I finish my amoeba medication today. I won’t miss the acid reflux that it caused. Yesterday, I had my first full meal since last Tuesday, and I had meat for the first time today. I ordered grilled chicken strips. When I got the bill, it read “Chicken Chunks” appetizing, right?
So this is a story about a girl named Lucy, not the Lucy that I know here, but some girl named Lucy who lives in Mombasa. So apparently her old phone number expired, and Safari-com assigned me her old number. For a while I got lots of anonymous calls and hang ups when i would answer. Finally, the other day, “Where is Lucy???” “I said, excuse me”. He replies “Lucy – has she returned to Mombasa?” “i’m sorry sir, but you have the wrong number” “No! I do not. This is Lucy’s number and i want to speak with her… NOW”
“DUDE this is the wrong number”
“No! I WANT TO SPEAK TO LUCY”
This continued for a while, and I had a few minutes to kill.
5 minutes later.
“Sir, you have the wrong number”
Him, in a very pleasant tone: “Oh ok, that’s cool”
So wow, the last few days were jam packed with some good stuff.
Today I went to the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, one of the partners of Seeds For Hope, to check up on the girls and see how they’re doing. We had a blast. I had forgotten how to get there, since once you get to the main bus stop, it’s a series of twists and turns through alleys and side roads, going thru a few people’s backyards, and back again. Still, every step was familiar, and every face was loving. I love the people of Kibera. Hardworking, honest, and alive.
The walls along the main road are spray painted with remnants of the post-election violence, as well new messages of a communal responsibility towards peace and unity, once again.
I arrived at the school and saw some of the teachers, and we had some great conversation. Many of the questions were around 1) Education in the U.S. and 2) The U.S. presidential elections.
After delegating the task of slicing cabbage to me, the teacher said:
“We love Sarah Palin! With every word she speaks, Obama gets more points. Keep her talking.”
I laughed as I sliced and diced cabbage.
Teka, one of the teachers, told me to leave the heart of the cabbage. So I did this, but Byron asked me why I left it behind? So he kept on cutting the hearts. Mixed messages!
I visited the 10th Grade (Form 2) class. I’m not a good teacher, so it took a while to warm up. By the time I got to the 11th Grade class, I was ready to go. It ended up being a Q&A. Some of the main questions asked:
- My position on the presidential elections
- What are the political issues I care about the most?
- Have I ever attended the Tyra Banks show as a studio audience member?
We got into a long discussion about Tyra Banks, actually. And then I taught them a little bit about ancient Egypt.
Onto the 9th Grade (Form 1) class. They were so inquisitive about the curriculum structure of the American School system. After a description of my high school classes, and them telling me what they learn in class, the summary was that in Kenya they study way more subjects than we do in the states in any given high school year.
The 9th graders alone study all four sciences, as well as 2 languages, history, math, and literature, as well as other subjects. The four sciences stood out to them the most as a big difference, when someone asked me:
“If we study so many things in Kenya, why are we struggling so much, compared to your country?”
It was not a question I was prepared to answer. It got me thinking about global inequality in general. Volumes could be written to answer this question, in fact volumes have been written on this subject.
After some discussion about this, my main focus was not to bring the girls down. Their education is absolutely not in vain. They have to understand this. We started talking then about what each of them wanted to do. So many journalists, lawyers to be in the mix. One in particular, had a very serious look in her eye about her desire to end corruption and crime.
These kids have experienced it in a very blatant way.
The subject of foreign languages came up, and they got pretty stoked when I told them I learned Spanish in school, and before I knew it, I spent about 30 minutes teaching them Spanish from English and Kiswahili. Was hard to juggle all three but I managed to get the words in all languages on the board without much help. We got right into conversational Spanish and before long, the girls were speaking to each other in Spanish, with perfect accents.
The day ended with the echos in my ear of the girls chanting the numbers in Spanish, from one to ten, as I left the classroom and proceeded back into town to continue with the rest of my schedule.
Afterwards we met with Maboyz, and we had a great meeting today. We saw some old faces and made some new friends. It was such a powerful time of togetherness and hopefully the re-ignition of something new.
Tonite, a buddy of mine and I saw a film, Taken, with Liam Neeson. I find out later on that this movie won’t be released in the USA until January of next year. I mean, come on. Am I supposed to believe Liam Neeson, as a kick-ass international spy, who kills everyone in sight to find his abducted daughter? My friend was suggesting maybe Arnold should be cast in this role. I’m pretty sure the film still isn’t even finished yet, and this was some sort of test audience kinda deal. There’s a whole section of plot that was just not there.
I mean this guy is searching for a man, he can’t find this man, he has no idea where to find him, then it fades out and fades back in, and not only has Liam Neeson found this guy, but has him tied to an electric chair and is using non-geneva-convention-approved torture methods to get answers to his questions.
Ok, it’s time to sleep.