With half of the mamas and Ashley in Kenya, things slowed down a bit this week.
Monday, we spent at the kitchen, listening to the current issues of the mamas with regards to the new fencing and building, and spent time helping them with the workings of the kitchen. Our friend, who is quite possibly the oldest man in Mabatini came in for his daily dose of yogurt. I somehow have good conversations with him everytime he comes in, despite the gap in my competence of Swahili. Anyway, we asked me what I wanted to do with myself, and I explained the problems with the global food chain and how I thought it was probably better to grow food for one’s self or family these days. I said the closer we are to our food, the more secure and less environmentally damaging we will be. He agreed with me and told me stories of his attempts to do the same, but from a very distinct but not altogether different perspective.
Tuesday, we returned to the kitchen and did much of the same; helping the women and listening to them, as well as having some casual time with the people who come in. We’re beginning to get used to some of the faces and I think they’re getting used to the idea of seeing a male mzungu behind the yogurt counter.
Wednesday, Missy and I went to Sekou Toure hospital to meet with Dr. Bhutamanya. We walked over and found him enjoying a Coca Cola (copyright, TM) in the courtyard, so it was there that we had our meeting. Unfortunately the quest for local sources of funding did not stop there; he had no information about Danish or German embassy grants. We talked a lot about the project and the current goals we have, which he seemed very interested in. It is great that people of such prominence (He is the regional AIDS program representative) are involved with the project and spend time to make sure that it is successful. He did suggest that we take it up with the steering committee at our next meeting. In the afternoon, Missy went to the hospital to get a checkup, as she was feeling funky, while I worked on my notes relating to the project.
On Thursday morning I trekked out to the kitchen by myself, as Missy was very ill. I explained our meeting with Dr. Bhutamanya, as the women could not leave the kitchen to come with us as half of them are in Kenya. They were happy that this happened and wished Missy well. After spending some time with them I bought some yogurt for us and went back home.
The afternoon was spent twiddling our thumbs, waiting for our coordinator to come. For some reason the coordinator was not able to attend the meeting we had slated, so he informed us in the late afternoon that he would be coming the next day.
Friday was essentially a repeat of the day before, with the coordinator again informing us late in the day that he’d be coming the next day. I hope his issues are resolved now. We ended up going to a nice fish restaurant just a short walk away. It was about 5 dollars for a fish for two, which comes just as it came out of the lake, but fried and spiced. We created a “I dare you to eat that part” game with the entrails, but it ended quickly when we realized what we were actually eating.
Saturday, the coordinator finally came and we discussed a range of issues and set up an agenda for the next while. The rest of the day was spent at Tunza.