22 April 2009

Mungiki Madness

Based on earlier posts, the morning did not start on an up beat.  The Mungiki related killings around Nairobi have been felt all the way up here in Western.  There is no real concern in this area.  We are away from the gang and since it is tribal based (kikuyu) there is even less concern.  I believe that things are only going to get worse concerning the killings by both villagers and gang members.  We talked about it a bit at work and the newspaper was just as disturbing to staff members and parents.  Here we are able to see the outcome of such killings in the news.  Tasteful shots are not taken as bodies are shown bloodied in a large picture blow giant print reading “Mungiki Massacre” with more pictures inside.  The reality of the deaths is inescapable.  There were lamentations about the government and police that I have come to notice as more of a part of every day discourse rather than isolated frustrations.  There is absolutely no confidence in any sort of organized authority from any person I speak with or listen to.  I do not fear for compete instability, but I am not sure if we have seen the worst of this ordeal.  I can only hope that  a peaceful solution can be found.  However, after being harassed by gang members for years, people seem to be more willing to take the law into their own hands.  I often feel as if I am living out some sort of western movie out in Kenya and there is no shortage of bad gangs and towns willing to put their foot down.  We need the man with no name, that would solve all of the problems.

After work I went over to do the accounts at the compound and arrived home to see a full blown kids center in our courtyard.  I got some new toys for the boys and it seems like a whole gang of kids were playing with them.  What was once a small group of three or so regulars has now expanded to a flow of twenty with as many as 15 in our courtyard at once.  Some draw, others kick around a small soccer ball, some throw a tennis ball and most hang around.  We have discussed working on expanding this to meet the needs of the kids and give them a little bit more.  Since they are on break from school, they have a ton of free time that is spent roaming town.  It might be a good thing for them to not only have a place to go, but a place where they can play and be children.  Often many are working on the farms or caring for younger siblings and seem to have little time for play.  Maybe we can help provide a small outlet for a few kids around Malava.  There is no intention to give anything away, but maybe just provide a few things and a place to be.  I will be on top of it with pictures on Friday, when I imagine that they will spending the whole day playing in our courtyard.