Sunday, January 6, 2008

Report 9 part 2 - Jan 5

January 5

Dear All,

On the political front nothing much seems to be happening. Here we are the same with no travel outside the immediate area.

We made our usual walk around the town this morning. At the school, we were told that another ten internally displaced people arrived during the night. Otherwise all was calm and well at the school.

Bainito from Eldoret called and said that the central city in Eldoret was better as a few shops were open and yesterday the banks were open for one to two hours. He said that they are bringing in the bodies to the morgue. There is still conflict in some of the suburbs of Eldoret. Friends in England are sending 500 pounds to Bainito to help with the IDP's (internally displaced persons) in the Friends Church there and I'll also receive 500 pounds to help where I feel it is most needed. Getting the funds from the bank in Eldoret to me will be challenge. Bainito sambaza’d me 200/- of airtime so he is now my big buddy even though I haven't met him yet. He was going to drive by my town on his way to Kitale, but heard that it was unsafe to pass through Turbo.

A relative called from Nairobi who said things are calming down there, but a bus headed for the west (i.e. with mostly Luo, Kalenjin, and Luhya passengers) was torched in Nakuru (a Kikuyu dominated area) and everyone died. At this point, since I have not heard anything about this elsewhere, I would consider the incident as not confirmed.

The big event for the day was that our neighbors (five miles away but in our District) dropped by to see us. They had gotten a little fuel for their car--not enough to get to Kakamega and back--and decided to use it to see what was happening in the area. They went to Turbo: while there, they encountered a caravan of fifty or so big trucks headed for Uganda with an army escort. Nonetheless the army people felt uncertain and inquired about the conditions on the road. Almost nothing in Turbo is open. They also said that anyone who rented a Kikuyu owned house was burned out just like the others; so some of the IDP's are Luhyas and Kalenjins. They also told us that on the night of the election a Kikuyu had parked a truck in their compound. Area youth informed them that they were sympathizers and if they continued with this, the youth would burn the Kikuyu truck and as “punishment” their own car. A Kalenjin neighbor had agreed to take care of a few Kikuyu cows, but these were stolen along with his own as "punishment". These friends have concluded that any relief work should be done through the Friends Church so as not to put people into jeopardy.

My daughter in D.C. has arranged for me to be interviewed on WPFW on Sunday for a program called "Africa Now." Since people can call me without cost to me, perhaps other people might want to arrange for radio interviews elsewhere.

Our grandchildren showed up for the weekend; their mother will come later today.

Dave Z

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