Tuesday, October 11, 2011

more story: part two: unedited

(first part of the story here.)

said ten acres were acquired with a lot of tears, time and donations from generous people like you.

and several thousand cups of tea with various land owners and their lawyers. (ooh, book idea: drinking cups of tea in a foreign country while trying to build a school. it could work.)

Nairobi is unreal. combine the poorest of the poor (50% of the nation makes $2 a day or less) with the up-and-coming. combine, also, the grandmothers who don't speak English, who know how to knit and sew and farm and cut their own firewood, with the youth, the generation who speaks ONLY English, and poorly, who own cars and work downtown and move out before they get married.

combine, even, the fashion and trends from Europe with the colourful fabrics that one pictures when they think of Africa: wrapped around your waist, your shoulders, your head.

combine all of this with parasites and HIV and water you can't drink until it's boiled.

enter one naive college student who thinks she knows everything.

1 comment:

Korin said...

I thought of you in class yesterday. We have a student from Kenya who was telling us about how he has experienced race much differently in the United States than he did in Africa.

Oh, naive college students. It's so easy to think you know everything, maybe just because you have a strong heart and a deep interest in knowing and helping the world, that you just thrust yourself into an environment. I feel much the same about the Urban Indian culture, or just contemporary Native American lives. I feel naive and silly, but I keep going despite the mistakes and faux pas I commit, because I am earnestly interested and I hope that somehow makes my occasional breeches of protocol or naivete a little more excusable.