“We are going to have to close the gate, we can’t keep the flight any longer.”
We are at Wilson airport in Nairobi; Madeleine, Lucas, Donna and the kids are sat excitedly waiting to board the flight to the Massai Mara.
I plead with the lady at the desk, “he’s just around the corner” I say this in hope with no certainty that Matt is actually anywhere nearby. He’s on a tour of Nairobi searching for banks and ATMs to pay the travel agent. I try calling but can’t get through. The screen above the desk pings and the red writing exclaims “Gate Closed”.
I can’t believe that after months of excitement leading up to this 3-day holiday we are going to miss it. I look over at Madeleine trying to get her attention to answer the phone. She eventually picks up and I tell her not to board the small plane that sits just a few meters away with the propellers picking up speed. I know if they get on they’ll leave without us.
The lady at the desk encourages Madeleine to get on board, with some quick thinking she claims a toilet emergency for the kids and that they all have to pee before we get on, before there is chance to protest, Madeleine grabs Lucas and heads for the toilet (even though he wears a nappy…), the rest of the gang in tow.
I hear heavy footsteps and panting behind me, Matt has made it, we run through and join the others who have returned from the toilet just in time to get on board! Why do our flights always end up being so dramatic!
I stand on the roof of our apartment block, memories of our trip to the Massai Mara and time back in the UK still fresh in my mind. After an incredible 6 weeks of catching up with friends and family as well as touring Kenya with the Harrison’s (for the last 2 weeks), I look over at the lake and take in the stillness. There is chirping and chattering, I peek over the wall to see flutters of yellow and small round woven baskets dangling from the ends of the branches of the tree down below me. The flutters of bright yellow are Weaver birds, they chitter and chatter moving from branch to branch. They are as common as the black bird of the UK, their nests sit on the end of branches away from predators like monkeys that can not balance this far along the branch.
It’s been really good for us to process the last 6 weeks as we get back into the swing of things here. It is reassuring to see Lucas being so at home as we spend more time in the flat again. He is getting really good at asking, “what’s this, what’s that?” We went through his whole pack of tractor cards as he established what each tractor is doing and specifying their colour. His knowledge of airports is certainly increasing too, when we flew out with George and Jack a few weeks ago, Lucas was in his element spotting the airport tractors, the luggage, control tower, conveyer belts. Our layover in Dubai for 12 hours was constant entertainment, Lucas and Jack racing their Trunkies, running backwards on the flat escalator walkways.
Arriving back in Kenya to the burnt out Nairobi airport was like being at a huge wedding fair with temporary marquees and the workings that are usually behind the scene visible for all. The airport staff had done really well to keep things working and our return to Kenya was smooth despite the problems. Back to Nakuru and a couple of power and water cuts, the usual day to day fun… It is good to be back.
Recipe – Cinnamon Bread
100g Rye flour
400g Strong white flour
8g dried yeast
For the topping –
Large teaspoon of good quality cinnamon
50g Brown sugar
1. Mix all the bread ingredients together and knead for 8 minutes.
2. Leave to prove for 2 hours
3. Place in to a 20cm square, non-stick tin pre-sprinkled with flour
4. Gently spread the dough evenly over the tin
5. Leave to prove for a further 90 minutes
6. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and evenly sprinkle over the top
7. Place in the over at 220ºC for 10 minutes, then 200ºC for further 20 minutes
8. Take out of the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack
HAPPY BIRTHDAY NONA! LOTS OF LOVE FROM KENYA XXX