“Eeeeek!. What is it? There’s loads of them!!” Madeleine screams from the other room.
I bravely charge in to the living room, like a scene from an action movie, pointing to Madeleine and Lucas to hide in the bedroom. I see their faces staring at me as the door closes, a hero in the making. Huge flying insects are pouring in through the window making a terrifying noise. Armed with Doom spray in one hand, a kitchen towel in the other I spray and swipe, spray and swipe till they are all dead. My work is done. Well, I may have exaggerated slightly, it turns out they were flying ants with 1 inch wings, completely harmless but I wasn’t to know. Actually we have since found out they are often dried out and eaten as a snack!
Madeleine: I am sitting on our brown, fake, leather sofa, it is though everything around me is moving, there is movement in front of me on the glass coffee table. There is buzzing, more buzzing, I feel something tickling my face, my hand swipes across as my frustration levels rise. I go to pick up my coffee, there are two flies crawling around the rim of my mug. Lucas waves his hands saying ‘no fly, no fly’. I walk into the kitchen to make another coffee as I turn the kettle on there appears to be three on the toaster in front of me, actually there are five, four are mating and buzzing. That’s the final straw with mating flies everywhere we decide its time for the spray!…..extermination!
It’s the wet season and it brings the flies, it must be spring judging by their activities!!We cover what we can and go out as we leave Andrew has the pleasure in spraying. What a site when we return, flymageddon, all these black blobs on the floor, its very effective and satisfying stuff!! We sit down that evening in stillness, it’s lovely!
The biggest challenge has been finding the 50 individuals examined 5 years ago from each village, you can imagine, no addresses, mostly no phone numbers (although many more have them now they didn’t in 2007) and a time of great political instability which drove a lot of people from their homes makes this a challenge and a half.
This last week has been a time of planning for the forthcoming months. We will now aim to complete three villages every week (so expect lots of baking and lots of blogs coming your way).
A map of Kenya showing where we work – each red pin is one of the 100 locations
“Daktari (doctor), please look at this girl.” I see a young girl, smaller than Lucas sat on an older lady’s lap. They explain to me her parents abandoned her shortly after birth and she now lives with her grandmother. She is smiling and is following my voice. I look closely and realise she can not see me, her pupils are not black but creamy white. Light can not penetrate through them and she lives in the dark. She has cataracts – a clouding of the lens in the eye. Although this is most often a disease of the elderly it can occasionally affect children. Treating children early is vital, if they are left for too long, a condition known as amblyopia takes effect. In our early years the pathways between the eyes and brain are laid down for life, carrying signals from our eyes to our brain to allow us to see. If these pathways are never established, then even if the eyes are fixed, the person will not see. Thankfully she is still young and it is not too late. We make a few phone calls and arrange for her to be treated the next week. Hopefully she will no longer be growing up in the dark.
A one year old girl blind in both eyes from cataract who will now be treated thanks to all your generous donations! If you look closely at her pupils they are both white.
At the end of last week we completed our 14th village of 100. I made Bara Brith, a traditional Welsh fruit tea cake.
Running around with the three kids (Lucas and Hannah’s two) and having fun last week didn’t leave me with much time for baking for the team, when thinking of quick yummy recipes Bara Brith came to mind. The traditional Welsh teabread is what we were eating before Andrew proposed on a rainy, cosy, December evening in a cottage in the Welsh mountains, with Gabriel on in the background he got down on one knee with our engagement ring and popped the question, with the excitement I apparently forgot to say yes and he thought I was having an asthma attack! I eventually said yes through many happy tears. Anyway the traditional Bara Brith has beautiful memories for us!…Enjoy!
Recipe – Bara Brith
225g light muscovado sugar
300ml strong tea
275g self raising flour
1 large egg
- The night before baking measure the fruit and sugar into a bowl then pour over 300ml strong hot tea and cover.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC, grease and line a 2lb loaf tin or grease muffin tray for mini ones (just cook for 45mins to one hour).
- Stir the flour and egg into the fruit mixture, mix thoroughly and turn out into the tin.
- Bake in the 2lb tin for 1 half hours until well risen and firm to touch, a skewer in the centre should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10mins then turn out onto a wire rack. Let cool and slice, it is traditionally served with buttered.
On the way out for a swim at Kivu Lodge
Oh, it seems they have an issue at the pool…