Friday, October 30, 2009

My Mechanic

If you would like to meet Mr. JLB Matekoni in the flesh, you’ll come close with Henry Kioko Ngue, my mechanic. A week and a half ago Henry changed my oil in his brother-in-law’s driveway while I visited with his brother and sister-in-law. (Henry’s wife, Alice and her sister, Mwikali are across-the-hall neighbors.) I’ve know this family for years. In fact, Alice and I were roommates when she was engaged to Henry. I was in their wedding. (It’s my claim to fame in their house. I always get introduced to other guests by being pointed-out in the wedding picture that hangs on the stair wall.)

After he finished my oil change, I asked Henry about the wet floor on the driver’s side. He inspected it and discovered the windscreen (windshield) seal was leaking! Now that it’s rainy season, it should be taken care of. Henry picked me up at 7 this morning, dropped me at work because it was raining again and went to town to have the seal replaced with a promise of being back by 11. He and the people replacing the windscreen discovered that the part that holds the windscreen in place was completely weathered away. One good jerk through a monstrous pothole and I could have had the whole thing pop out!

Henry finally arrived back at Daystar at 5:10 PM. Poor thing. It looks as if my windscreen is band-aided on to the car. I’m supposed to drive gingerly and keep away from rough roads for the next 48 hours. Yeah, right.

But Henry loves his work and if you get him talking about anything – it’ll be the workings of a car. And I am so very thankful for Henry!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oh the things I see...

My current office overlooks busy Ngong Road. We are right near the intersection (roundabout) with Valley Road. I try not to have my windows open too much because of the traffic noise, but it gets stuffy in my office if I don’t open them some of the time.

Today when I had the window open a car alarm started going off. That’s common enough, but it wasn’t stopping so I got up for my chair to stretch and look out. And what did I see?

A small pick-up, like a little Mazda or something, with a full grown cow standing in the bed. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road. It sat there for a while and I missed the point where it eased out into traffic. I just sat back down thinking – how now brown cow?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

rain from heaven

It’s finally rainy season here in Kenya, at least around the Nairobi area. Even if it’s a light shower for only 10 minutes, I’m grateful. It’s watering the earth.

There are all kinds of evils that go on here. But God rains on the good and the bad. I think the little rain we got yesterday afternoon about 4:00 washed over me and gave me a sense that God’s grace is present, active. I felt momentarily overwhelmed with blessing. I wish those times happened more often. But then perhaps, I wouldn’t appreciate them as much.

Thank you for the rain, Lord.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Creamy goodness in every bite

(What advertisement does this come from?)

I have to give a little background to this entry. I got the book Julie & Julia for my birthday a few weeks ago. I just heard it’s going to be in the theaters here soon so I’m racing to finish the book before the movie gets here. It won’t last long in the theaters so I will only have a little window in which to see it.

Anyway, the book is about this gal who decides to cook all the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child in a year. (It’s over 500 recipes.) Reading the book is pretty interesting in a sort of hum-drum sort of way. But mostly it’s inspiring me to want to cook. (Like I needed any inspiration.)

This past weekend I had noticed while at Nakumatt (the Kenyan version of Super Target - or is it Greatland Target?) there was a whole end cap of Mexican food items. Mostly Old El Paso brand. Including Green Chili Enchilada sauce! And canned green chilies! So, I had my house helper make tortillas for me today and I made, for the first time ever, Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas!

Now making those makes me think of Maggie Jones. Because while I was in Minneapolis the last time, I lived with the Joneses and those Jones girls sometimes needed a little sales pitch on the food they were served. (Something I really don’t understand, especially since their mom is one of the best cooks I know.)

I would often tell Maggie, “Come on Maggie, it’s got creamy goodness in every bite!” I remember specifically the phrase being connect with her mom’s Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas. But I think that was the day of my great success with my sales pitch. Not that I got Maggie eating any more or quicker, but that Maggie finally asked me, “Auntie Jan, does this have creamy goodness in every bite?”

Monday, October 5, 2009

Virtual Tour

Hi, I thought my readers might like a little tour of my flat. It's what I would call a 'luxury' apartment. But that's about all there is nowadays here. I wish it were different. That is all they are building seems like. This one is not quite two years old. And actually, it wasn't really finished well or completely. I have been getting some things done for the landlord, like wiring some rooms or getting a plumber to fix a tap.
Okay this is the livingroom view from the front entry area. Right behind me is the little guest half bath. (I didn't take a photo of it.) So this is to the left when you enter and the dining room it to the right. I've stepped to the next corner of the livingroom and turned around to shoot a photo of the dining room below.
This is looking back at the living room again. The curtains on the back wall open out to a little patio.These two are looking into the kitchen from its door. Yes, those are some kind of stone counter tops, marble or ganite. The second view shows a bit of the fridge door, a bit of the open pantry door and the far door is a sort of laundry room. (sorry, not photo out there either.)
Below is the still-in-process guest room. Don't let the bright colors keep you from visiting. I usually give out my room and sleep here when I have guests. The walls need help.
This one is the master bedroom (my room). I'm standing in the sort of walk-in (through) closet area.This one is standing by the bed looking over to where the last shot was taken, you can see one of the four closets there.
Now back over in that closet area looking into the bathroom. Below that is a detail shot of the black iron and green fabric shelf in there. I designed it and made the fabric parts of it.I have should take some of the outside during the day. We kind of have our own little space outside because of being on the bottom corner of the building.

Come and visit! You are most welcome, karibu!