2016 #2 Arrival Saga, Part 2
Here is my debarking picture, with my friend, Joanie.
Back 2 days ago, my arrival day. My heart was a bit heavy, not going to Mji Wa Neena, children’s home and my home in Naivasha for the past 10 summers. Fr. Kiriti, believing the home was to be closed, had arranged a rental house for me. It’s a lovely house, ever so much fancier than Margo’s house, but it doesn’t feel like home to me. I guess in time I will adjust.
Sr. Irene set about fixing our dinner, while I collapsed on the bed for awhile. And after dinner I began to unpack. Hmmm, this doesn’t look familiar, and then OOOHHH this really doesn’t look familiar. OH NO, this is not my bag!!!!!! #%@^%&$^ Oh RATS! There’s nothing to be done but wait until tomorrow, then go back to the airport (2 hours each way) Fr. Kiriti, who has zillions of contacts, knew someone who works at the airport. She gave him a phone number and an email so we could report it. The phone was not answered, the email bounced and there was nothing we could do until morning. Despite being beside myself, full of “I should have….”, I slept like a log, just exhausted.
Next day we had some errands to do first, most important of which was to visit a local farm to price hay bales. In addition to being in school, earning a master’s in project management, Sr. Irene has responsibility for the cows, sheep, goats, chickens and rabbits owned by her order. She is surely a farmer at heart, loving not just the animals, but also the garden. The reason she came to Naivasha was to buy 200 + bales of hay. I loved how she was calculating the total cost of hay + transport, comparing Nairobi with Naivasha. She’s very savvy, and told one of the sellers that she would be bringing a scale to ensure she was not short-baled. Tough lady!!!
So off we went to a farm to negotiate for hay. This is a lengthy process and can’t be hurried. In the meantime, I am in a twit to get to the airport. Unintended consequences: go later in the morning and traffic is lighter!
At the airport, I went first to customer service, where I told my story. They directed me to security, where I told my story and they took my passport in exchange for a pass into the bowels on the airport. I went to Lost and Found, where I told my story. From there I was directed to the Emirates office, where the attendant was not in, but very kind people help me after I told my story. ARGH!!! Finally the Emirates person arrived and after I told my story, he opened the office and there was my bag! What a relief!!! I didn’t notice until much later that the lock had been broken. I don’t know what was taken, because I had so many things and I didn’t record what was in each suitcase. One more is coming with Alison Staab at the end of June. She is a math teacher and H board member who will join me for 3 weeks.
I had first feared that the 2 chalices that had been donated to Fr. Kiriti were stolen along with the scarves made by the “knitting elves.” Only later did I learn that they are safely in the 3rd suitcase, coming with Alison.
It seems that the gremlins are determined to make my arrival difficult. I had to go to Safaricom to get my phone set up. They told me my sim card had been discontinued due to lack of use. “Can I get that number back?” “It’s Saturday. The people who do that don’t work on Saturday.” “When can I get my phone?” “Come back Monday” ARGH! The queue is 15 people long and moving glacially. I did get a new sim card which I planned to use only temporarily, until I could get my old number back, but today I was told my old number now belongs to someone else. Not only that I would have had to wait in the queue again to get all the numbers saved on my old sim card into my new one. I give up!!! However if anyone wants to call or text, my new number is 011 254 795 427 618.
Last week on my arrival day (Thursday) Fr. Kiriti and I had dinner with the new parish priest, Fr. Bernard (pronounced here as Benard). He’s a quiet, thoughtful man, very nice. He is a math teacher and I’m hoping we can work together to bring up the math scores.
Today is Monday, and I went early to SFG, walking into the inner quad just as assembly was beginning. Most of it is done by the girls, with input from the principal and a couple of teachers at the end. The students stand in a semi-circle around the flag pole in nice formation—no talking, wiggling, squirming. I wish I had thought to take a picture, but that will be for another time.
I observed Fr. Bernard teach 3 form 3 classes, wandering up and down the rows, giving hints, marking answers and generally just enjoying being with the girls. Several of them are from Mji Wa Neema children’s home. So great to see them. But I didn’t stay long. I had to get back to Safaricom, buy some fabric so Joyce could sew me more shopping bags (all but 1 of mine have disappeared), and do various other errands.
Now I am resting at home. I found the trekking around town to be more taxing that I remember. Part of it is that this is 4000’ in altitude, whereas I live about 40’.
Next post soon, I hope.