|With a heavy heart we are packing up to leave. Yesterday
we went to Kisumu
to do some final things at Immigration and to change our tickets. We had
decided that since road travel is not guaranteed to be safe we can't do the
work we came to do. All my schools are in the rural villages as are the
wells we install for Rotary. So reluctantly we had decided to leave in about
10 days time.
We changed our flights from the end of March to Feb 13. and completed what
we had to do at Immigration. We then went for lunch.
Before our meal was served we saw the TV report that a second MP had been
killed. The restaurant closed immediately (they did give us a takeout box)
and we scuttled over to the shopping mall. There we stayed for about 3 hours
behind big steel shutter doors while fires burned outside the perimeter
fence and the GSU (paramilitary) and police parked outside the main
entrance. There were a few shots fired.
Eventually we obtained an escort through the Canadian warden (named by the
High Commission) and we made our way to a hotel. There we stayed (lack of a
toothbrush was a minor problem) until this morning.
At that time the HC had upgraded its warning that any Canadians not doing
essential work should leave. We saw the truth in that. When things are so
volatile and unpredictable our situation is untenable. Yesterday was a
peaceful morning after two or three days of calm. Then at 1 pm it was a
totally different scenario. People we spoke to also said that there were
threats against more opposition politicians to 'even out' the numbers in
parliament. It is hard to distinguish truth from rumour.
So around mid morning when we had word the town was safe, back we went to
the airline offices and made another change. The young woman there had also
had to spend the night in a hotel.
We have been able to find space on a flight to Nairobi, thence to London and
AC to Vancouver, leaving Tuesday and arriving on Wednesday.
That done, we were given an armed escort out of town to the border of
Western Province and made our way to Kakamega by back roads.
We shall be leaving instructions for the container and other projects
knowing that our good Kenyan friends and helpers will do their best to meet
the demands and keep things running. We pray that the Kofi Annan's
negotiation teams will be able to soften the hard line positions of both
parties and that peace will be restored. The whole issue is of course very
complex and will not be easily solved.