Welcome to our world.
We’ve been here nearly a week and a morning routine has evolved. Ann gets up first and tappity taps through my room to the kitchen. She sloshes water around, pouring it down the open toilet (no plumbing so no flush). Easy on the perkiness Ann. I’m dragging myself out of my sweaty hellhole while she makes the tea.
Ann, Nicholas, Miss Lizzie the deputy headmistress and Jonathan Head Nurse and boss, and I are going on a trip to the bank at Oyugis. We dress up for our trip to the big city, but we’re soon crumpled and covered in dust with three in the front of the vehicle and four in the back.
It takes two hours to open a bank account. The bank manager in Oyugis is helpful and puts herself out to open it while we are in Kenya. The service is a million times better than our dealings with Lloyds Bank which was dreadful.
We meet the National Hospital Insurance Fund officials, ply them with Fanta, then head for the supermarket for supplies. Oyugis High Street is wide, dusty, deeply rutted and busy. It’s lined with tin sheds that are shops with a hotchpotch of goods strewn on the road outside.
We go to the local hospital to film what the widows can access once Luo Care has paid their health insurance premiums. (To see this, click here) Filming in Britain entails getting written permission from everyone, health and safety forms, explanations of how the material will be used, etc. Here, I walk in, film anyone and everyone, and stroll out. No one bats an eyelid. Privacy and protection issues haven’t reached Oyugis.
Back home, I celebrate having a bank account by mopping the floor i.e. rearranging the grime. Is dirt better when it’s red dust or traditional grey?
Rubber gloves on to clean the toilet, washing it down with brown dishwater so it still looks like shit.
Supper – me- a tin of tuna, tinned sweetcorn, a green pepper. Ann – fried onions and spuds.