#3 The Usual Internet Hassle

I didn’t finish my whole Nakuru story in #2. It was already too long. But here is the rest.

The modem I’ve had for several years, a small device like a fat flash disc, is not compatible with my new Macbook Air. So, after my series of tests and other medical stuff yesterday, Hillary and I went off to the Safaricom (SC) shop in Nakuru. This is the biggest cell phone company in the country and going to their shop is like going to an Apple store only instead of plenty of blue-shirted helpers, there are few and always many people waiting. The Nakuru shop has a big seating area, maybe 6 chairs by 20 rows, 120 occupied seats. As I entered, I was first “wanded” to be sure I’m not carrying any bombs (!!!). Having passed that test, I explained to the “greeter” about my problem. Instead of directing me to a chair, she sent me to the clerk in the white shirt, who had 2 people in line before me. When my turn came, he thought for a while and handed me off to another clerk who clicked around on my computer, scratched his head and handed me off to a 3rd person. ARGH! I knew this would be a long wait. Having found a parking place (miracle) Hillary joined me and we both watched while he explored my operating system, system preferences, email preferences and probably dietary/literature and beer preferences. By now we were there more than an hour and I needed to sit down (jet lag). Because the seating area was full, I approached a clerk, “I really need to sit down or I’m going to faint”. This was a slight exaggeration, but it did produce a chair! Most Kenyans are very considerate of the elderly and while I hate admitting I’m one of that group, sometimes it helps!

Finally, the 3rd guy concluded my old modem was not compatible, and brought out another one ($21). It seemed to work in the shop, but very slowly. When I got back to my room it got stuck on downloading emails and wouldn’t send out!!! RATS! Now what? That remains to be seen, as SC in Naivasha is open on Saturday morning only and besides I don’t have my car yet. Although it is a walkable distance, the walking areas are very rough and uneven, with rocks, and potholes. I’m not ready to tackle that yet. The fall has made me very cautious.

 Now I am in the sitting room of the nuns’ house. They are very welcoming and have very fast wifi, as does the rectory. I wish I could extend the wifi to my house, which is pretty close, but no luck.

RAT PHOBICS PLEASE SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH!!

As I’ve indicated before, settling in here is always problematic. This time, there is no water in my bathroom sink, so my first night here, I tottered into the kitchen to brush my teeth. I heard some scrabbling on the window sill above the sink after which a big, fat rat skippered down, ran around and then disappeared under the stove. I was so exhausted, I just brushed, closed the door and did the Scarlet O’Hara thing—I’ll think about that tomorrow. Next morning, I found nibbles in a tomato and 2 bananas. Of course, I’ve had to scrub down all the counter tops, window sill, table and stove. All food is now in covered containers or the refrigerator, but the next night about 2 am I heard a big crash. Again, too sleepy I did the Scarlet again. In the morning, I found he had knocked over a pan I’d left sitting over the dishes in the drying rack. A salt shaker was shattered but nothing else—except a few nibbles from my sponge. Fortunately, I’m not freaked out by rats, but I do not welcome them in my house. My territory—theirs is outside! Unfortunately, this rat doesn’t understand English, so I’ll have to resort to poison. I don’t like to do that, but I’m not sharing my quarters with Mr. Rat! I can’t get to the market until I get the car (tomorrow), but tonight I’m going to try Judy’s very successful ant remedy. Mix boric acid with sugar. Ants are attracted to the sugar and die from the acid. Ants aren’t too smart, but rats??? They may sniff it out. Only the morning will tell.

How do I deal with rats and other invaders? This is Kenya. If I can’t deal with it, I should stay home. It keeps me adaptable and why should I be so special that rats aren’t an issue for me when they are for so many others?

OK RAT HATERS CAN READ FROM HERE!

My old friend, Peter Mungai came to visit yesterday afternoon. He is a math teacher and chairman of the parish council. We talked at length about lots of things, including the closure of Mji Wa Neema. I had hoped that there might be some dialogue about that decision, but he was not at all hopeful. He, himself, wanted to keep it open and bring in more children as the older ones moved on. This is now unlikely.

For those who wish a health report, I am slowly recovering and slowly adapting to the 11-hour time difference and the greater altitude. I’ve slept a lot, though not necessarily at night and have spent many hours resting on my bed, feeling very grateful for my ipod and the books I down loaded from the library before I left. Otherwise I’d be going nuts.

I’m now pretty much up to date, so no more posts until there are more adventures to report!

 

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