Wednesday, February 15, 2012

(Gagging), Hacking, Digging, Shoveling Away Pt. 2

I took a short trip this past weekend with Kim and Tom to a friends house in Maasai Land. We arrived late on Saturday night, so we unfortunately missed the Maasai dances, but I felt okay about that since I've seen a lot of them. I did, however, get the delightful chance to eat a goat's head. When we pulled up to the butchery, since it was so late, my friends informed me that all they had left was the goats head. I wasn't too psyched about that, and I made that pretty clear, so they went back to the butchery and returned 10 minutes later with a bag full of chopped up meat, telling me it was just some sheep. We took it back to the house that had no electricity, so it was pretty hard to see... and they handed me a chunk of the meat and warned me that it was chewy, I would have to pull hard with my teeth. The second my molars pierced the cold, chewy meat, I said with a clenched jaw, "this is a goats head, isn't it?" (in fact I think that's what I'm saying in the picture below...) and Tom and Kim laughed for about ten minutes as they watched me try to eat this once very adorable face. They assured me that this meat wouldn't get me sick, but I wasn't very convinced seeing as the texture felt nothing near cooked, and well, it was cold. So after the delicious meal, I ran into the room that held my overnight bag, prayed that I remembered to bring the Cyproflaxin (a wonderful, wonderful antibiotic), found the Cyproflaxin, and took it with much thanks to my parents for training me to be an experienced world traveler. Thanks guys, I would probably be dead without you, or at least converted to vegetarianism...
Mmmm nothin' better than a nice, cold chunk of head.  

So the next morning after changing a popped tire and jumping the car with a motorcycle (surprisingly and thankfully it worked, there were no other cars for miles...) we took a beautiful hike up some nearby hills and a Maasai man showed us the village's main water source. It was in a cool, jungle type area. I even caught a really distant and unclear glimpse of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately it wouldn't even show up on the camera, but it was cool to see nonetheless.

Yesterday, we were going to finish Peter's house, but John was in Nairobi till about noon so if we were to finish it yesterday, we would have had to hire the cement guy for both yesterday and today, so we decided to have one long day today with the professional cementer. So yesterday instead we went to a nearby town and bought cushions for Peter's couch and two chairs. He's been living in his house for 15 years without a single cushion. We also got some fabrics to cover the cushions, so when we get everything moved back into the house, the cushion and cushions covers put on, he should feel more at home than he's ever felt... and that makes John and I feel pretty dang good.
So, today we finished the floors. This involved a lot of mixing of cement, sand, and some soil. We mixed piles of these ingredients with water to make the first layer, which is a rough cement. Then the professional (they were all really serious about the "professional" so now that word is kinda stuck in my head...) mixed the pure cement with water making the top coat, which is much smoother. We are giving the floors two days to dry, then we will finally be able to move all of his stuff back in and welcome him to his new home.

The view from the second story of John's house
Both sides of John's shamba, it also stretches up the hill on those ledges pictured in the left photo, and he has another smaller one up near his house.
The animals
After finishing work, John and I visited his new home. It was nice to see his new, and very large, house that is in the middle of being built. He currently just lives in a small tin house on the property until he gets enough money to finish building his house. His land is huge, and it has so much space for everything he dreams of having. He has a large Shamba (garden) that he plans to plant cabbage, spinach, sukuma, and other vegetables in. He is not only using these shamba's for himself and for selling the goods to local restaurants, but he also plans to use these vegetables for his food deliveries to the widows in Kijabe Town. He delivers food about once a month, and currently he's buying the food, so he hopes to be able to start using his own crops to give to them. He also has two new cows, and a chicken coup with many chickens that produce the best kind of eggs you can get. Apparently each chicken costs 400 shillings (about 4 dollars) and each individual egg is worth 30 shillings, and they lay eggs every day. He must have up to 20 chickens, maybe more. So this will be a really good way of taking in extra money, because he sure needs it. As I said before, he lost everything in the fire including all of his previous chickens and animals. From his house I also go the chance to see the next project we will be working on, which is rebuilding his elderly neighbors house. She lives alone and her house is completely breaking down so we will take it apart and build her a good, sturdy house. Anyway, hope you're all filled in on what's been happening the past couple days!


  1. Did you know that we used to live in fear of you vomiting? Because you did it all the time. Even once in the paint store where your father was so amazed to see that at some point during the day you had actually eaten vegetables that he didn't even notice that you'd puked all over the paint store floor. Now you're eating goat's face. Wow! :-)

  2. Ew. You are such a good sport! On all fronts!