24 April 2009

Rest Day

With the recovery from vacation still not completed, I gladly enjoyed the day off.  I sat and read my New Yorkers in the morning and then went on to Kakamega with Sue for her birthday lunch.  Then a little shopping and back home to watch a little of the Matrix before Sue’s birthday dinner with the nuns.  I can’t get enough of free birthday meals when it is somebody’s birthday.


On the matatu ride home I saw a brilliant thunderhead to the west.  Thunderheads have become more prevalent as the rains have arrived and somehow form into individual monstrosities.  It stood alone from the rest, untouched, like a great plume from an erupting volcano frozen with the coldness of the atmosphere.  It grew upwards in levels that resembled a cheap ice cream cone that you can get at Dairy Queen.  Each level grows out of the previous with distinct lines delineating where one begins and the next ends.  At the top an explosiveness that comes from the built up growth below.  It moved in a way, growing, like an atomic bomb in hyper slow motion. 

I have found that I now enjoy waiting for things.  I like having unplanned time to wait and be left with my own thoughts.  I see it as some sort of forced meditation that I have no choice in entering due to circumstance.  Life here is all about waiting.  Everything moves slowly and there is no expectation for someone to drop whatever he may be doing to help you out.  This is not a service country with entitlement to attention.  You will be helped in due time, you will be checked out in due time, you will get home in due time.  There is nothing that drives people to feel the need to fulfill this unnecessary and unnatural action.  There is more community and less I.  Often it is thought that the people of Africa and Kenya must learn what we do because it is right, but maybe we do not have it completely right.  Maybe by having a service industry we have created the server and the customer.  How can people have a relationship when one believes that the other is meant to serve his or her whims.  A waiter is not below anyone and should not be treated as such.  However, it becomes striking to see people hound a waiter on the coast because he has not been to their table within five minutes of their sitting down.  The expectation of the immediacy of service is a burden, speed an impediment.  Polepole things will get done in due time.  I have only begun to learn the extent of this in my few months, but it has given me a new perspective.  I have accepted everything to be right, in terms of lifestyle, when the fact is that I know nothing.  My understanding now, as I write this remains diminutive.

I swear that it all makes sense in my head…

Well, now time passed and now it seems
Everybody's having them dreams.
Everybody sees themselves walkin' around with no one else.
Half of the people can be part right all of the time,
Some of the people can be all right part of the time.
But all the people can't be all right all the time
I think Abraham Lincoln said that.
"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,"
I said that.

-Bob Dylan “Talkin’ World War III Blues”