So today we went out around town. It took WAY too long to accomplish what we did. We registered the kids for school….exciting for us and them. We went to the post office and mailed a package to the home office…lets see how long that takes, its the second one so far…haven’t heard if anything arrived yet. I doubt it because from what I can gather air mail sits at the airport until they have a full container to ship which can take a month. Next, we went back to the dreaded bank, I fear the days we have to go there. All I neede to do was make a deposit and transfer the funds to the school’s bank account for this semester fees. It took one hour in line followed by over an hour waiting for them to make a phone call for the transfer. We traded off entertaining the kids. It was something. Oh, I should probably mention that the bank was HOT and exquisitely smelly (I actually kind of like the strong smells here..Anne, not so much) . Some of you may know but for others informaiton there is no air conditioning here…anywhere but the car. And very few places use the lights. Electricity is so expensive that even in the mall, bank, pretty much everywhere they dont have lights on. There are nice fountains in the malls….never seen one running. There’s only one little stretch of road in Thika with street lights.
OK where was I , our errands…we went to get the kids uniforms. They needed regular ones and sports ones and swim suits, and arm floaties. This list is long, shorts, t-shirts, sweaters, shoes, socks, hats, everything (we bought the minimum compulsory stuff and called it good) it took about one hour in this tiny shop. We stood around while the lady looked though things over and over to find what we needed. Good news, we got it and just have to come back tomorrow to get the stuff they have to print school logo on. Also met a the nice shop owner who’s 3 year old daughter will be starting at Imani in the fall.
Got home around 3 and got the kids down. During Nap time I went around with a handyman mission. Find chicken wire to put up on the bottom of the doors so the Kuku (chickens) and our wild Paka (cat) stop coming in. Got it right here in Macongeni. Next mission…find something to makwe 4 shelves for a closet we have near the bathroom that has none. Not so easy. After goingt o 4 “Hardware” stores I was not having any success. Now these stores are everywhere, they are basically a garage sized place packed full of everything except what you need. I’d say there are 50 of them just in Thika. Then I found the place. This sweet little shop run by all young women who are now going to be our first stop for household needs. They cut me some plywood shelves and a false ceiling, it took them hours but in the end it worked out great. Also picked up a kg of bailing wire and some concrete nails so we can hang stuff up at home.
After nap we decide to try and go to dinner. Lena suggested the Blue Post Hotel. It and the Coconut Grill are pretty much the only restaurants with fresh food and somewhat western standards for hygene and food preparation. Well we left home at just after 5pm. By 6:30pm we still only had drinks on the table…our waitress would dissappear for 15-20 min at a time and we eventually decided to cut our losses and leave for another place. Maybe it was a good choice, but unltimately we ended up getting home at 8:30pm, fed and very tired out.
It is really remarkable how long things can take here. We’re slowly figuring out how to get things done, but are still caught off gaurd more often than not. We decided if we are going to eat in town again for dinner we’ll just have to plan on leaving by 4pm or we’ll never get home by the kids bed time. And we’re talking about a 12km roudtrip commute. Ian