I don’t see myself very often. The last seven weeks being here at Blesco I have not really looked in a mirror. I would catch glimpses of my reflection walking by windows or partially in a rear view mirror of a matatu. There have been a few pictures of me with some the guys here. But I haven’t had a good look. This is good for my ego. When you have no idea what you’re lookin like you don’t have to be overly concerned. But the few pictures I have seen I am not the person who I used to be (looks wise). Just a year ago I had hair, some beard, a bit of color on my skin, eyebrows. Not so much anymore. Some of those pictures I look downright sickly. And when I’m tired I get bags under my eyes, which make it worse. And honestly there’s nothing I can do about any of it. When I was just getting into high school I realized I had a big nose. I forget if somebody told me or I saw a picture. I didn’t know. I only saw myself from the front. So there was a short time that I tried just looking straight on at people. Haha. Quite ridiculous. And I was going bald the first time. You can imagine the affect that had on an already shy 14 yr old. I think I handled it quite well at the time though. So now that I am in this new state of looks with a strong identity in Christ, I’m not overly concerned about it. Clearly it’s on my mind enough for me to write about it though. But I’m realizing that people aren’t necessarily dis-attracted to the way I look. Maybe they are. But people are far more attracted to character above anything else. In particular Godly character. A bit of rambling.
Said most of my goodbyes yesterday. It was my last day in town and last night was my last night here at Blesco. Three of the high school guys, Noel, Ngatia, and Michael, stayed behind and are doing work at the school. Almost every night this week they have come inside and have watched a movie on my computer. Goodbyes are a strange thing, especially when you know that you will never see some of these people ever again. Some you hope to see, some will just fade away into the depths of your memory. Here are some people I have met/ seen along the way. The old man wearing suit coat that is too big, wearing his wide brimmed hat, sitting there watching his goats near the school. The young lady who had a slash down the left side of her face causing one eye to be destroyed. The multiple matatu drivers and conductors. George who collected the money from the passengers at the stage who just started telling me hi this week. The cute little girl at the stage who learned my name and would say, “Ben” from a distance but would get scared when up close. But yesterday I bought a lollipop for her and one for myself, and we shared a sugary bond. She waved and enjoyed. The many disabled people sitting on the side asking for money. Job, who I was reacquainted with from last time, still living on the streets. I told him a month ago that I would buy him some food if he went and got his birth certificate so he can start going through the process of getting his id. I thought he wouldn’t do it, but he showed it to me a couple days ago. I gave him money for food. He told me there is a guy who was going to help him get into trade school. The mzee, older guy, who I would see in the matatu all the time. The good looking young mom with her baby son Maxfield who lived in Mbaruk. Peter the cook and his strong grip and beanie he always wore. Susan the other cook. Maryann, Caleb, Joyce, Kotuk, Louise, Faith, the teachers. Mr. Maina the principal. Mariam the quiet secretary who probably wasn’t thanked very often. Troy and Becca and their daughters, Dakota, Kate, and Hope. And their newly adopted son, Thomas Azariah. Lucy, the young woman who sold me movies and chatted while we waited for it to be copied. Karen, the waitress who always served us at our restaurant. The two ladies at the front desk who Kamotho and Waititu always tried hooking me up with. All the students who would come through the office in town. John the short buff worker. Francis the Chairman and his wife Catherine the school Director who let me stay in their house. Kariuki who rides a motorcycle rides for a job in Mbaruk. He constantly says how I need to find a wife, how I’m not generous cuz I’ve never made him food, and is always talking. Not sure if he’s trying to be funny. Annoying… yes. Sorry Kariuki, it’s true. The boy I saw on two occasions pushing his bike loaded with tanks of something up a hill as I ran by. Sammy and David, my street craft guys. The man next to the town office who sold me my bananas. The guard at Woolmatt who just gave me in nod of acknowledgement with a smirk knowing I had no weapons so stopped checking my bag. And of course Harun Waititu, Daniel Kamotho, and Stephen Gitau.
Troy and the family took me to the hotel in Nairobi. We stopped off at Munga(?). This is the orphanage where they got their 14 month old son. He, along with the other babies were abandoned. There was a two week old premature baby there. If you’re not sure if there is evil in the world, just come listen to a couple stories of these kids. Then if you want to know if there is good in the universe, come spend a couple minutes with one of these kids. I want a kid. Perhaps one day.
Quite a difference between Nakuru and Nairobi. Nairobi is very modern. Nakuru… not so much. Walked to the city from my hotel. Hecka long. I didn’t really know where I was going. I just walked toward the tall buildings. When I got to the first set of tall buildings I decided to walk around the edge before going through the center looking for lunch. Nothing much there. So went to the next set, crossing a highway in between. An 1 hr 45min later walking at a brisk pace I found place. Chapati was really good. Then went to Tuskys, the grocery chain, and got my croissant, tropical juice, banana, mango, and strawberry yogurt for dinner. Then walked back. On the way a guy about 50+ yrs old with a few of his teeth missing and receding gums said, “Habari?” (How are you?) I said, “Mzuri.” (I am fine). Then we started talking as we walked, but he liked to stop and talk at times. He asked what I was doing here, and then he asked me about this magazine he was given. It was a Christian Science propaganda/ information thing. And then a flier about Jehovah’s Witnesses. I told him what I knew about it and the difference to Christianity. I asked him about himself. He’s from Eldoret (one of the many places affected by the tribal warfare a few years ago). He lost a lot of his property and saw gruesome crimes. He was in Nairobi for an interview for a teaching position at the university cuz he teaches veterinary science. He said he got the job but that he had to got back to Eldoret (several hour drive) to get some papers. We then talked about some interactions he’s had with some American Christians some American non-Christians. I was gonna give him 50 shillings to help him on his way before he asked for some financial help. I gave him the 50 plus the other 18 I had. This is not a lot of money so no round of applause needed. Today is my last day in Kenya. 5:15am taxi arrives to take me to the airport. And it’s so long Kenya. Hello Italy, via Amsterdam.