Friday, January 4, 2008

Things today not looking so bad .... so far!

Thanks so much to all of you out there for your thoughts and comments. It's been great to know we are not alone in this mess and that people out there are thinking of us.

I'm doing the "It'll be fine" thing as much as possible, although last night it so didn't work for me and I ended up having to take a sleeping pill in order to get a couple of hours sleep at least. Convincing myself it'll all work out peacefully is getting harder and I worry what my son and I should do and am I doing the right thing to keep him safe. I then worry about all the shooting that you hear every night and my friends and colleagues who live in those trouble spots, locked in their bedrooms praying for daylight and living to see it.

I was up early and have already been round and about town. Basically things are pretty quiet. In fact the centre of town is pretty ghostly apart from the odd group of riot police and administration police here and there. A lot of course still in Uhuru Park, but nothing on the scale of yesterday.

Most of them look absolutely exhausted and quite relaxed and I don't think there is major trouble about like yesterday and what little there is is being caught in the slums before it reaches anywhere near town.

Town is very quiet with empty streets, empty buses, a lot of closed shops and the only sign of real life being the queues outside the banks hoping they'll open.

Most of our staff are at work today. They tell me transport wasn't a problem early in the morning in most areas (although a few had to be escorted from their homes by the GSU - the special forces that are deployed all over to keep some semblance of peace.) We do have some staff still trapped though (which i will keep quiet about so that those big boys in their posh compounds don't start spouting the 'commitment' crap at me about them again) and i will keep in touch with them and make sure they are safe.

In Mombasa the staff are not so lucky and there have been a lot of rumours and threats on their lives so they are all currently locked up in their houses until we hear if the situation will change. I spoke to our manager there and he sounds a lot more scared today than even he was yesterday - It is very worrying.

Even within our own staff - who are a young vibrant bunch of Kenyans of all different tribes -, I am seeing animosity creeping in between the Luo's and the Kikuyu's especially. It is awful to see amongst people who a few days ago were perfectly friendly colleagues, now eye each other with suspicion, and reiterating what a lot of you think - these tribal lines are going to get harder and harder to heal as the days wear on. It is extremely frightening.

I will post later if i hear anything but so far, I think the rally for today is not going to come to anything.
The thugs that were on the street yesterday are too hung over probably from all the chang'aa they consumed, and the genuine peaceful protesters are tired of no solutions, and tired of fighting, and in general it seems the majority of the Kenyan population would just really like to get on with their lives.


belle said...

Glad you managed some sleep, it sounds utterly awful. Keep posting, and stay safe.


Thanks Belle, it's been a loooong day. Hope to sleep well tonight,