Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm Back

As I write this I am sitting in my hammock in the fragrant evening breeze at Mwamba. It was like coming home, when I arrived back here. As the little 16 seater plane flew over Lamu I could see the sand dunes where I had played; driving through Malindi it felt like I had never left. I had a great welcome from everyone here, some who were surprised to see back I think.
I have tentatively started work although as yet the stuff I want to get stuck into is closed off to me. They haven't yet got formal permission for me to go on the reef and so I am land bound. I did get to explore some cool rockpools on super-low tide and play with the new project camera. There were some outrageously coloured starfish there, which was exciting.
Today instead of snorkelling I planned to go our on the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) patrol boat to make notes on tourist numbers and behaviour around the 'coral gardens', as KWS have a concern about too many visitors potentially negatively impacting the coral. However, this morning the KWS sergeant, Mr. Tinga, called and asked did I have money for fuel. I politely explained that I wasn't chartering the boat, but merely tagging along with their usual routine. He said that was fine, so I went off to pack my bag ready to head out. Five minutes later the phone rang with message, “No patrol today because there is insufficient fuel.”
Frustration is a part of life in Africa, as Colin reminded me when I got back. Not able to go snorkelling or on the patrol boat I sat in the office doing what ever silly tasks I could think of, like organising paper references, all the time miserable and angry at the boredom and futility of it. Its tempting not to bother at all and write the day off, but ultimately that would feel even worse. As an impatient person, by even European standards this place is going to teach me some hard, but worthwhile lesson on patience and serenity and a stronger relationship with God as I cry out, “Lord, give me strength!”  


  1. Ben - learn some patience! I'm sure you'll get back into the pace of life soon, you've been corrupted by your manic week of London/Oxford. The photo's really amazing, hope you get a lot more of those!

  2. Hey Ben. It's lovely to catch up with your life via the blog. Sounds a bit frustrating but I'm sure good stuff will be coming!

    Lots of love

    Ps, a picture of the tattoo please