Monday, October 31, 2011

The Real World

She wept silently as I told her about my injury.  I didn't realize she was crying until her friend kidded her about it.  Sweet lady; she'd brought friends to come sit with me and cheer me up while I was bedridden.
In Africa for the fifth time this year, I managed to break some ribs and get stuck in Mombasa, Kenya, recuperating.

Confined to bed for the first couple of days, the front desk calls with guests asking to visit me.  It's Salma, my dear friend with her brother and a friend.

Thus began a parade of friends that continued through the week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

They share their lives

My phone rings at the office this morning. It's my 3-yr old buddy Anderson in Kenya! He wanted to say hello. His mom dialed the phone, of course, and it costs just pennies for them to call for a minute. I got to tell the family that I'll be there in a couple of weeks to visit. What a joy!

As much as I'm physically over-taxed by flying for hours (days), I'm so glad for the chance to visit good friends.

Photo: with Anderson and James; Anderson's mom Salma took this picture with my camera, and the kids took many more.  Anderson has malaria which flairs up every now and then; he's doing well at the moment.

James wants to be a doctor. He's in the 9th grade, and the family has difficulty keeping the school fees paid. The family has never asked me for a thing, so I have to ask if I might help with this or that. They've given me so much; they've made a place for me in their lives.

Photo, left; James and a camel in the distance.  If we manage to connect while I'm in the area, James likes to escort me here and there and talk about school and things.  Nice young man; part of a large family of similarly nice folks. They're African, mind you, and strong. You have to be strong to face the days here, yet they're gracious and welcoming when I visit. As pleasant as family. Maybe more so. :)

Photo right: as close to a smile as I've gotten out of Helen, the younger sister. I've got pictures printed and some little gifts for the trip; perhaps she'll smile this time.

Have you ever wondered what you'd do if the power was out, and there was no TV, no air conditioning, no lights as the sun went down. Would you sit in the yard on the ground with your family and chat until everyone was tired, then go to bed? That's what this family does, each and every night.

Want to encourage them along; maybe offer a little help? Ask me.  Please.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Give us today, bread, and deliver us from evil.

"If I survive at the expense of another, death would be sweeter and more beloved." ~anonymous Arab American
The poor along Kenya's coast are being systematically displaced by government's cooperation with the wealthy.  Their ancestral homesteads are being declared government land, sold to influential businessmen, and bulldozed, leaving the residents on the street.  Some of my friends have received notice that they're next.