We had a really nice long weekend here because Kristoffer had Monday off of work for the Eid holiday to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Our weekend included swimming at the UN Rec Center (summer is back in full force), hanging out with some old and new friends for a lovely brunch at our neighbor's house, and buying a used umbrella stroller for my trip home next Thursday night.
Yesterday morning Grace did the backwards wave (like she is waving to herself) two times in a row and has repeated once but refuses to do it for any kind of camera! At least Kristoffer witnessed that when we waved to her she waved back. It was very cute and will hopefully become a habit soon. She seems to be teething much more now which includes being very fussy, not sleeping as well as she did last week, rocking back and forth in her high chair, and pulling her ears. We think the one next to her current tooth is coming in and I am really hoping that she gets some relief (read: that I get some relief too) tomorrow.
We have hired a new housekeeper who starts tomorrow and will come 2 days a week through October and then 3 days a week in November if all goes well. He name is "Jonipher", which she seems to pronounce like "Jennifer"; she is 47 years old, has 5 children and 5 grandchildren, worked for an American family for a long time before they moved and now works for an American couple (no kids) two days a week not very far from our house. She will clean, do laundry and ironing, some light cooking; she knows that she is not our nanny but she will watch Grace while I am in the house tutoring a few afternoons a week. When we interviewed her, she brought us a "Certificate of Conduct" issued by the police department which certifies that she has never committed a crime (and is required by the US Embassy to be hired by any of their staff). The first four times she comes (this week and next) I will "train her" differently than I trained Ida and will hope that the situation turns out better.
Speaking of Ida. She started calling me this morning and when I didn't answer she began texting me. It turned into an all day affair. I swore that I was going to be polite and not engage or antagonize her in any way, but she got pretty nasty in her text messages and in my 4th/last message to her I told her that if she contacted me one more time I would report her to the diplomatic police. Of course, she wrote me AGAIN after that. She incriminated herself even more by accusing our driver of more crimes (and therefore let us know that she was also stealing food, not just money) and she accused me of being a heartless mother who enjoys seeing people suffer. This was in the same message where she begged me to get her another job. Sigh. I tried to be more mature, but I think my last message to her was honestly pretty catty. You can call me a lot of things, but heartless mother I am not. Kristoffer will notify our security guy at WFP (with whom we brunched on Sunday) to make sure he knows that she is a bit crazy, knows where we live, etc. We reminded our guards today not to let her on the compound should she come by.
We are little hyper about security these days because, unfortunately, life is hard in Kenya right now. Drought/poverty/food crisis/unemployment = desperate people who do desperate things. Crime has sky-rocketed in the last few weeks and has even affected a very good friend of ours who was assaulted by three would-be muggers. Lucky for her they weren't carrying weapons when they realized she had nothing to give them; unlucky for them she had taken martial arts and defended herself well when they began to beat her up (she ended up bruised and traumatized, but not seriously injured).
The bottom line is this: I will miss Kristoffer very much during the month that I am in the US with Grace and feel bad that she will be away from him for so long, but I am eager to get away from here for a few weeks and I will not miss Kenya one bit. On the bright side, I enjoy the group Grace and I go to every Tuesday (especially since we have no electricity from 10 to 5 on Tuesdays) and I really like having some women with whom I am becoming increasingly friendly, particularly one Kiwi (from New Zealand) and one Aussie. Today we discussed starting a "mommy & me swim group" if we can find a hotel with a heated pool that won't charge us too much for one hour a week (great idea, Jean!). That will be something else to look forward to when I come back to Kenya at the end of October.