Tag Archives: bicycles

Of Mice and Men… and Butterflies… and Bicycles… and Electricity

Hellooooooooo Alll

I am back!  Did you all miss me?  Where did I go?  Well, it wasn’t really me who went away, it was my computer.  I have been doing some upgrades here and there and wanted to get everything up and running and whatnot, and of course the Internet gave me problems, but it seems to be working now, knock on wood.  So some life updates!

Rats
These have to be the biggest rats ever.  I am talking monkey sized rats living in my eaves.  I have only seen one, but I hear more.  And it sounds like a construction site.  I don’t know whats going on.  I have two peanut butter laden traps ready to kill the buggers.  No one’s taken the bait as of yet.  These are vicious traps to.  These aren’t your Audobaun Society Friend Hav-A-Hearts!  These are the cartoon bear traps of the rat trap world, metal teeth included.

Butterflies
Have I ever told you all that Mombasa is blessed with heaps of butterflies!  That is correct!  Everywhere I look, all the time, butterflies.  Dark ones, bright ones, spotted ones, striped ones (read that line aloud, it’s almost poetic…).  They love the mangoes like the monkeys and flutter around everywhere.  It’s nice to have so many around all the time.

Bicycle
It’s fixed.  I picked up a nice, stainless steal Allan key wrench and was able to realign the spring on my brake.  I do need to tighten the brakes a bit, but otherwise it is working fine, finally.  No more jumping.  I promise.

Electricity
Do to some administrative snafus, I am currently without electricity.  Meh.  Not a big loss.  Just means no music over the speakers.  I like using my oil lamp.  And I have my flash lights as well, though I prefer the light cast by the lamp.  My stove is gas powered, so I can still cook… my ramen… fine.  Admin says the power should be on “soon.”  I tell them no worries. 

That’s about it.  Teaching goes on, slowly by slowly.  The network and keeping it running and maximizing what the students can get out of the resources we have continues as well.  We shall see how it all goes!

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Arrrgh, ther be Pirates!

Everyone knows about all the pirate attacks that are happening near the Gulf of Aden, and generally along the coast of the Horn of Africa, suspiciously near the coast of Somalia. If you haven’t heard about them, then I am afraid to speculate you’ve been living in a cave, on mars, with fingers stuck in your ears, holding your eyes tightly shut. As a result of the proximity, I have been getting all sorts of questions about pirates: Are there pirates where you live? Is mombasa filled with pirates? Do pirates attack nightly? How many times has your house been pillaged? Are you a pirate? I hear you are a pirate, really?

Up until a couple days ago however, I would have been absolutely confident in claiming that pirates have zero impact on my daily life. The local papers rarely mention them, nobody talks about them, and the only proof I have of their existence is reliant upon my trust that the BBC is not lying, and I do in fact live in the age of modern pirates; pirates equipped with rocket launchers, something which only in my wildest childhood fantasies of trying to discover how a pirate could beat a ninja could I have dreamt.

Of course, this all changed a couple days ago. I was walking down the path, coming back to the NYS compound, getting the usual barrage of “How are you?” from the kids, when out of nowhere a kid walks up, looks at me and says, “Ahoy!” I stop dead in my tracks, literally turn around and in Kiswahili say, “What, no ‘how are you?’ Do you think I am a pirate?” His repsonse: “yes.” So there you have it. The pirates have in fact landed in Mombasa, and I’m one of them. Terrorist sleep-cells got nothing on me, I’m a pirate sleeper-cell and I didn’t even know it!

In other news, I finally fixed my bike. It got two flat tires in the week I have owned it. I don’t know how. Well, the first one had a huge gash in the tube, but the second one didn’t seem to have any problems. I think they were just low quality tubes. But this time, instead of paying the fundi (tradesman) a ridiculous price to fix my bike with an inferior tube, i paid even more money and bought my own tools and a new, high quality tube and fixed it myself. Wooo for self-reliance! It’s worth it in the long run.

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