He snaps my head one way then the other, then presses his thumb deep in to my neck and the panic rises. I know I’m in trouble now as he moves his rock like thumbs over both temples and simultaneously applies pressure to both sides… I start to lose consciousness. This is not what I bargained for when I decided to venture out in to town and get a haircut. For over a year now I’ve been trimming what remains of my hair at home in front of the bathroom mirror using clippers, however I thought I’d make an effort support the local economy by finding a local barber and getting a tidy up there. Apparently this violent head massage is part of the deal. Other unexpected delights to accompany the paid for assault included the applying of elastic sticky tape around my neck. Apparently this was to catch loose hairs but my suspicion is it was there to reduce the oxygen supply to my brain so that I wouldn’t be able to fight back. In fairness to the guy, he did a decent job of my hair and I’ll probably be going back.
After surviving my new haircut we head back out to the field where we have two film crews with us. One from France called Shamengo and the other from the US, Internet.org who’s mission is to provide affordable internet to 2/3rd of the world currently without access. They plan to demonstrate Peek as a way of the internet being used for good. We reach our clinic site, a traditional tin walled, tin roofed church with film crews in convoy.
The film crew interview one of our patients who has undergone successful surgery at her home nearby:
They ask her what difference the surgery has made to her life.
“I can feed my goats.”
She gestures, “Before I could not see them to give them food. I lost all of them and my grandchildren had to care for me. This made me feel ashamed, as it is I who should care for them. I did not know which of my grandchildren had entered the house so I would shout when anyone came in until I could hear their voice and know who they were.
After my surgery, everything has changed. Look, I see the food to give the goats and now have three and will gain more. I had lost all of them. I see my grandchildren, all of them. I can feed them and am no longer a burden on the family.”
As the day comes to a close we pull out two loaves of Tusker Malt Bread. At first the team don’t believe me that Kenya’s premiere beer has been used to make this bread but the gentle malty smell is proof enough. I explain that despite beer being used to prepare the bread there is no longer any alcohol in it and before I can pass on any more of the facts Madeleine has filled my head with, the bread is gone.
Recipe – Tusker Malt Loaf
125g Tusker malt
125g strong white flour
3g dried yeast
All of the pre-ferment
750g strong white flour
50g wholemeal flour
3g dried yeast
- The night before making the final dough mix all the pre-ferment ingredients together, cover and place in a warm place.
- To make the final dough mix all the final dough ingredients (except salt) together, leave to rest for 15mins then add the salt and knead for 8-10mins.
- Leave in a covered bowl for about 1.5 hours then stretch and fold the dough 112-15 time. Repeat twice more if time allows with a resting period of 1 hour in-between.
- To shape the dough divide into two then roll into a round and leave to prove for 1 hour until a finger indentation stays when pushed into the dough.
- Score the top just before placing in the oven and bake at 220ºC for 30-40mins. For a lovely crust they can be baked in a cast iron dish with a lid. To do this pre-heat the dish in the oven as the oven warms up, place the risen dough into the iron pan and place the lid on. Bake for 20mins with the lid on then remove the lid and continue baking for a further 20mins. This method keeps the moisture in initially but then allows a crispy crust to develop.
The patient patients
Some chucks enjoying a drink
One of our team, Cosmas, being filmed examining someone in their home with Peek
The film crew at the clinic site