Monday, August 29, 2011

No hurry in Africa

The nerves of the move to Nairobi vanished at terminal 5. I had my Kenyan leather Ark bag and felt like I was a returnee, rather than a newcomer. It is not Uganda, the traffic is faster, but at the 'w' place everyone walks just as slow.  In some ways, it has all been rather, dare I say it...easy.

Saying that, there have been a couple of hiccups already; my new pad wasn't ready and my freight has still not left Uganda - but it is all sorting itself out. 'Blood Clot Man' got better and was able to move out of the (his/my) accommodation, leaving it free for me to move in. I have had no power since I have been in, but, in the dark it seems fine! The word is quirky. I have a room with the oven in, another wee room with the fridge in and then the could be interesting! But I do have a garden, something I didn't have in Uganda and apparently my area has some good running routes (when I unpack my trainers I will test this out!).

The 'to do' list on my classroom board is getting longer the more hours I spend searching for a car;to buy, to find, to make, to meet, to file, to throw out...but hakuna matata.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Notes from Nairobi. 1 - Someone else's city.

I'm back on red soil, a recognisable place, but different. I keep forgetting where I am and get funny looks when I thank 'Sebo'. Robyn, you're not in Kampala anymore. (Although, it is great hearing from friends that are just over the border from me...makes this settling in period easier!)

My soon-to-be-home is not ready yet, so I have not started to live the life that I will. For now I am guest in a lovely house, where I can run down to the pool to do laps ('can'!) , go to bed hearing the distant screeching of hyraxes and wake when the African sun seeps gently into my room (the 'w' thing has not started yet-hence a wee lie in!).

It is lovely being  guest in a new city. I was invited to join my hosts for dinner at the Muthaiga Country Club, where game  hunters used to meet and was a port of call for new arrivals in the it was fitting that I went as a newbie. It was another Karen Blixon  moment  - apart from the fact that I was allowed into the bar. A bit surreal, as I am sure I will not be going there on a regular occasion (translate-ever!) when I start work.

It will be hard leaving this little bit of luxury and comfort, but I am ready for my own space and routine, I need to get lost in the city to find my way around and I really can't wait to unpack (or collect my 21 boxes/pieces of luggage from Uganda when they arrive!!) and set up home.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Now, time for Nairobi

It is time to weigh my suitcases. I've finished all my panic buying (due to lack of suitcase space if anything else!), even though I am sure I will want for (almost) nothing in Nairobi. So it is time to get nervous about what lies ahead.

After such a long break from Africa and from work, my emotions are a bit all over the place. I'm not worried about teaching -I know how to do that. So instead, I will find other things to worry about (I get that trait from my mum!).Before I moved to Uganda I used to have sleepless nights and toss and turn, fretting about driving in Africa. That was a few wasted nights of sleep-it was all so easy in Kampala. It only took a week or two to know the city. It will be a bit different in Nairobi. This time I am stressing over finding running routes and hoping that I can just find a nice loop or two from my accommodation...toes crossed.

I know I will meet people, and some will, after time, become friends. But that part of moving doesn't become easier the more you do it. "Will they laugh at my jokes?" (mmm-probably not!!) , "Will I find a slow enough running buddy for me?" The thought of friends just over the border puts me at ease and I can't wait to have friends over for a weekend soon!

Little worries aside, I'm ready for the move. Ready for Nairobi and more African adventures.

My last visit to Nairobi National Park

I take with me great summer memories and promises of visitors. Memories of weddings, ceilidhs, tap dancing, LOTS of home baking, early rises and long lies, sunshine, running in the rain, running in the sun, trips on the water, being a tourist in Scotland, mussels, the Edinburgh Fringe and sitting at the back bar listening to the radio with Mum and Dad.  Thanks for sharing it with me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Queenstown Story

By the time Dad and I left Ireland, we knew the CU Hospital very well...but not much else. We did take a wee drive to Cobh (said Cove) to have a wander round. Cobh (then Queenstown) was one of the last port of calls for the Titanic where 123 people embarked. It is also where the survivors of the Lusitania were brought in 1925 and were taken in to people's homes when hospitals were full. What a place!

All the colour buildings were very cute, however if you got close all the shops were closed or charity shops- a sign of the times in Ireland. Still, a pretty port town and gave us a wee break from fluorescent lighting

More from the wedding

me and my bro-the groom

When the favours are Jagermeisters, you know you are in for a party! The hats soon came off and the dance floor was flooded.

You can tell by the socks that things got a bit mad. I edited the photos - you miss me wiping the tears through my reading at the church and the arrival of the ambulance (all is OK-so don't worry). Sure signs of a great day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wedding Bells

My brother got married on Thursday in Ireland. It was such a happy day!

Congratulations Stuart and Emer Purdie!

A mini Scottish safari

The car was a bit smaller, the roads smoother, the weather was wetter but the mini road trip in Scotland was just as fun as RUT in Uganda.

Speaking to (mostly drunk) locals, hiding from the rain in pubs and cafes (any excuse for another drink!) and eating far too much.My kind of break!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Look at that one!

One of the highlights of our road trip to Skye was seeing the Tattie Bogal Scarecrow Festival. All around the Minginish penisular, placed outide houses, in bustops, on benches and farm fences, were entries into the competition. Once we realised that vodooo did not exsist on the island, we got into the scarecrow spotting mission!

These are some we loved!

me and my new pal

Kerry is on the right!

the local Bobby

This was, by far, our favourite-as it was b****y windy!

And the winner of the competition was...

the old woman with her zimmer.

Aren't they so great? Some of the details were amazing. This could make me move to Skye!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where sky meets skye

Just back from a mini road trip, a Scottish safari if you will, to Skye.No canvas or campsites this time, hostels and B&Bs (a whole new experience for me!) The weather changed with every bend of the road and breath of wind; but it didn't spoil the fun or the beautiful scenery. 

With the weather being so predictably 'Scottish', a tea shop and Inn tour of Skye was the priority of the trip.

Kerry and I wondered if we could live on an island. An island where mobile reception is not reliable (I couldn't get it at all), where everyone knows it's 'Andrew's birthday' and where you would get ostracized for hanging out your washing on a Sunday. Hmm-not sure, but we both fell in love with Carbost on Skye and I've started saving for a holiday home!