Lucas is tugging on my right hand, “monkey, monkey, monkey” he jumps in excitement with a striking resemblance to the animals he is observing. We have just been watching the crowd of baboons wandering around a few feet from us. Baby baboons clinging onto their mothers, big daddy baboons with attitude and swagger and just beyond them pops up some vervet monkeys. The elegant monkey daintily hops onto the small wire fence and bounces up and down until he reaches the big tree over looking the flooded lake, it’s incredible balance and effortless movement makes it look as though it is dancing. A flash of red catches my eye and I see a pair of amazing small birds with red heads and light brown smooth bodies, they are beautiful. Below them the yellow beaked stork gracefully lands on the water and the pelican has just taken a mouthful of fish, another incredible black and white bird with a red streak and a long elegant tail pops out of the tree. Incredibly this has become our weekend retreat and coffee spot by the national park entrance. For the cost of a drinkable coffee we have a few moments of quiet in stunning surroundings before another busy week commences. It is funny how “normal” can change.
After Lucas has his weekly driving lesson on Daddy’s in the car park we re-arrange seats and head home, it dawns upon me that there are parts of Kenya that are my dream, I’m addicted to fruit but how awesome is it that all along the roads home is one mkokoteni (cart) after another filled with beautifully ripe mangos, papaya (p, p, paya as Lucas says), squashy avocados, baby bananas, watermelon and pineapple, we pull over near our home and the lady brings us our 6 mangos, papaya, avocado and bananas in a small bag, no excess packaging and no queues, all for under £2, a fruit lovers dream! Certainly better for you than drive through McDonalds…
We’ve taken the chance to have a little breather over the weekend as we prepare for a hectic week ahead. We are in our furthest villages so far and expect a high turn out. The team load the van, stocks have been replenished over the weekend, directions are in hand and we set off on a two hour journey down potholed roads with stunning views of magical landscapes all around. We eventually arrive and quite a number of patients are awaiting us. We equal our record number of 37 study patients and work till it is dark and arrive home nauseated from the journey. Madeleine is working away on tomorrow’s bake (something Scottish) whilst juggling bakery plans and trying to get Lucas to sleep. All in all our reality has shifted a long way from this time a year ago.
The long journey to today’s village
Travelling Kenyan style…
Patients waiting when we arrive
A very happy guide receiving his certificate of appreciation
Recipe – Five-Seeded Loaf
For the seed soaker:
40g sesame seeds
40g sunflower seeds
40g pumpkin seeds
40g rolled oats
85g White bread flour
3g dried yeast
255g white bread flour
130g whole wheat flour
45g rye flour
2g dry yeast
1. The night before making the final dough mix all the seeds together and cover with the water. In a separate bowl mix together the preferment cover and place in a warm place.
2. For the final dough mix together all the ingredients for the final dough aside from the seed soaker. Knead for 10mins, then fold in the seed soaker.
3. Shape into a round and prove for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
4. To shape the final prove, shape into 2 rounds, place on a floured baking tray.
5. Lightly brush the top of each round with water. Mix together a few of each seed and oats and sprinkle on each loaf to be.
6. Prove for 1 hour. If finger mark leaves n indent it is ready to bake. With a sharp knife score the top in a cross shape of whatever you desire to let the dough expand that little bit more. Place in a pre-heated oven at 220°C oven. Place a tray of water at the bottom for increased steam and better crust. Bake for 30mins. You may need to reduce the temperature after 10mins.
7. Remove from the oven and cool on a wired tray or the bottom will loose its crisp crust.
The soaked 5-seed mix
A picture we tried to take but later saw Lucas was pinching a pumpkin seed!