One of the team stretches across, delicately balanced on a school chair which precariously sits on top of the school desk. He carefully nails the blackout curtains across the windows. The room descends in to darkness and the familiar hum of the generator starts up outside the window. The building has been split in to a designated dark side for the equipment and a sunlit area for interviews, registration and blood tests. Back to work as usual, except, there really never is a “usual” day. The journey here was challenging to say the least. The final 150 meter stretch to the clinic site was too dangerous to attempt in the bus so we all clamber down the path. Fortunately we have Redempta with us today who has kindly brought our guests (the Harrison’s) in her family 4×4. She has the bright idea of unloading the equipment van into the pickup and doing a couple of runs with it down to the clinic and back. Over an hour later we are set up and seeing the queue of patients awaiting us. Jack (4) and Lucas “help” by carrying plastic stools from the dark side to the light side before heading outdoors with George to play with a couple of similarly aged kids. Matt and Donna have brought a couple of beach balls from the boy’s Auntie Sasha and the boys spend the next hour passing it to one another while the clinic presses on to avoid the imminent rains. There is something amazing about children and the universal language of football. Despite their very different backgrounds, in this moment, it is all about playing with the ball. No prejudice, no need for words, nothing, just fun.
After making doughnuts for the team and helping out in the field we wanted to maximise our visitors time in Kenya so we headed to the Kakamega rainforest for two days…..
Eagerly wanting to explore, Matt and I look at the rain clouds and listen to the soft thunder in the distance, we know the waterfall walk was smaller of the two so we head down on to the trail. Colobus monkeys swing from tree to tree, the distinguishing red tailed monkeys dangle from the branches as we meander along a stream neighboured by wide tree trunks. We can hear the patter of rain on the leaves above us and enjoy the protection the canopy gives us. The lightening is frequent and the thunder begins to boom, we are starting to get very wet. We try to protect the cameras and realise packing a rain jacket for the “rainforest” would probably have been a good idea! We begin to walk very fast and before long our clothes are saturated. The boys, Matt, Donna and I are all laughing running through the warm rain, jumping over the little bridges that straddle the stream. This is being part of the rainforest. lightening strikes with a simultaneous mighty clap of thunder, I turn to Matt wanting to pretend I’m not scared but I think my face says the exact opposite! We climb the steps which have now become a waterfall. Too wet to care we reach the relative safety of the gardens 200m from our cottage. We race back, the boys yelping with excitement and Lucas just yelping, Andrew greets us with towels and takes Lucas to dry him off. After a lovely solar heated shower we are surprised by a very welcome knock at the door as the rain continues to pour down. Afternoon tea with chocolate cake delivered to our cottage by a man in a body length rain mac… awesome!
The next morning Lucas and Jack were very aware of where they went as we walked towards the waterfall again and Lucas was very clear as he repeated no rain, no rain!!
It has been such a special and incredible time sharing our Kenyan adventures with Matt, Donna and their two boys George and Jack, thank you guys!! Kuona baadaye.
Lucas and Jack playing by the high chlorine pool
The Harrison’s chillaxing on the veranda
Lucas – “I want Dorge and Jack come back”
Recipe – Doughnuts
Please see the recipe for jam doughnuts, the methods are very similar.
Shape and divide the dough into 20 equal portions, fold each one into a round – like a ball of doughnut. Continue to fold the top part of the dough underneath to stretch the gluten over the top and make the surface smooth, then poke your thumb through to make the hole and swing around on your finger to stretch the hole. George (8) was very good at this and shaped nearly all the doughnuts. Place on a floured tray and leave to rise until double in size.
Cook in the same way as jam doughnuts but you do not need to cook for as long as they are smaller and there is no centre of doughnut to be cooked.
To decorate we just used simple icing sugar and water with a little natural food colouring or cocoa and an additional sprinkling with seeds and nuts, this was a very fun messy activity!
Tip: when cooking keep an eye on the temperature of the oil as even if your gas is on a stable temperature it will continue to rise and just may need turning down or visa a versa.