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Showing posts from July, 2020

A Haircut Is a Fair Deal

As a child, Fridays were the best. My father would be coming home after a week or two away on assignment. As a government accountant, he was always diligent for government business wherever they sent him. And for that reason, they found places far and wide to send this tireless civil servant. My father was posted to a town in the outer fringes of civilization, on a hillside town called Maralal, well known for the Maralal International Carmel Derby and the Samburu-a pastoral community of exceptional goat and sheep rearers. I had this romantic notion of Maralal because my father seemed so happy when he came home, always carrying a few goats and a lot of meat. “Edwin, you better finish those greens and Ugali.” “But mom, we eat greens and Ugali every day, I have a heartburn today.” “Boy, you better stuff yourself with that food.” And I would stuff my mouth with Ugali, resentfully obedient. It was 7 pm, and every Friday was Sabbath night. We ganged up against our fervently religio

Diving into Likii River

The holiday season was upon us. Finally, the habitual waking up early, being in class, and feeling retarded was past us, at least for a month. In its place, we young ones could rule our day, play until we ached, and enjoy being young, free and wild.   Instead of walking two kilometres to school, to a class, I disliked and classmates I didn’t fancy. Now I could wake up when I wanted, eat what I wanted and do what I wanted. Well. Not really, but the thought crossed my mind. Breakfast was three slices of bread and creamy milk; from the abundant milk brought to us from a farm, my enterprising father owned and was run by a nomad-at least that what my class texts told me. All the same, I enjoyed being at the farm with its strange smell of dung, unwashed bodies, cattle suited to an arid region, and the Samburu Kraal, which seemed like an odd place for people to dwell. Back to breakfast. At that young age, it was the most important meal of the day, because, after it, the next meal adrena

A Young Boy’s Worldview Changes

I wonder how it feels to give up everything you believe to be true. I know I did. As a young boy, I was told being a doctor was the most wonderful thing. It was the hallmark of success. And so from my mother’s mouth to my ears, the words went, and I became one with the belief. I strove as best as I knew to reach for this dream. My mind painted a nirvana, heaven with doctors flying like cherubs injecting love medication on smiling patient’s butts. Yet every time I went to a hospital, I worked extra hard to get back to that nirvana, since the reality wasn’t as heavenly. To achieve my dream I was told I had to work hard, wake up early, study longer, and be the best in my class. I did all these with a focus that rivaled a jet plane pilot. I always felt a certain kind of high when the next report came in, or when after a long day of studying, I would slump into bed, tired.   That was my reality, and I loved it. My mother a nurse at the district hospital and my father a government accoun