Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holiday Happenings

Aside from relaxing, sleeping in, and running errands the last three weeks of holiday, I've been hanging out with Will at the Children's Centre.
And hanging out with friends at the beach for a whole week!
But no Kenyan holiday can be void of a bit of frustration. In a taxi to the airport in Nairobi and in a taxi to the airport in Mombasa we were pulled over by the police. Kenyan police do regular "police checks" on the side of the road. What are they checking for? A bribe. 99% of the time they have no legal grounds for whatever they're saying is illegal with your vehicle or your driver's license. Today the police officer commented on the tire flaps. He said, "The front tires have mud flaps, but the back tires don't." What's the big deal about that? Nothing, but this policeman can keep us pulled to the side of the road, threatening, and talking until the expected sentence is finally spoken, "Give something small for the police." This means, give me money and I'll let you continue on your way. So our taxi driver gave him "something small", somewhere between 300 and 500 Ksh ($4-$6). This is corruption at the smallest level in Kenya. Corruption goes all the way to the top in most African nations, and Kenya is right there with the best of them. Just read the news. This is one thing I will NOT miss about Kenya.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Woo hoo!

After 5 months of waiting for my Kenya work permit and 6 more months for Will to wait for his permit, we are finally BOTH legal residence of Kenya! Will got his papers today. Finally! We now have three months to enjoy the privileges that come with it.
In Hungary we only have 2 months to get our papers sorted, so this process has to be smoother. (I hope. Fingers crossed!) Oh the joys of living abroad! :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Recent Reads

Kenya affords a lot of free time that living in America doesn't. With that time I often read. Here are some of the latest I've enjoyed.

The Teacher's Funeral by Richard Peck. This is a children's novel gifted to me by my mother-in-law. Very cute for adults and 10-12 year olds alike. For all my friends who have taken a sabbatical from the teaching profession, grab this book from the library and have a great flash-back to your teaching days. For my UK friends, read this book and gain a little more understanding why Americans are the way they are. :)

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Recently made into a film with Keira Knightley, this book was truly a mysterious twister. It did not go the direction I thought it would, which made it very engaging. It takes place in the UK, which was fun for me because I actually knew what rounders and village referred to. You don't have to know these British terms to enjoy the book however. Definitely a good book.

The Temptress by Paul Spicer. Scandal, affairs, murder, Kenya. And it's all true! It's another theory book on the mysterious murder of Lord Errol, a white colonial in Kenya during the 20's and 30's. To me it's so interesting how the colonial "Happy Valley" group lived with their wild parties, spouse swapping, and hunting safaris in the early years of colonial Kenya. Particularly interesting since I know the places they talk about and have been to many of them, but interesting to anyone who likes a real-life mystery or biography. It's almost so crazy it's hard to believe it's all true sometimes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Safari with the girls

The end of term 2 finalized on Friday, giving me three weeks of free days. Whoo hoo! To celebrate and have a bit of R&R, I headed off with my girlfriends from work to Nakuru National Park to sit by the pool, eat four course meals, and see some African animals. It was great!
As we drove across the Kenyan landscape, I realized that this will probably be my last safari while living in Kenya. Sad. But it finished well when I saw a leopard, the only animal I really wanted to see but hadn't yet. Unfortunately it was getting dark and we couldn't get a picture. But I saw it and that means my safari adventures are complete.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

When living overseas is hard...

We had a nephew born this week! Happy birthday to Carson Lucas.
As we skyped with Sam, Holly, and Baby Carson at the hospital, I realized that I probably won't hold that little guy until he's a year old or more. Skype is great, but I can't reach through the computer screen and have those cute, chubby fingers hold onto mine. These are the days when living far from home is just not so fun. Sam, Holly, and Jacob, congratulations. Make Will hold that baby double-time for me when he comes to America. Love you all!