Marble Cake, back to school…


Lucas and I are walking, well I’m walking and Lucas is in the rucksack with his feet dangling down each side. “I want see tuk tuk, tractor, cars, boo car, red car, geeen car”

I gently explain I’m sure we will see some on our way. As we come down from our flat, the road is dusty and the sun bright overhead.

“I want see llamas, camels, cows, mummy cow, daddy cow, baby calf, and sheeps and goats and chickens!”

I try to encourangingly explain we are unlikely to see camels, although there were a few by  the roadside last week giving rides at the Nakuru agricultural show just over the road.

Lucas imitates a spit, “I want see llamas and camels”

Again I explain we are unlikely to see camels and that I’m almost certain we won’t see llamas as they are from South America! Again he imitates llamas and camels spitting…the conversation continues with a lot of repetition.

“I  want see combine” he says, “I want see combine cut grass there” and points to a grassy area under a tree

I  explain that I don’t think it will fit under the tree but the combine conversation continues as though somehow I have the ability to make one out of thin air.

We stop by the mkokoteni cart to buy our fruit, the smily plump lady knows us now.”six mangos, ripe papaya, three bananas and a juicy avocado”

Lucas screams with excitement, “Tractor digger, tractor digger!”

The fruit lady and her fellow fruit sellers shout panicked in kiswahilli, I choose to leave without my change, the yellow road digger is coming straight for us, the fruit sellers are rapidly trying to move their livelihoods. We find ourselves moving quickly away from the road side, there was no warning at all as the road digger ripped up the side of the road where where the fruit sellers work.

The way things seem to happen here with little or no warning seems to be normal now.  The fruit sellers are all fine, I can’t go a day without fruit so I saw them all the next day and Lucas is still asking for combines and llamas!



Today’s examination centre was in a class room. It brought back memories for the team


When we returned in the dark we had a little surprise up our sleeves. Having celebrated Jedidiah’s birthday with Marble Cake there was also a very important birthday celebration to be had. Mama Lucas was brought over to the office under false pretences. The lights were off so I could test out some equipment on Madeleine. As she sat in position, facing the retinal camera the team all jumped out with a birthday cake and sang happy birthday. Priceless…


Madeleine: When Andrew arrived back from the field he seemed in a rush and wanted me to go over to the office so he could take more pictures of my retina (you get used to being a guinea pig with an ophthalmology geek husband!).  I sat there with my chin on the rest waiting, I couldn’t see the usual green light before my eyes.  “I cant see anything Andrew” I said “opps I left the lens cap on” replied Andrew, just then, suddenly, the whole team jumped out behind me (they had all been hiding in the spare room) and they were all singing happy birthday whilst holding a lovely strawberry and chocolate cake Redempta had made, it was soo sweet, lots of fun and I was totally got! Thank you guys!  My other surprise was a beautiful bunch of flours!! So we had spelt bread for breakfast.

The team made a cake for mama Lucas



Turns out Lucas is a dab hand with the camera


For Madeleine’s birthday we bought her a bunch of flours!


Recipe: Marble Cake – Happy Birthday Jedidah!


175g vegetable oil

200g caster sugar

3 large eggs

200g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

1tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp cocoa powder


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.  Line a 20cm x 20cm cake tin.

2. Place all the ingredients except the cocoa powder in a bowl and beat until light in colour.

3. Dollop half of the mixture randomly in the prepared tin.

4. Mix the cocoa powder into the remaining half of the mixture and beat until well combined and dollop the chocolate mixture in he gaps from the vanilla mixture.

5. Use the handle of a spoon to swirl the mixture, not too much but enough to form the patterned marble effect.

6. Ensure the surface is flat and place in the oven for 25-30mins, test with the end of a knife, if mixture remains it needs longer.

7. Cool in the tin.

8. Once cool spread on the icing, I used the same as Lucas’ birthday cake.

4 thoughts on “Marble Cake, back to school…

  1. A bunch of ‘flours’! I love it! A bit belated, Madeleine, but Happy Birthday! 24 sleeps until our Kenyan Adventure!!! xxx

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