Election fever and a little bit more Mombasa madness

We have now settled into the new rhythm of life here in Eldoret and indeed life in a country undergoing a fast paced transition. The general election is due to take place on March 4th and there is a constant awareness of what happened last time and the fervent hope that this time things will be different.

Tensions rise with the delayed delivery of ballot papers
Tensions rise with the delayed delivery of ballot papers

 The Daily Nation (Kenya’s nearest equivalent to a broadsheet and with what appears to be considerable freedom of speech) is cautiously optimistic. We have spent this week attending (as official observers!) the primary elections to select the party candidates and we have been impressed by the systems which have been put into place to try to ensure due process. However, the nominations here in the Eldoret diocese have not all gone as smoothly as had been hoped so there have been some fairly tense moments for the local people. 

Waiting patiently to vote...this could take some time!
Waiting patiently to vote…this could take some time!



The church is praying and ADS and others are working hard to address the issues here in the North Rift. We have two months to do all we can together to be agents for peace and healing. This is an important time for the people of Kenya and we are glad to be here to walk with them and we are grateful to all of you for coming on this journey with us. 

Speaking of journeys, we thought we’d finish this post with the final instalment of David’s brief sojourn in Mombasa….

“Night Two:
10pm. I leave my balcony door open in the faint hope of catching even a suggestion of a breeze. I also expect this will help me to better enjoy the forthcoming night’s festivities. I am quivering with eager anticipation. I am not to be disappointed.
Variety, they say, is the spice of life.

11.00 pm. The late night activity was initially muted. However, some late guests from Europe decided to dine and then round off their meal by joining together in jolly japes and drinking songs just up the road.

1.00 am. All’s quiet.

1.10 am. A dog starts to bark. It is so good to hear a hound again.

1.30 am. The dog yaps when it does not bark, and howls when it does not yap. I am pleased.

2.00 am. The dog stops. However, a more distant mutt wishes to communicate, and barks back. It is just being neighbourly. It clearly wants more canine news. Of course, I approve.

2.05 am. ‘My’ dog obliges.

2.30 am. I contemplate deep things, such as the meaning of life, the purpose of suffering and the wonders of urban living.

3.00 am. Mercifully, the dog ends its morning communiqué. I drop off to a fitful sleep.

3.15 am. The hotel cat wishes to make its presence known. As it is the hotel cat, it is only right that it does this in its own backyard. Its yowls are pleasingly eurhythmic, on occasion delighting the ear with rising cadences and surprising crescendos. This theme and variations offer an interesting and vivacious feline symphony.

3.20 am. Another cat does not agree with the aesthetic efforts of the hotel cat. It commences a contest, by offering its own counterpoints and discords. There is much spitting and caterwauling. The hotel cat responds by increasing his volume. The sounds combine to emulate chalk scraping across a blackboard. The sensation is so pleasurable that I find myself moving in response.

The cats effect a rendezvous of dance and movement, all son and no lumière. My sympathetic movements have inevitably made me copiously perspire.

3.40 am. The cat concerto is over.

4.00 am. The local dog wants to tell its chums all about it.

4.10 am. The other dog asks for confirmation.

4.30 am. I doze off, and dream about dawn, water sellers, crows with bad coughs, competing cockerels, barking dogs and cheerful morning greetings.

5.30 am. I wake up to all the above. It is no dream. And the bed has melted.”


6 thoughts on “Election fever and a little bit more Mombasa madness

  1. Quite brilliant ..a travel log that is a mix of Bill Bryson & Michael Palin with a splash of David Attenborough & Johnny Morris! Perhaps earplugs are the answer next time!

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