A constant reflection and thought this year has been my relationship to the town of Malava. Sometimes it has extended into a more general sense, but most often is in reference to where I stand in Malava. I have said how I am an outsider who has had the privilege of being a member of the town.
Lately, I have found that my self-imposed status has had a greater impact on my perception of Malava and has little bearing on the reality. In other words, I have allowed myself to create the false idea that I can never really be an accepted part of Malava. It remains true that I cannot be in a complete sense because I am not from here, but the same is for people who are not Kabras. The Kikuyu live together and are somewhat separated from the Kabras majority. It does not mean that they cannot and do not get along.
The whole time I viewed the two as mutually exclusive. Being an outsider prevented me from having any real relationships. That is just not true. It wasn’t until Mercy, the girl who sells us our vegetables, asked about our dog that I saw my error. A silly feeling of ‘she actually cares’ came over me and I realized that she actually was listening to what I was saying each time we chatted as I bought my daily vegetables. I assumed it to be empty conversation for no reason other than that is what I thought she thought it was.
The understanding of this made much more sense than it seems to do now, but I wanted to attempt to re-explain a topic I explored earlier. What I thought to be true was incorrect. I was not entirely wrong, but off just enough that it produced a negative impact. Had I known better, I could have been working towards nurturing meaningful friendships.