2 April 2010

An Update From Le Brin d’Olivier

Well the weather here is strange at the moment – one day sunny, the next rainy, the next sunny, the next thunderstorms. It makes it difficult to do anything (that’s my excuse). The ground doesn’t dry out so gardening is out of the question and I’m re-gravelling my drive but the gravel is soaking wet which doubles its weight and whilst I’d like to build up my six-pack for the summer, I don’t want to overdo it!

J went off on her travels to the Kenyan orphanage last week. Her rather convoluted trip took her from Nice to Manchester and then on to Paris before catching a flight to Nairobi. During the day’s stopover there she visited an elephant orphanage and fed some giraffes by holding treats in her mouth. She said it was disgusting – I never knew giraffes had blue tongues but she assures me they have!

The next leg of the trip was an internal flight to Kinsumu where the children's orphanage is located. Total travel time was some 40 hours and she says she never slept a wink, poor thing.

We’ve had regular updates and I’ve said I’ll give my blog over to her when she eventually gets something written but she appears to be having a wonderful, if emotional time out there, pouring love all over the kids who have lost their parents. An excerpt here from her Facebook posting:

The real street urchins are barefooted and in rags. To have such a broken spirit aged 7 just tears you apart...two or three turned up at our meeting, no eye contact, but so wanting to be amongst us. We sat in a windowless, roofless slum dwelling in the rain and tried to talk to them about dreaming 'big' until darkness fell. We came home to our evening meal and bed - I have no idea how or where they are sleeping.

Back home, my kids are a model of good behaviour. Despite the clocks going forward they still get up in time for school and go off with a smile on their faces – well Guy does! Maybe it’s because this is the last week before the Easter holidays?

J in her ‘caring’ way had lined up all sorts of people to feed us and make sure we’re being looked after and it’s been non-stop. On Sunday, Sam and her boys came round before we all headed next door where Tan and Angie hosted an impromptu terrace party and then on Tuesday, John and Helen came round for dinner bringing all sorts of food goodies with them. It was back to Tan and Angie’s on Wednesday for probably the best lasagne I’ve ever eaten.

I’ve got lunch in the village today (Friday) with a couple of friends, followed by a football day which I’m hosting on Saturday where my bar will get its first visitors of the year and then on Monday, the kids and I are having an Easter lunch at John and Linda’s down the hill. And then on Wednesday I think we’re off to Dave and Sarah’s although as the invitation was given when I was a bit tipsy the other night, I’m not quite sure. David, Tan – help me here!

As is usual when J goes on a trip, I am determined to empty the freezer by the time she gets back but with all these invitations to eat out it looks like most of the unrecognizable ‘stuff’ in unmarked plastic bags will still be there when she returns to Le Brin. Last night in a fit of culinary inspiration, I made the kids Fajitas Guadalajara – don’t ask!

That’s about it. Must get on with my ironing now. A pair of jeans does me a week – why do they need a clean pair every day?

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