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Entries from September 2019

Bees, Glorious Bees

The last post about the home invasion was pretty intense, and just a bit scary. This one will be more light hearted and easy on the old emotions. Before I jump into the bee harvest, an update on the robbery is in order. 

Saturday and Sunday I basically just chilled out and attempted to deal with the trauma of waking up to violent thieves in the house. I spoke with friends and officials, read from a book, and contemplated how to better secure the house. Monday, today, I went to see the police. They were helpful and sympathetic. I filed a report, was given lots of phone numbers to call in case of any future events, and given hope that they will do what they can to help find the culprits. Today was a busy and tiring day, but in the end as I sit here on The Shire I do so with more hope and peace than yesterday.

This past Saturday I had scheduled to have honey harvested from a beehive and another hive that had been damaged moved to a new hive.

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This hive is right next to the house.

The hive we were harvesting honey from is right next to the house. We did not place the hive there on purpose. Someone just temporally put it down to go and do something else, and before they returned to the box it was occupied by bees. It was a little nerve wracking to live so close to a hive at first, but so far as I know no one has been stung by the bees yet. They are pretty calm and not scary. The harvesting went on well, and the bees seem to have gone through the invasion of their personal space with poise and dignity. I am still not sure how much honey we have harvested, mostly because the bees were still flying around and all that has been going on since the break in.

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Bees have resumed coming and going

The other hive was a hollowed out log that had become broken on top some how. It was suggested to me that we try and move it to one of our yellow box hives. I agreed and the attempt was made. Unfortunately so far the bees do not seem to have taken up with the new hive. I did see some flying around today when I went to take these photos, but none coming in or out of the new hive.

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Hollow log hive.

You can't really see in the picture above but there is a hole on top of the hive. There was not really any honey inside either.

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Potential new home

 I just want to take a moment to remind everyone that part of the reason we purchased this land was to produce food that could be used in our work in Nakuru. To this day we have utilized some food from the homestead for relief. I have given people pork several times, which is always a real treat. Usually when you are not even sure where your next meal will come from, organic suckling pig is not even close to being on your mind. Maize, collard greens, pumpkins, and bananas have been used to help feed the hungry. The Shire is helping to feed the hungry.

~Johnny


Home Invasion!

I know I have not been blogging lately yet I had planned on revitalizing the blog and utilizing it again. It was not my intention to restart the blog writing with the following story, but this just happened on Friday night so it is fresh news. It was suggested to me that I go through the event again and remember as much as possible to help with dealing with the trauma, so I did and wrote it out as best I could. I have decided to share it with you here:

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Not Friday Morning but today. Similar beautiful morning.
Yesterday started off as a fairly typical morning, lots of sunshine promising a nice day. I had conservation with my youngest brother, then went to town met friends for lunch, after that I went and said hi to someone, and came back home. I got home a bit late for me, around 5 in the afternoon. Fed the dogs, made dinner, and watched some t.v.
 
Went to bed around ten p.m. Was woken at midnight by dogs barking and the sound of the back door opening. Looked out my open bedroom door and say a guy standing there. I said something to him, can't remember what exactly and he replied with something as well, I think he actually asked me how I was. I rolled off the bed picking up a club that I keep next to the bed and a flashlight. As I am standing up something hits me hard in the right arm, but I don't take much notice of it at the moment as I am charging towards the guy I saw at the door. I chased him out of the house through the lounge and quickly lock the door behind him. I turn on the electricity and start switching on the lights and trying to figure out how he got in. While doing that I come across a second guy by the back door and he exits the house. I close the door and lock it and discover that they made entrance through a tiny window in the shower. So I lock that door from the inside, then lock the girls bedroom door from the inside as well. That's when I hear someone trying to pry open the wooden window in my office. I go and see some kind of farm tool being used to break the window open. At some point, and I really have no idea when, I had removed my computer from the office and put it on my bed. The window gets opened and I start fighting with the guy there, who I can now clearly see. I did not recognize him, though I was pumped up on adrenaline at that point so it is possible he is someone I have seen around. He is talking to someone that I cannot see next to the window, and I can hear someone breaking into a window in the girl's room, which is the room next to the office. Around this time the adrenaline begins to wear off and I started to be able to think straight again, and since I had no idea how many they were I started to try and figure out how to get out of this without serious injury to myself. I start talking with the guy at the window, who claimed his name was Simon and that there were five of them altogether. I only saw two, but could not be for sure how many where out there. He told me some story about how they were just hungry and trying to get something in order to get food. So I offer him the cash I had, three thousand shillings, and he takes it while also taking my headphones off the desk. I was tempted to smash him with my club at this point, but not knowing how many I would have to fight afterwards I thought better of it. I re-close and lock the window as best I can. 
 
Now no one is trying to break in and  I am trying to figure out if they really have gone. The dogs were still barking and close to the house, which gave me reason to think they had not gone. Though next day after going over it I believe they went through the fence to the neighbors and down towards the road. I only have one small light outside in the front of the house, and I cannot turn it on from the inside. So I go around turning off lights so I can see out the windows. Did not see anyone, and dog barking had moved off down towards the front gate. Now my arm is hurting, and I decide that I cannot just stand in the hall by the toilet for the rest of the night. So I go out and check around. I did not go too far from the house, as I did not want anyone to sneak in while I was out. They had left. This game me time to examine my arm, which is just bruised and not broken. I found what he had thrown at me, a heavy car part. 
 
Spoke on the phone for awhile with Kate, Andrew, and Butterfly. Everyone I know in Kenya would have been asleep at this point. Anyway the night passed without further incident. I called the chief around 9:30 in the morning. She was not around but promised to come by in the morning. She will help me with reporting to the police and talking with the elders and neighbors. Ali came to check on me and stayed for awhile. 
 
All in all a fairly terrible night, but I am glad to have escaped with only a minor injury and a small loss of cash. (They also broke into another of the houses which I did not find out till daylight.) Also first time in the past five months that I was glad the children where not here. (Edith and B.T. are away at school, and the others in the U.S.)