Once again, I arrive at Robin’s house in the dark. The “treehouse” is also the home of Arid Lands Resources, a profitable venture in the gums and resins business. The ground floor houses the small warehouse and sorting area of the resins, or sap, from the acacia tree, as well as sap that is more commonly referred to as white or black frankincense. Up a steep set of stairs takes you to the offices and then if you continue up the stairs, past a large locking gate, you reach the 3rd floor which is Robin’s home. Robin, in his 70’s, has lived in Kenya for many years, and is married to a woman from northern Kenya. The family has now moved back to the UK and this is the house that BOMA is renting for Sarah, future interns and for me when I come to Nanyuki.
Entering the dark house was a flash back to my New York City days as Sarah turns on the lights that send the cockroaches scurrying. She tells me that her remedy of baking soda and vinegar has done wonders to reduce the population by more than half. It is now almost 8 pm and we unpack our groceries from the gleaming Nakumatt superstore in town and Sarah prepares a quick meal. I sweep the creatures who are comfortably enjoying my bed off the mattress and make it up with newly acquired sheets and a thick wool blanket. Of which I was very grateful for in the night, as the nights are cold in this high altitude equator town.
The next day was a blur of producing and copying forms and manuals for the BOMA Village Mentor training session. The vehicles required additional service and we needed to get cash from Equity Bank, which required a wait of over an hour in the commercial sector. The wait on this busy Saturday for retail banking customers was over 2 hours with a line that snaked through the lobby and out on to the street. With our 12 hour work day over, Sarah and I packed as Kura did the last of the errands. We agreed that Semeji, our bodyguard, Maina, the mechanic and Sarah would travel with me in Gumps and Kura would follow up in the Defender with Omar so that he could secure one more spare tire in the morning. Our meeting place would be in Isiolo for the final provisioning of the vehicles.