Sunday, August 30, 2009

Masai and the mystery of the appearing ants.

I have a new ant situation. Every evening, under my wash basin, lie corpses of dead ants. Nobody has sprayed them. There are no live ants around. So, where are these ants coming from? Every day, my housekeeper dutifully sweeps up the ants. When I get home from school, there aren't any dead ants. But, when I go to bed at night and wake up each morning, there are piles of dead ants. The ants have to be coming from somewhere, right? Something has to be killing them. I don't really believe that in the evening when Siobhan and I eat dinner, live ants are marching the corpses of their brothers up the stairs to my bathroom to try and make me feel guilty about the murders I committed a couple of weeks ago. Ants don't do that sort of thing, do they? And so I bring you, the mystery of the appearing ants. Maybe the series of CSI New York I watch every night is starting to affect me.

This week I took my class on a field trip to a Masai Village. I spent a good couple of hours typing it up on my portable hard drive, but for some reason blogger won't let me paste it on here like I've always done. So, I wrote a hub about my visit to the Masai. You can read about it here. I'll be putting the photos from the trip on Facebook as well, although at the moment, it is virtually impossible to upload photos anywhere. I'm not sure if it's internet speed or the bandwidth. It just takes forever. Maybe I must try and make my photos smaller files.

We went to a BBQ Friday evening, and another at the TPC sugar plantation Saturday afternoon. Both times I took sausages, now I have orders up the ying yang. The supermarket in town, Aleems, where I buy my groceries stocks boerewors which he buys in from Kenya at double what I'd sell it for. Now he ants me to supply his shop. He'll even do all the packaging for me, which was my headache part in China. The making of the sausages was simple. The packing of it was time-consuming. However, people have been saying they want to buy directly from me and not Aleems. I have to say, the new electric Kenwood sausage maker I have is so fast, it's only the thorough washing of the meat I have to do beforehand which takes the time!

Tony celebrated his 18th birthday on Friday. His first birthday without me being present. I think it was probably harder for me than for him. Siobhan is flat out busy with schoolwork and babysitting. She charges 10 000 shillings for her services, which is roughly US$10. I've told her to save it for our Christmas holiday. We're going to go to Pangani which is on the coast of Tanzania, just a few hours drive away, and then after a week of lying in the sun, take a dhow across to Zanzibar. A few days in Stone Town, then we're taking a ferry across to Pemba Island, which is a remote island off the coast of Zanzibar. A week lying in the sun there, and then back to Pangani, pick up my car and back home. We have a 4 week Christmas break which is rather nice.

Hopefully, this coming week I'll get my internet at home. I ambled down to the lady at the office on Friday to ask what was happening with my internet, which I was promised over a week ago. She said that after they installed my landline, which was supposed to have been done the same time as the internet, they lost my form. So, she smiled, telling me that I obviously had to fill in a new form. "When were you going to tell me that they'd lost my form?" I asked, trying to keep the impatience out of my voice. "I was waiting for the next time you walked down to my office." I just smiled, it was pointless giving a reply and perhaps explaining that it might be weeks before I next walked down to her office.

Which brings me to our three days without power at home. The electricity supplier has decided that we must all get prepay electricity boxes. Imported from South Africa. However, when they installed them, they only put a little bit of power on, to last us until the next morning, then we have to put more money on the card and recharge the electricity unit. However, when they installed the new prepay boxes, they hadn't yet got round to making the new cards. And, there was no way to put more power into your box without the card. Luckily, it only took them two days to make the cards. The school put on 30 000 shillings to give us a start, and picked up our cards for us. Unfortunately, they didn't indicate which card was mine and which one was the next door neighbour's. I gave both cards to our gardener who had come to school, concerned that there was still no power and he couldn't pump water up to our tank, and asked him to give them to the housekeeper who had access to both properties. Unfortunately, she didn't check the numbers to the meter, so the cards didn't work. She left the card on my table, and obviously, my card on the neighbour's table. Siobhan and I sat in the dark waiting for the neighbour to arrive home after seven, so that we could swop cards and get our power connected. We were determined not to light candles another night.

Other than stomach cramps and a touch of what I suspect is amoebic dysentery, as everybody has been hit by that, I'm okay. Siobhan has been battling a cold and tonsilitis since before we left Cape Town. I keep telling her to go to the nurse at school, but hanging out with friends is more important. Today her throat is so sore and I can see her tonsils are swollen, so think she has reached the antibiotic stage. Hopefully, she'll go and get it sorted tomorrow. Okay, have some homework sheets I need to get organised. Have a great week!

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