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Hello Beautiful People,

All right, time for a Kenya Story. This is a wee bit longer then most stories (sorry) but, lots of fun and explains things one should not do while on safari!

It was Dec 25th 2006 and as tradition has it we always go to the coast for Christmas and New Years Eve Holidays.

My Dear sweet Princess Savanah (my youngest, then 14) decided she wanted to fly down with her friend and her friends family and meet us there, while Tiva then 17, Rian 15, David (who would be 21 in a few days), Dawn (the goddess) and myself decided to drive down in our glorious old Land Cruiser with our driver David, who was a new hire.

We all wanted to camp that night and drive into Watamu the next day. Dawn had booked us a tent at a very special, African owned and run camp in Tsavo. It was cheep and had an ok reputation, plus the kids could camp just next door to us at a KWS campsite. Yes, this was one of those years Dawn and I tore up our house scrounging for every last dime we had to ensure that we all had fun and an amazing holiday.

We were driving through Tsavo and the only mammal we saw was an elephant in the far off distance, as it had been a bad drought year.

After around 10 hours on the road we reached the camp.

Walking in to the camp Dawn and I were pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness of the place and the kindness of the staff. One gentleman showed us the path that would lead us to the campsite, where the kids and David would be staying. Yes, alone! Are kids have been camping their whole lives and know all about the bush. Plus there was a ranger near by, just in case.

We helped set them up (which, in Dawns and my Motherly way means, we dropped off their tent and all their belongings, kissed them and said we would see them for drinks and dinner in the camp mess at 7pm) and then Dawn and I walked back to our tent, which we were sharing.

We were walking with the manager who was showing us to our room. We arrived at our tent and set our things down. The manager was standing outside our tent and asked us if we needed anything else before he left. Dawn and I said we were fine. He nodded, and then said, “I just need to tell you a few things. One; we ask all our guest to join us around a fire before dinner so we can get to know one another and go over all the safety rules while you are staying with us, the fire will be just outside the mess tent.” Dawn and I both looked at each other and smiled (meaning, ugh) and, “Two; dinner is at 8pm.” With that he smiled at us and walked off.

Dawn and I walked back in to our tent and retrieved our wine and two glasses and walked out to the plastic floored veranda to relax on the safari chairs. Beautiful birds were in the trees and the smell of the bush was the perfect perfume to relax us.

Not far off was another tent and a very nice African couple that were so excited to be camping. The gentleman walked over to our tent and politely introduced himself and then said, “If you would like to see some Impala they are eating right behind your tent”. Dawn and I got up to see, as we hadn’t seen any wildlife driving in, except that lone Elephant in the distance.

We slowly and quietly got up and walked around the tent and there they were, 5 goats! We just busted up laughing; thank god the nice man had walked away before seeing our explosion of laughter.

We went back to our tent and sat drinking our wine enjoying the stillness of being on the ground and out of our Old land Cruiser, which was extremely bouncy to say the least.

It was time to get ready to go join everyone by the campfire, we had already let the kids know what time to join us for drinks before dinner. We were starving and we knew the kids must be too.

The mozzies were out in force and I had left my mozzie spray with the kids. Dawn had not packed any, knowing I would have packed some.

She looked at me and said, “we have to do something, hold on I have an idea”. Now remember this is, ‘The Goddess’ my all-knowing dear and kind friend who confirmed that humans can be kind and good. She taught me how to be more diplomatic. To say the least I TRUSTED her.

She had walked in to the tent and came back out with a can of DOOM in her hand. She said, “Here let me spray your legs!” “ Are you crazy, that stuff is pure poison!” I bellowed. Dawn reassuringly told me, “Don’t worry, it will be fine, I will just spray a little bit, it will work!” Now I am thinking TANA DON’T DO IT! Well, unfortunately I TRUSTED Dawn. She gets this look on her face that makes you think twice of your own good judgment. So she sprayed away, her feet then mine.

As I was waiting for the burning pain to follow, I was relieved to feel nothing. I thought to myself, darn she was right again! LOL and left it at that.

We headed off to the campfire and found around 10 other people plus the kids waiting for us. The manager stood up and started his introduction spiel. “We would like to welcome all of you and wish you all a Happy Christmas. I have a few points to go over with everyone before you head off to dinner.” At this point Dawn, the kids and I were just waiting to get to dinner and eat.

We were all sitting there listening, when we couldn’t believe what we just heard.

The manager of the camp says, “ If you see a lion while you are back at your tent, DO NOT call me, I wont be here, no one will be at the office, stay where you are or in your tent and call out MAASAI, he should get to you as soon as he can.” Dawn and I fell off our logs that we were sitting on. We tried so hard not to laugh out loud, but we didn’t succeed. If the man said anything after that, I truly don’t remember it. The kids and us couldn’t stop laughing at the looks on the other guest faces. They looked like a deer in headlights. We were trying to figure out if they were scared that a lion could walk into camp, or that a Maasai would “try” to get to them on time.

We all had a wonderful Christmas dinner; we walked the kids back to their tent and made sure they were all settled in. We walked back to our tent, trying to get each other to call out ‘MAASAI’ just to see how long it would take for a Maasai to get to us, but we were behaved and didn’t. We got to our tent and got in are own beds. Dawn had let me pick which bed I wanted, very kind of her!

I got comfortable and had the lantern on to read my book, when all of a sudden my feet and legs started to itch, then burn. I asked Dawn if her feet were itching, to which she replied, “no”. I informed her that I thought that I had bed bugs. I threw back the covers and turned on my torch. I didn’t see anything! Except a huge rash running up the front and back of both of my legs, from were Dawn had sprayed the Doom on me!

Dawn was cracking up, most likely because she didn’t have an allergic reaction, and seeing me in a scratching frenzy made her whole night.

From my stupidity from the doom incident, I didn’t get much sleep. Dawn on the other hand slept like a baby! I jumped in the shower first just letting the cold water hit my feet and legs trying to get some relief, it worked for a short while. Dawn kindly reminded me we could stop at a chemist shop in Malindi, which was another 20 minutes on from where we would be staying in Watamu and we still had about 5 hours drive in front of us.

We met up with the kids for breakfast who were full of exciting stories from their own camping experience. The stories involved Baboons in camp and David who forgot to check himself for ticks before going to bed and woke up itching like me. There were at least 6 ticks on his body, of which the girls kindly removed with huge mocking for each tick they plucked off, at least the ones that were not in private areas.

We sent one of the camp staff to find David, who had been in the staff quarters, making new friends. We packed up and got back on the road.

We had been driving about 2 hours when we hit a small town, where everyone stopped at while driving this road trip; as it was one of the last stops to fill up with petrol or diesel. We pulled over in to one of the petrol stations. David turned off the vehicle and the kids all got out to find the nearest toilet or bush. The vehicle had been filled up and paid for, everyone but me was in the car, as I had gotten out to pay and was waiting for the receipt.

I heard the one noise that makes you cringe when out in the middle of nowhere, the key being turned, and the car NOT starting. David tried about 5 times and I told him to stop, as I was afraid he would flood it. It sounded like the battery was dead, and there was no way we could afford to buy one here.

I looked where the vehicle was parked and saw it was on a very slight slop. I yelled to David to put the car in neutral, which he did. Not thinking, I am sure due to the immense inching restraint I was concentrating on. I walked to the back of the car and started to push this 1200lb car forward. Now I am sure most smart people would have called out to all the teens in the car and asked them to get out and help! But no, I was a bit loopy at the time, and of course thought I was wonder woman.

Sweat started to form on my brow when I heard laughter coming from inside the car. I looked up and of course it was all the teens and Dawn laughing at me. I looked around and about 4 African men were staring at me in complete disbelief.  I had to laugh at myself at this point in time.

The African men were walking over as I started to push again, sure enough I got the vehicle moving forward. Trust me everyone was shocked at my strength at this time. The African men got to the car just as it was rolling and started pushing with all their strength. The car started to move, and David through the car in to 2nd gear and took his foot off the clutch, and presto the Land Cruiser started.

All the African men patted me on the back and were grabbing my arms muscles, extremely excited about seeing this crazy white woman pushing a Land Cruiser by herself and how strong I was! I thanked all of them and jumped in to the land cruiser. The whole car exploded with applause and jokes began about good old Mum. I thanked each and every one of them for getting off their butts and helping me! They all agreed that I was doing such a great job on my own they didn’t want to take the fun away from me! Adorable children and friend!

We finally got to Watamu and Dawn and I walked to the reception area. The first thing I asked for was a large bag of ice for my massive rashes. They kindly looked down at my legs and all squinted up their eyes and said, “oh Tana, what happened to you?” I informed them that, “my darling and most dearest friend sprayed me with doom.” Yet Again, huge amounts of laughter exploded. Yes, I am the dummy. Huge bags of ice were brought to me. While Dawn signed us all in and our bags were taken to our rooms, it was time to get to the chemist.

Savanah wondered over all fresh and lightly tanned with an ice cold drink in her hand! “Hey Mum, how are you? How was your trip?” I pointed to my legs. “Ewww, that looks like it hurts. Well hope you get something for it, love ya, see you later.” She walked off, and at that point I am thinking to myself, “I know I have loving children, has anyone seen them?”

We drove up to Malindi and found the nearest chemist. I am sure I bolted in there like a crazy person looking for any kind of relief. The woman at the counter asked if she could help me, Dawn was standing by me and said, “We are looking for anything that will stop her itching.” At this point I threw my leg up on the counter and pointed (All lady like behavior out the door). She put her hand over her mouth and then slowly pulled it away to say, “Oh, that looks like it hurts!” I just thought, ‘do you think so?’ She went behind the counter and handed me some cream and a couple pills to take; I didn’t even ask what they were for at that point in time, I just popped one. I started putting on the cream right there and then. We paid the heavenly chemist and I, for the first time since the night before had total relief.

On our way back to the hotel, Dawn and I stopped at the local dukas. Dawn was craving a ham sandwich. Now remember when I said Dawn and I had to find every last dime we had to take this holiday? Well, this is how poor we were! Dawn walks in finds the ham pack and puts in the trolley, she gets a roll of bread and puts that in the trolley, then ever so stealth like walks by a head of lettuce and tears off a piece and puts it in her purse. I looked at her with wide eyes, and said, “What are doing?” “ I just want one sandwich, what am I going to do with a whole head of it.” Coming from the woman who I let spray Doom on me, how could I argue with her. “Besides, they won’t mind, I have been shopping here for over 20 years.” She added.

We all had a wonderful time that holiday and many stories to laugh about. For those friends of mine who asked for a Kenyan story and how things are done here, I hope I answered some of the questions. Although I think I answered more of what not to do. Do not spray Doom on your body parts, Have a second battery with you in an old vehicle if going on a long journey, remember to pack insect repellent for everyone’s bags if staying in different camps, Ask for help when pushing a heavy vehicle and always trust your own instincts.  LOL…

xxx

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngorongoro_Conservation_Area#Wildlife

On our second night at the Ngorongoro crater, we were celebrating a wonderful time. We had seen splendid game that day, close encounters with Elephant, wonderful Lion, Lioness and cubs, and cheeky monkeys who tried to share our food. We even spotted tourist, something we do at times for fun! Spot which country they are from. Amazingly enough they all have their own quirks. At one point, we had spotted some lions and we were parked there having a silent giggle watching the cubs wrestle with each other and one little guy would sneak up around the back of his mum and then pounce on her and think this was the funniest thing he had ever done! Mum would feel this thump on her back and then roll over and put a paw on his head, at one point she pulled him in to her with her massive paw and pinned him down lovingly and started to lick him all over, the little guy just lay there looking like a drowned rat! Too cute.

Then the loud tourist came, the driver politely drove up, and then unleashed his clients on all our serenity. They were loud Europeans, I am sure they had no inner voice barometer, even the lions who are used to being on stage, sat up! We looked at them, with kind smiles but slanted eyes! The driver put his head down and raised his hands in the air palms up and shrugged apologetically.

He didn’t know we were from East Africa, must have thought we were tourist too. So you can imagine the look on his face when Tanyth spoke to him in Swahili and asked him “tafadhali utaweza kuu mumbia hawa ma punda kuu nyamazia”, although with a bit of a teenagers twist of language, translation: Please would you ask your car full of donkeys to be QUIET! We all quietly cracked up laughing, even the other guide did. Then he turned to the back of his mini van and explained to them that they should lower their voices. They did and we waved to them in appreciation. The guide in the Europeans vehicle smiled at us as we drove off.

David our driver had a great sense of humour and thought we were all bonkers, but enjoyed being with people who also do safari, we laughed all day telling animal stories and of sightings we had in our pasts. There were a few animals between us that we had not seen in a while or ever. Anteaters, Giant Forest Hog, Large Python and a few others.

We were back at the camp and had a huge roaring fire and full tummies, although not fed by the Over-Lander this time, I had treated the girls to dinner at a nearby lodge.

We were full of laughter this night and being a bit silly, playing games and singing songs and joining us were the staff from the Over –Lander Truck. Their clients had gone off to their own fires and made it clear they wanted to be left alone.

The stories were amazing and funny from all sides and we started imitating different animal sounds to see who had the best imitation. Again much laughter followed. It was about 2am when most of us decided to go to bed. With hugs all around and shared appreciation between us all, I excused myself. About 30 minutes later, I was sound asleep. A little later in the night I was woken up by our driver David, tapping on my tent. I woke up thinking this was a joke that was being carried on from earlier and played along. “Yes, what’s up?” David Said “Tana, I have a Giant Forest Hog in my tent (Adult giant forest hogs can weigh between 300lbs to 600lbs and have very impressive sized tusks, and we had just been talking about how I hadn’t seen one in years and would love too)!” I broke out in laughter, thinking this is a good one, never heard that before! I laughed and told him to go to sleep and that was a good one! He walked away. I didn’t hear any ruckus or screams, so was convinced it was just a joke especially since he was casual about it.

In the morning, I woke to the beautiful sunrise and crisp air. I got dressed for the day. I climbed out of my tent to see who else was up. It was fairly early still, except for the Over-Lander staff, whom I waved to.

I walked over to our Land cruiser to get some supplies, only to see our driver sleeping in the back. I threw my hand up to my mouth in shock, as there could only be one reason he was in there and it wasn’t because it was more comfortable. I ran over to his tent and saw the entire front of his tent was torn to shreds and all his stuff was askew. I felt horrible, as I knew instantly that the poor man was indeed scared out of his own tent by a Giant Forest Hog. I seriously had thought it was a joke when he came to me that night.  And because he didn’t make much of it, I didn’t think twice about it till now! I turned around and he was standing there.

“Oh David, I am so sorry, I had no idea you were being serious last night! Please forgive me, are you ok?” He laughed and said “yes, but I thought you were some big animal trainer and stuntwoman who would come to my rescue!!!” I looked at him and he busted out in huge laughter, I joined him.

He then said, “it was pretty scary trying to get out of my tent while he was trying to get in, I had to throw all the apples and oranges at him, I think he liked that part!”  I could visualize this scene immediately and I started to laugh with him at this point, then remembered when we had come back yesterday that we had dropped off food supplies at his tent and we all had forgotten to put them in the vehicle before we went to bed. We were in the wrong, as you never leave food out, but this was thankfully a lesson well reminded with out anyone getting hurt, except of course our tent.

xxx

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I decided to take my daughters and Tiva’s best friend Tanyth (whom I call my adopted daughter, she lives here with her Father, Step Mum and three Brothers) and Seb (a son of a friend who was visiting from the UK) on safari to Ngorongoro Crater ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngorongoro_Conservation_Area) in Tanzania one summer. We all piled in to our old beige Land Cruiser and set off on the road with water, sodas, bitings, music and plenty of excitement.

We set out that day around noon and drove in to Arusha that early evening. This would normally be about a four hour drive, but we were delayed at the boarder because Seb forgot his passport and we had to send him back to Karen with my driver to get his passport and ID. We had to leave them there with money in their pockets to grab a bus back to Nairobi while we carried on on our own. Seb took a bus the next day to Arusha and we collected him at the hotel where we were staying.

There are many stories to tell while we were on this amazing holiday, but the one I am going to tell for now is about what happened when we were camping at the crater itself.

We hired a driver in Arusha to drive us to the crater, as I had never driven there before. We unloaded our gear and put up our tents. We hit the mother lode when we saw an overlander (these are the big trucks that take 15 plus people all together on safari, I call them cattle trucks) pulling up just below where we had set up, this meant they could cook food for us if they felt like it. As there were always leftovers after feeding their guests.

We made friends right away with the driver, guides and cook from the overlander and negotiated a deal as their smaller vehicle had broken down and all their firewood was in it, which lead to our good fortune, as we said we would collect dry wood for them if they fed us. As they were exhausted from a grueling drive and breakdowns along the way they happily agreed. We happily obliged.

After about an hour of collecting wood we started a fire for them and piled up the remaining wood.

My daughter Savanah had been watching how to fire dance via Zoe – Zoe, my friend Dawn’s (the Goddess) daughter, had been learning and Savanah had been watching her and started teaching herself. I had not allowed Savanah to light them for at least a month until I saw she wasn’t hitting herself and Tanyth had been fire dancing for years and convinced me Savanah was ready to light them up. That night was going to be her first time fire dancing with fire!

A few of the people that had arrived with the overlander where not at all the friendliest of sorts, they were loud, disruptive and judgmental of the fine crew who were looking after them and showed no appreciation of where they were. They were also complaining that they had not seen an elephant and blamed it on the guide.

It was dusk and the beautiful orange and red sky was getting darker by the second, Tanyth decided Savanah was ready to light up and give it a go! We were all so excited for her and sat on the lawn and awaited her debut.

With all the grace Savanah possesses she lit up and started to dance in amazing unison with the fireballs blazing by her head. I was so proud of her and we were all clapping and cheering her on.

The not so nice clients of the overlander were sitting nearby and started making very rude comments of how dangerous it was to let a child do that, loud enough to make sure that I could hear. We all ignored them and kept our attention on Savanah who after about 4 minutes was finished performing and smiling from ear to ear. Just around this time and before it was completely dark, I looked up and pointed towards the bush about 20 yards from us, walking out of the bush was this massive six ton male elephant. If I had not been sitting where I was I would not have heard him as he was in stealth mode. By his movement we could tell that he knew these grounds very well and knew exactly where he was going.

The girls looked at me and said should we tell the mean people? I just smiled and said if they are meant to see him they will. We all just sat there and looked on at this magnificent creature for about 5 minutes, moving so gracefully along the path as he then disappeared back in to the bush.

It was one of those moments where you felt blessed to be alive and in the presence of Mother Nature. The mean people never saw him, as they were to busy complaining to one another.

Savanah has been fire dancing for several years now and has been asked on numerous occasions to perform at events through out Nairobi. I am so proud of her.

God Bless and Best Wishes to everyone!

xxx, T

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Hello Beautiful People, Below I have posted my future Son-in-laws (Eddie) Camp Questions and Answers. I found this to be hysterical, as it is so true. Please know his answers are how most of us in this field would like to answer our guest after living in the bush 3 months straight, answering the same questions for the 400th time , but we are all very professional and have to keep these thoughts to ourselves. Maybe those of you who are coming to visit this amazing country in the future will have many of your questions answered here. If you would like to add some questions, please do, I will be more then happy to answer any questions on camp life, safari or life in Kenya for you in a professional manner, I promise. Hope everyone not in this field can appreciate the humor in the below Question and Answer statements. Huge Hugs to everyone, Tana

Why don’t lions just jump in the vehicle and eat you?

Contrary to what you may have seen in movies, lions are not on a mission to consume all human life. In fact wherever possible they would rather avoid you. It is they that view us as a threat and will, in most cases, run away if they can. They largely ignore you in a vehicle because they see the car as a barrier if you will: you are safely inside your cage and can therefore can do no damage to them. You are not seen as meals on wheels.

Can we get out and take photos with the lions?

Sure, why not? You’ve signed your waiver and release form and obviously have no understanding of the term ‘WILDlife’ so go ahead and I’ll write up a report for the Darwin Awards.

Can elephants run?

The common answer to this is no. However, running is far more complicated than simply having all your feet off the ground at one time and involves things like transfer of kinetic energy in the limbs. Recent study shows that when elephants travel at full speed they somehow manage to run and walk at the same time, in fact they run with their front legs and walk with their back, or the other way round according to some. Basically scientists can’t agree so I don’t know, but what you need to know is that they will easily outrun/walk you whichever way they do it.

Why is it raining?

This involves all sorts of complicated things about weather systems and such, but by your tone of voice I deduce you are implying that I am somehow responsible for this unseasonable downpour. You’re right of course, I apologise, I do control the weather and chose this moment for it to rain so you could sit there and give me grief.

Will we get to see alligators in the river?

(Sigh) No we do not have alligators in Africa; they exist solely in the Americas. What we have here are crocodiles. I could explain the difference but you will forget it so I won’t bother, just accept that there is one.

Are there snakes here?

There are snakes just about everywhere except Antarctica although for some reason they couldn’t quite tolerate Ireland either. This is Africa, this is the bush so yes there are snakes. You are unlikely to see any but they exist and no they are not all waiting to ambush you.

What about spiders?

Ditto, except for the Ireland bit, you’re not safe there either.

Would the lions come into the tent?

No, and sleeping next to the zip won’t put you in a more dangerous position. Even if they did want to eat you their grasp of the zip mechanism is fairly limited.

What do we do if there’s a lion outside our tent?

Be very polite, laugh with and not at, remember to say please. No, just stay put. It will leave, especially after hearing your scream.

We saw a jaguar in a tree

No you did not. I’ll make this clear: jaguars – South America; leopards – Africa… and Asia as well but let’s keep it simple.

Is this local beef/chicken/lamb/vegetables/fruit?

Why yes; Kenya is surprisingly capable of producing its own food and it tastes great. Actually the veggies you purchase from your local supermarket are most likely from here too so it should make you feel right at home.

How does your cook come up with these meals?

I’ll ask him, I suspect it’s magic.

How does one approach the Maasai?

They’re people; treat them as such and the outcome will be wonderful.

Do the Maasai still kill lions?

Not legally.

But does that mean…

No comment.

What would your askaris do if a lion walked into camp?

Would the answer to this question make you feel any different about your stay here? If the answer to that is ‘yes’ then they would chase them away fearlessly. If your answer is ‘no’ then nothing.

How bad is malaria?

Bad, but not that bad. Quick treatment and you’ll get over it pretty quickly, but given that you’d probably only develop symptoms back home where a diagnosis would require a ‘tropical disease’ specialist, I’d say keep taking your Malarone.

Why are the lions roaring?

Despite what you’re feeling they are not planning an all-out killing spree on the camp. Roaring is simply communication between pride members, however bowel-loosening the sound may be.

Is the Maasai language a different dialect to Swahili?

They are entirely different languages with no connection whatsoever, and while we’re on the subject there is no such language as ‘African’, just because I speak Swahili it does not mean I can understand Zulu.

We want to see a leopard.

So do I. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Unfortunately they’re a bunch of divas and are very picky about when they show themselves. You’ll just have to hope and deal with it if you aren’t lucky enough to see one.

Can we see Shakira?

Big Cat Diary naming animals is a pain in the rear. Shakira is as special as the next cheetah and so be happy to see any at all. Alternatively I could tell you than any cheetah we see is Shakira and there’s very little you can do to prove me wrong.

How do you find your way around here?

It’s not an innate skill, I’ve been here a long time. Drive around enough and anywhere will become familiar – I don’t know why people find this incredible. I couldn’t begin to find my way around London but you can, because you’ve been there for years. The Maasai don’t have inbuilt GPS, they’ve lived here their whole lives. Are you getting my point?

I can’t quite get my camera to…

That’s because you went and bought an overly expensive piece of equipment that you haven’t the first idea how to use and can’t be bothered to read the instruction manual. It’s highly unlikely that this trip will turn you into a wildlife photographer extraordinaire, so why not get something simpler and more familiar that you can at least use instead of spending half your holiday trying to figure out why the photos are blurry.

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My, Oh My, Oh My, how certain people can lie with a straight face is so amazing to me! A brief update for you as the issue between my ex-landlord and me is still on going ON!

My morning started by me receiving a call from the Karen Police. The officer started by yelling at me to get down to the Karen Police station immediately because a complaint was filed against me by ex-landlord.

I explained to the officer that I had filed a report on him last Thursday and it is my ex-landlord who is expected to be at the Karen police station; I gave him the head of police investigations number at Karen, Then the officer hung up on me. Guess he hadn’t been paid enough to get into it with another police station! Lol…

I then called the Langata Police man that I had been dealing with and told him about the phone call, he said to ignore it and just be at the station at 4pm and my ex-landlord would be there and he would call Karen Police station and explain.

We (my male friend and I, when you are a woman in Kenya, and not powerful, bring a man, as Kenyan men look down on woman) arrived, and then the ex-landlord arrived soon after. We went in to a small-cemented room with one window and broken chairs, my chair didn’t have a back support, and it was more like a stool. I knew the ex-landlord had done something, because the police investigator who promised me he would be there, wasn’t and when I called him he said he went to lunch, even though I called him earlier and he promised me he would be there.

The ex-landlord starting spewing out lies about me that were so outrageous I had to laugh. Every time I tried to counter him and prove he was lying to the police officer, the police officer asked me to be quiet, hmmm Really? I wasn’t quiet. This went on for an hour, only to be told I had to go to the Karen police station to resolve the complaint he filed against me. And that my complaint against him was to be put aside, this is Kenya for you when it comes to women’s rights. And who has the most money to pay people off. I don’t believe in paying bribes, which can make life very difficult here, but at least I can rest my head on the pillow at night. I hope I am never put in a position where I will have to pay a bribe, hence never say never.

When my male friend and I arrived at the Karen the police station, I proved I was in the right and the ex-landlord stood down. Unfortunately that did not mean he paid me what he owed me. So, the saga continues, and my ex-landlord did not succeed in having me arrested, arrogant little man that he is, one small victory for me.

My male friend and ex-landlord are meeting this week to hopefully finalize everything.

For those of you who don’t understand why I would step out of the picture, it is simple politics, and it bores me to no end, but I have learned, I don’t have to fight all my own battles, and it makes it easier on everyone involved when dealing with the men in this country, bring in a bigger man. Lol… D.I.A. Dis –Is –Africa or D.B.A. Dis Be Africa.

I have no idea which way this will end up! But, I do know, we haven’t heard the end of it! As my daughters’ soon to be Mother in law said to me, Kikuyu’s hate to part with money, whether it is theirs or someone else’s! And she is half Kikuyu! LOL, god bless her, as she said again, my Kamba side is stronger than my Kikuyu side! LOL. She is a wonderful woman, and she and I joke how conmen always come after her and evil men always come after me! Ah, the life…. To continue, as soon as I know the out come! God Bless everyone! xxx

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Hello Beautiful People, Please forgive me for taking so long to write. These last few weeks have proved themselves to be life affirming.

Robbers attacked very close family friends of mine, on the eve of Easter. Two had guns, plus 4 other men. One gunman put his gun to my friends’ head, a 17-year-old young man, we’ll call him ‘M’ (don’t want to disclose names).

M had the gun at his head first and was walked in to the house with the other gunman and robbers, he remained calm until the second gun was put to his father’s head. M grabbed his gunman’s gun, while they struggled and both men’s hands were on the gun, he muscled the gun to point towards the other gunman who had his gun pointed at his father head and then through the struggle that gun was fired and shot the second gunman.

The bullet went through the robbers’ stomach and hit his dad’s wrist. His Dad will be fine, the gunman didn’t make it. The 17-year-old got the gun out of his gunman’s hands and all the other robbers fled.

This is a very short version, but really not my story to tell, more to explain what can happen here and to also help people understand the strength of conviction our children are raised with here.

This doesn’t happen all the time, but we are raised to be ready for anything, and obviously most of the time you do as they say and give them what they want, but M knew these gunmen were not there to just take money and things and he did what he had to, in order to save his father. The police have ‘shoot to kill’ orders for these remaining robbers.

Also going on during this time was our move, the unpacking, the settling in, and my ex-landlord who is giving me hassles, threatening me (a very real thing in this country), ignoring my emails, calls and text messages as the poor little man does not want to part with the money he owes me! This is not unusual in Kenya, as getting your money back from certain individuals is like ripping a dinosaur out of the tar pits.

I have tried, being polite, showing kindness, presented proof of all documents explaining how much he owes me and why. But, he is one of those men who thinks by threatening me I will meekly walk away with my head down, poor chap doesn’t know me very well.

I went to the police station last Thursday and reported him, and the police agreed I could have him arrested on many different charges, but we all agreed to wait till today to see if he would come around. He hasn’t, which means back to the station this afternoon as they will have to bring him in. This should be interesting. Many things can happen in this situation, we’ll just have to wait and see and pray for a positive outcome. I will keep you posted on the turn of events with this story.

On a positive note Savanah and I love our new, yet old colonial house. It still needs much work, but we are used to that. The animals are settled in and Joyce my amazing house lady is thankful to have bigger staff quarters for her and her three children.

I know this is not one of my funny adventures, but I was asked by my friends here in Kenya to also share the other side of living in this beautiful country. To help people understand why we work hard, party hard and appreciate everyday.

God Bless and Lots of Love to Everyone…

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Hello Beautiful People, Just a quick update. We are moving tomorrow, so I went over to the new house yesterday to see how the work had progressed. The toilets in the staff quarters, not done. The electrical wires, still hanging down the wall. The floors still not finished. But, the good news the fence only had one whole left to be fixed. When you live here one must leave their idea’s of promptness behind them, as Kenyans lives on a whole different time line. LOL. I called the landlord and asked very politely, “When will everything be ready?” the response “Dont worry Tana, everything will be ready.” Translation, when they get to it. So one thinks to themselves, ok don’t worry, I will put in a portable camping toilet, keep dogs out of rooms with hanging wires and dogs will live inside till fence fixed LOL… This will work for a tad bit. xxx

I want to Thank everyone for their continued support of my BLOG.

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