Friday, February 18, 2011

The "How-Are-You?" Chorus

Imagine if you will an adorable Kenyan child between the ages of 5 and say 9. When they are roving around in a group and they see a mzungu (white person) they will muster the courage to greet me with, "How are you?" But this is a special How-are-you. It has a certain sing-songy lilt to it and is often repeated over and over until you respond. They hit a particularly high note on the “you.” The result is a child-voice chorus of little people following you around chanting "How are you, how are you?"

Well, some cleaver mzungu made that into a ring tone for you mobile phone! I haven't downloaded it yet, but if you want to get the idea - here's the link. I might have to use this! And if you've ever experienced this you might have to too.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I think about fashion often here. It’s so very different than fashion in the US. But even there it can be odd at times. I’m sure some fashions have changed and I will be surprised and perhaps repulsed whenever I return to find them.

Of course with all the western media available here in Kenya some fashion carries over. Some of that is unfortunate. But probably the most unfortunate part is the mix. Regardless, my drive home one day last week gave me a couple of glimpses of styles that produces very wide grins on my face.

The first I passed was a man in a sort of Outback style safari hat, only it was a print material with animals and other designs on it. The man’s expression was quite serious, but I found him hard to take seriously.

Kenyans generally love bright colors. Some folks say certain tribes are more drawn to bright colors than others. This attraction to ‘bright’ brings me compliments whenever I wear a hot pink blouse to work. Men are not deterred by colors that we might think are gender split. With all this there seems to be a nation-wide love of the color orange lately. There is even a political party and a mobile phone company called Orange. (They are not related to one another.)

Not surprising then to see orange dress shirts on men, but add a lime green tie and wow!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


It’s interesting to think of how acculturated I have become and how much I’m not “African”.

Frank, my Congolese officemate, was lamenting about the slow internet at work the last week. I told him, “Welcome to Kenya, Bwana.” To which he replied, “I’m an American.” This statement was generated from his many years of living in the US. I think I retorted with something like, “And I’m a Kenyan.”

An American friend of mine that lives with a Kenyan family and does a lot more with lower income folks on an everyday basis wrote this blog entry that I could really resonate with.

See what I mean? My list might be a little different but it gives you the idea.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Some Things are Just Too Cute

If you have ever seen the movie Zoolander with Ben Stiller you will appreciate this very cute photo of some friends’ 6-month-old twins, boy and girl.

I laugh out loud every time I look at this photo. But the comment stream sort of make the humor ever better.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

If It Really is “Never Too Late”

Friday last week I was advised this is not the time for me to enroll in Daystar. It’s complicated to explain but it sort of boils down to the fact that my life and position here at Daystar is not quite settled yet.

Needless to say it was a false start for returning to school. But I truly believe it wasn’t without its reasons. I now have a fairly good understanding of how demanding 11 credits can be. It helps me understand scheduling and workload since I need to continue with all my work duties as well. In many ways this gives me a better feel for how to manage in the future. After nearly two weeks of classes I was beginning to wonder if I could hold up under all the demands of this schedule.

My Intro to Philosophy teacher was very sorry to see me go since he was already enjoying my contribution to classes. Since he is a friend I was able to explain why I had to drop the class. He said he looks forward to teaching me next time. I look forward to that as well. He’s truly one of the best teachers here. I will be trying to catch up with students I was starting to befriend just to let them know what happened to me.

So, if it’s really “never too late” to start classes, it will all keep until August semester when I can give it a shot again provided everything is worked out. I told one of the Afrizo gals from the last team that I have to wait until August and she thought that seemed like a long time. But I know it will be here before I know it. In the meantime, if you are inclined to pray for the outcome of my visa status and missionary benefits, I’d greatly appreciate it.