Saturday, February 17, 2007

When in Rome..........

This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog
"Achoo! Achoo!" went I. My eyes were watering and my nose had a tinge of red from all the tissue friction. I looked over to my companion, Hassan. He was my assigned protector in Kenya. Back when I used to attend primary school he used to drive us to and from school amidst taking my mom wherever she wanted. I remembered him thinner than he was but then again I had gained some weight myself since he last saw me. I turned my attention to the window. It was about 5 pm in the evening and I was on my way to Isiolo. This was a town that would best be explained as a frontier between the lands of Somalis and Kenyans. Most of the inhabitants were a mixture of Borana, Somali and Merus. Last time I had being there I was about ten. I remembered being able to count the number of stone built houses on my two hands.

My breath misted on the window as I peered through the glass to gaze at the lush green countryside. My fingers itched as I fought the urge to grab my camera and click away. I had missed this land. My motherland. The smells, the sights, the people. I had missed every iota of it. I was bone tired but in this land I knew rest was just a heartbeat away, rest was in the folds of my grandmother and great aunt. My eyelids slowly dropped shut as fatigue overcame my awe. I awoke with a start when I felt my head on someones chest. I looked sleepily up and saw it was Hassan who had placed my head on his chest instead of the cold, clattering window. I went back to sleep. An hour later he gently placed his hand on my shoulder to wake me. I asked him if we were there yet and he told me we had come into town but wouldn't get off at the bus stop instead we had to get off somewhere else. I gasped. It was pitch dark outside. I had three heavy bags not including my backpack plus Hassan had told me he didn't know the way to great grandma's house. He chuckled at my shock and reassured me that someone will meet us. The bus pulled over after five minutes and I clambered out. It was cold as far as Africa was concerned but it was fine for me. After Hassan had gotten my luggage out, we stood next to each other staring into the darkness waiting for someone to turn up. I noticed Hassan clutching his arms to his chest and offered him my winter coat. He thought it weird but I told him the weather was fine for me since I spend at least three months in snow up in Minnesota anyway. A few minutes later I saw a tall, lanky figure walking purposefully towards us. I held my breath as I watched the figure draw near. 15 ft, 12 ft, 10 ft..................Feeeeeei! I screamed.

Feisal, my uncle laughed loudly at my recognition. He grabbed my bags and motioned us towards a taxi. I asked him a couple questions about his kids and wife, about grandma and great grandma. After that I kept quiet as Hassan and him caught up on the non specifics of life. The taxi screeched to a halt infront of a corrugated sheet posing as a gate. Between the gate and the street lay a two feet ditch. I watched as my bags were hurled across and grew apprehensive. Hiking up my abaya, I was glad about my choice of pants over skirts. I leaped across the ditch and barely made it due to the weight of the backpack on my back. Once across the threshold, I heard my grandma's scolding Feisal about not taking my backpack too. Hands and arms reached out to me as I walked into the house. Tea and food was requested as was water to get cleaned up with. "Ayeyo, choo iko wapi? (where is the toilet?). My grandma peered at me and asked me if I really had to go and I said yep, I have been holding it in for 5 hours. She turns to my great aunt and asks her if she bought parafin for the feynuus. They have a discussion and after a while, my grandma approaches me with a can full of water and a sympathetic look. I HAD TO PEE OUTSIDE because there was no light in the latrine (which was also outside). I giggled and grabbed the can from my grandma and went to relive myself. When I came back my grandma asked me if I was ok. I nodded my head and said, "Ayeyo, nimezaliwa hapa (I was born here)." From that minute on I acted like the everyone else around me, which earned me the nickname survivor.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I love you more.............than you do?

I haven't done what is expected of me i.e tell tales of my adventures in Africa but I will get around to it soon (I promise). I actually wanted to talk about something else today. Recently I was listening to radio and I decided to share my thoughts about it. The conversation was that in order to have a successful relationship, one person (in the relationship) has to have an over-abundance of love.

I was at first puzzled because I thought in an ideal world you would both be 50/50 on the amount of love. As I listened to the callers' opinions though I begun looking back into my relationships and I mean all including sister/friend/exs. A realization occured to me that in each relationship I was the lackey. The one who did the bidding;the slave. Mind boggling thought isn't it. Here I was confident in my ways with my life but when it came to someone else I tended to putty. So here is the challenge I pose to whoever reads. Look back in your relationships and ask yourself is the theory right? If so, who loved more? What are you using as a measuring tool? Do you think that you will keep your "position"?

Ps:- This is not an anti-valentine day post by the way ;) so if you think you can't handle the evaluation till after valentine day, then by all means wait it out. [If you evaluate your love life that is].

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Un, Deux, Trois.........

Here I go again. Its not the first time I have been here. The view is still the same. The same blurry lines, the same dull color, the same vernacular sounds. Its surprising that the whole world has advanced forward but this corner of my universe seems stuck. My lips pursue in thought. It really isn't as bad I thought, I console myself. I can handle this. I have been through worse, much worse. I pick up the object in front of me; my youth. Its fading fast. No more bright colors emanating from it, no more joyful giggles and goofy smiles. Time does fly and all I am left with is memories. Refusing to succumb to the self pity that I knew so well, I moved on. Next was my vocation. I picked it up and stared at the awards and congrats from it. Really, is that all I amount to? How about the sweat and blood hours I poured into being perfect at what I do? Does that not count for anything but placards of wood? I threw it across the room, my eyes flashing at the idiocracy my life is. I picked up a withered flower next. I had neglected this flower for a long time. Refusing to water it or even add manure so that it can mature into a beautiful flower that it is. The bees didn't find it particularly alluring and all the seeds in the ovum had given up on being pollinated. It was a sad case and I was the guilty party. I knelt by the flower and frailly touched the petals. This was my love life. The culmination of my world was within these objects scattered around this odd looking room. When I get the urge to make a change in my life, I walk back into the room and perhaps it is there that I find the courage to do what I have to do.