22 May 2009

Today

  • Found good tea, non-bland tea that was not made in Kenya.  For some reason, the tea that is sold here is not too good.  The country manages to export plenty and I have drank tea from Kenya at home, but here it is no good.  I think that is due to the fact that people here do everything they can to kill the flavor of tea by drowning it in milk and dropping spoons full of sugar (even too much to make the medicine go down) for a swim.  Some English Breakfast and Earl Grey are a treat when it cools down and rains.
  • Also got new varieties of peanut butter.  Crunchy and chocolate now sit in our pantry.
  • Standing on the corner of the road in Kakamega, was an elderly man waiting to catch a matatu.  What stood out about him was what he was wearing.  Upon his head was a colonial era safari hat, tan, in perfect condition.  It looked as if he had kept it in a bag, out of dust and light, for decades since the independence of Kenya and just now donned it on a walk through town.  His jacket matched, including pants with black shoes.  I swear that he woke up this morning wanting to give an ‘F You’ to the Brits.
  • A man walked by who was likely one of the most muscular people I have ever seen.  He was beyond jacked and looked like he was LT walking amongst pre-school children.  Needless to say, he found probably the only gym in the country or has come up with the worlds best at home gym and workout system.
  • Two children came by today and hung out at the house.  One of them is pictured in the earlier post from today.  They stopped by to say hello and then ran off to play in the back of Judi’s car which was parked behind my house while she was at the board meeting.  When she gave them the boot, they came by to play with me.  The little girl (pictured) enjoyed dancing and the boy just liked to be a boy.  They hung out and continued to follow Sue and I as we walked around the Market.  The boy held my hand for awhile, but I thought it to be strange to walk around town holding the hand of someone else's child.  It is hard to see children who are clearly malnourished.  I wish I could cook them some food, give them some bread, let them stay here, pay for their school, buy them new clothes,  give them a bath, and so on.  That is the challenge.  All the work, all the slowness, all the water, that is easy.  That stuff does not matter.  I get to go home in a year, I make more money per month than almost everyone in town.  I can treat myself to chicken tonight and drink a beer in the afternoon with no affect on my wallet.  I get a great currency exchange.  I am living easy and will continue to do so compared to what people here deal with.  It is the kids that gets to me.  It is seeing children who have nothing but somehow manage to smile when I shake their hand.  Seeing these children is heartbreaking in the shattered beyond existence sense.  Caring is one thing, but it causes no change.  It does not put food on a table or money into the the pocket of a girl trying to support a family with a sister in school and a mother with leukemia.  That is my struggle while here.  To cope with the fact that by luck, I was born into the right family, the right race, the right country, the right economic status, the right sex, and the right sexuality.  I guess I can say that my burden is living without any burden.
  • Tonight for dinner will be fried chicken with BBQ sauce or Hot Sauce or both.
  • Bought a the newest Newsweek.  I am sure nobody has noticed or reads it regularly, but they have just changed their format.  I assume that it is the same in the US and if so, go and buy one as soon as possible.  It has improved significantly by removing news that was already known and using more space to do investigative work and opinion pieces.  It also includes a new section called InternationaList that seems to be derived from the quick news section in The Economist.
  • I cant pass on this opportunity to say that I am thankful that Dick Cheney no longer has anything to do with American foreign policy and national security.  Reading his speech has confirmed that it was bad enough that he once had a say in how policy was once determined but thankfully no more.

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