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semi-overcast 24 °C

Yesterday morning after breakfast we headed into town (long pants on) to buy bracelets for the kids as they were all obsessed with mine and Josh's.

Once finished with our shopping we headed to find a matatu towards Thika. Our taxi the other day to the orphanage cost over $70 Canadian, so we decided to use the cheaper mode of transportation today. That meant our 40 minute trip would take 2 hours but it was worth the savings, I think.

Our first matatu was fine, lots of people watching to be had. The conductor filled the van to the RIM. It was a 14 seater and we had 17 people in there at one point. The conductor puts a wooden plank down to make a 4th seat in the tiny space that's used to get to the very back. Then, with 4 people in each row, he closes the van door and he sits in the window sill or just pressed against the door, with his elbows on the seat back. He is right up in your business. It's crazy. He still collects the fair from all the new people on board. I think skinny and small is a prerequisite to his job.

At a certain stop we had to change to another van going our route and we found a bus going our way. It was about an hour on that bus and it was hot, sweaty, cramped, and smelly. But we moved to a window seat eventually and finally got to our stop in Thika. That whole trip cost us $1.18 Canadian, or 90 shillings, and covered 40 km.

From there we could have waited for another matatu for 20 shillings each, but instead we decided to take a motorcycle since they're so much faster. 200 shillings for that haha, but I was happy to pay so we could feel the breeze after the stuffy bus ride.

We got off and scarfed down a lunch before we saw the kids. We tapped on the gate and they were so happy to see us again! We said we just couldn't stay away. They tried their best to convince us to sleepover and they would offer us their bed for the night. So sweet.

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We joined them for lunch where they ate a massive plateful of rice, lentils, beans, and a whole avocado each. They grow avocados on the property and I had a taste of one, it was delicious.

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One of the boys, Tony, was crying. I asked him what was wrong and I guess one match stick was missing and one of the other boys said he stole it. He was devastated and he said he didn't steal it. It was so sad to watch as we didn't really see anyone cry at that point, except a few of the little ones when they would face plant into the hard ground while playing and bleed. These kids are not whiners. They are tough and resilient but their integrity is important. The amount they help each other out is amazing. So Tony was very upset to be called a thief, but I think they got it sorted in the end. Some of the kids were talking about it but they were quick to tell me it was just a rumour they didn't know if it was true. So cute.

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Two of the kids who were visiting a relative the other day were here yesterday, Sammy and Hope and they are the ones Josh has tattooed on his arm. Hope was so sweet, she was helping pack all day for their upcoming 5 day camping trip. Packing for 14 kids is no easy task! And Sammy was just so sweet. He has eyelashes for days and he helped us distribute the candy and mini doughnuts we brought. He was so responsible about it. I guess he used to be a little hellion, but the Sammy I met was so, so sweet. He was thrilled to be on Josh's arm!

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All the kids were hanging off of Josh again, asking to see his tattoos and asking him to flex.

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Then Josh figured out he could get them up on his shoulders so every kid got a shoulder ride around the property. Big smiles.

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Lots of the girls played with my hair and gave me new updos. We popped the soccer ball we gave the kids by accident, so Ian helped Josh to get an old one down from the roof and they played with that all afternoon.

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We wanted to get going before dark as it was going to take us a couple of hours to get home again. Saying goodbye is a long process, every kid wants a hug so we said our goodbyes (a couple of times!) and we started walking down the road towards he highway.

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Our motorcycle driver we used on the way may have put his number in wrong, or didn't want to pick us up or something, because we couldn't order a ride down this long road. So we kept walking, tried to flag down a driver but they would all just give us the thumbs up. Not what I was trying to do! Finally two men my dads age pulled over and offered us a ride, we got in and I can essentially say I have now hitch hiked! They were very sweet and were happy to help as they were going the same way. They dropped us off safe and sound at the petrol station where we picked up a water and got into our matatu. He promised us 30 mins, it took 2 hours. At least we were by a window!

We finally got to our hotel and had a delicious dinner and drinks with our friends from England and Alaska, and a new friend from Sweden. Rest night, and a good sleep as well. Today is our last day in Nairobi and we plan to shop, walk around, and maybe see a movie before our night bus to Kampala this evening.

Posted by kmcveggie 22:41 Archived in Kenya

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Another great day!

by Lisa McInnes

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