Monday, 19 March 2012

Digital Postcard from Nairobi

A letter from one culture to another 

Dear Bermuda,
It has been seven months since I've been in Kenya. I haven't seen a lion yet and my children are not starving. Please consult with Kenyan mobile technicians on the latest phone application technology.

I must also tell you about a most amusing sight that I have witnessed in this marvellous land. Every afternoon on my way home I see two rather inebriated looking men who are supposedly fixing the road. They fill up the potholes with sand and rocks and stand in the middle of the road requesting money from passersby with the most pitiful gaze that I have seen in all of Africa. At the end of the day they quickly remove the rocks and the sand and the next morning begin their ritual of "fixing" the road again. After several weeks they disappear from our street and I breathe a sigh that this agitating sight of unsustainable business ingenious has ceased for a while. After several weeks they are back again with the same business plan. The other day Quincy gave them a shilling just for having the gull to pull it off.  After witnessing this charade I have determined to never again speak badly about Works & Engineering. Even if there are six workers fixing a hole and 5 of them are standing there to make sure that the one guy is doing the job correctly.

And you know, I don't know why "they" say that Bermudians cannot make time. To be a half an hour late for an event is simply breathing time. When people are constantly 2-3 hours late for meetings however this is not breathing time. Note to Kenyans; you are not on time as long as the sun is in the sky.

By the way, please do not delay your visit to Kenya for too long. The tribal dances are engaging invigorating and provide the participant with a great workout. If you took a couple months to learn some of the Luo, Luhya or Kiganda dances you'd be the hottest thing on the dance floor during the Socca Show.  When you come however please mind the traffic. Flashing lights do not mean that the police are nearby. Here, it simply means, "Slow down! I'm coming through and I'm not gonna stop!"

If we cannot smile at the surprises that life brings us then life becomes dull and motionless. Please send my love to the family and take care.

Best Regards,
Bermy Girl living in the Motherland

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Lavender Lullabies

It’s evening time. Just sitting here at my computer…again.

Husband is reading and the kids are dreaming about magic keys that glow and hot flowing lava that sparkles blue and pink. I tell them these stories every night. Nowadays they help me to tell their stories and create their own lullaby of gorgeous midnight wonder.  I’ve written stories for the ears of many children but it’s probably safe to say that only two sets of ears will ever hear these stories and maybe, just maybe they’ll remember one of them. I hope so. People say that what we do here in Kenya is magical-planting greenhouses for schools and learning local trades. They say, “When you come home you can teach us how to live without lifes fineries”. Although I’m not sure what this means. I feel more wealthy than ever right now.

 If one can live in their home country amongst everyone who they know and love while feeling the wide wind between their toes and the tall sun on their head then this must be that finery that they speak of. But if the wind ever becomes thick and the sun is covered by an unnamed cloud then...

I’ve just put my children to bed again. Tonight we read about Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and…Sleepyhead. I’ve told them that one day they can change the world. I hope that one day I can do the same.

Shai's Masai Project