I ended the last update with a praying mantis, so thought I'd start this post with another. What a cutie. Not as cute as these wee bairns. The baby mantises put in another appearance. I lost the last photographs but managed to get one this time. They're absolutely tiny, tiny. About the size of my little fingernail.
In less pleasant insect-related news, I had my second encounter with a blister beetle, which I think we've now specified as Nairobi Fly. You may remember my boob incident a couple of years back. This time the fucker got me real good. I think it must have been on my knee when I crossed my legs. And, yes, if I'd known I'd be showing you all, I probably would have shaved.
It really does feel exactly like you burned yourself and it stings for days. So, if you see one of these shits crawling about, give it a wide birth.
They're really tiny though, so it's quite hard to spot them. If you do get stung, this topical cream worked pretty well. Took the red out and prevented infection, though didn't do much for the sting. Once it starts to crust over you can use aloe.
In socially-distanced news, when the lockdown restrictions were slightly eased, a friend came to store some items as he was moving house. We stayed very far apart and masked at all times, and he only touched the stuff that's now in the storage cupboard - which I plan not to enter for ever. Last time he stored some stuff there, he didn't come back for it for about two years. Had to get this very quick picture though, as he made my treble cleff sculpture. You can see more of his work here.
When restaurants were allowed to open last month, my friend Jo and I went for a socially-distanced G&T and a bite to eat at PiliPili. We followed all the rules but it still felt a bit naughty, so I haven't been out again. The swimming pool was looking a little green. People with pools have been complaining it's been impossible to maintain them in lockdown - or 'rockdown' as my friend recently texted me, as L and R are interchangeable in Rwanda.
The whole socially-distanced thing is proving a challenge. Many places are going cashless in favour of tokens which you can by with card, or mobile money. We bought some tokens, but they still handed the tokens to us with ungloved hands... which sort of defeats the point. Mobile money is just a headache in that you need an eidetic memory to use it. It's all about remembering lengthy codes. For instance, if I want to check my airtime balance I type *131#, my internet balance *135*5# and if I want to pay for a drink...
They were planning to bring motos back on Monday, but that's been postponed due to our first COVID death and a spike in identified cases. So far one death out of 377 cases. They're planning to make motos cashless. Necessary, perhaps, but highly inconvenient. Another suggestion is this, which just looks terrifying.
Meanwhile, at home, the cats remain pragmatic about it all. Sen has been contemplating her foot whilst I have discovered the joys of Kigali Farmers' and Artisans' Market, who make amazing ice-cream, bagels and sweet potato bread.
My neighbours have started growing green peppers in my garden and the avocado tree is fruiting, so I can live off avocado on toast and chocolate mousse for a few weeks.
I ran out of whiskey again, so I've been trying to fathom ways to drink Bacardi. I tried infusing it with rosemary but slightly overdid it. It's just about palatable with sugar syrup and plenty of ice.
However, I have discovered that dark rum with milk, sugar syrup and cinnamon is acceptable, and milk is the one mixer I have plenty of.
I'm open to further suggestions. I also bought a pot of Ambrosia Jam from the farmers' market, just to find out what it is. According to Google it's 'tropical jam', but in the context of a tropical country, I guess it's just jam...? Nice jam, though. Very good on cinnamon bagels.
To pass the time, I have started recording an audiobook. However, there have been some issues setting up a recording studio and I also had a rant about online payment systems and access to production software. Recording is on hold today whilst my neighbour attacks his wall with a pickaxe. Nothing like being stuck in lockdown between a building site and (what sounds like) a teething infant.
Oh, and I also did an addition to my post on improvised ovens, as people seem to like that one.
I've also started building a cat fort out of all the crisp boxes I've been collecting. I enjoy it more than the cats do. It's a work in progress.