraud asks more questions and finally is convinced that I am, indeed, Margaret McAuliffe. Of course they have no idea why my careful preplanning has gone awry, but they have now fixed the problem. We’ll see! But we did figure out that I can go to the ATM tomorrow and again Wednesday. Ben has to go to Nairobi on Wednesday on some other errand and he can get the freezer with cash! Problem solved and we are finally on our way back to Naivasha, arriving after dark, tired but having accomplished a lot.
What I haven’t written is that before we left, Fr Kiriti met with the Safaricom people who came to verify that SFG actually exists and is likely to stay in business for awhile. The representative was very impressed and virtually assured Fr Kiriti that they will fund the solar installation for at least 2/3 the cost. Kenya Help will pick up the remaining 1/3, which is a whole lot better than picking up 3/3! I am quite elated, as is Fr Kiriti! This proposal has been moving through the SC pipeline for a whole year. I was about to give up on them. It will be a few more months of pipelining, but the project s/b funded and built within the year!
Now if it will just rain and fill the cistern, we will be in business!
Love to all,