Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Signs of Life

Sitting in an airport about to fly to Malindi, my first return to the Kenyan Coast in 20 years! We will be spending two days in Malindi and one day in Mombasa. The last week has been the ultimate urban/rural experience. One day I was harvesting sugar cane on my in-laws' farm in Nyahururu; the next day watching the Safari Cats perform at the Nyama Choma Ranch at Nairobi’s Safari Park Hotel (and much to the amusement of my classmates much of the “African” show was performed to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” soundtrack!)

And, of course, this would not be a Kenyan trip if I did not mention the unique signage. Here is one of my favorites so far:

“Trained Astrologer: Compotent and Experienced. Call ####-5576”

and then there was a sign I came across for “Makwene Driving School” that is apparently both “Day AND Boarding.” Really? Boarding? How intense is this driving school? Do they wake up the “residents” at the crack of dawn to get behind the wheel? Only in Kenya . . .

So Kenya continues to be a great time, especially time with family and friends. But the age-old question is raised of where we will settle eventually. America feels like home in one way and Kenya in another. The Kenyan pace of life is perfect; there is space to enjoy the present. Time does not control; yet, there are still those inefficiencies that can be so frustrating. And then I go into a church service and hear and sing music that moves me in a unique way. And then I am stopped by a police officer for questionable reasons. And then I joke with a driver in a matatu while listening to Kenyan reggae music in that perfect Nairobi sun. This is the contradiction of Kenya. What is unquestionable is the vitality in the air. This place is alive and evolving and it is exciting to witness that . . .

What I do know is that I have a role here. Still working out what exactly that will look like but hopefully I will be competent, as opposed to compotent!

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