Only in Kenya…
Will everybody wake up completely stressed and hate the mornings …
… Having spent the previous day, busy doing nothing relevant at a place all call “Job“, you come home tired and sleepy and more to it, Wanjiku your ever so patient housewife, (harboring 8 children without your support) is a meal of stress with no stew to go with.
You spend a partially sleepless night, since Njoroge your last born (whom you and Wanjiku have in the many Memorandums of Associations have resorted to sharing the bed with as a cheap and almost very effective way of family planning), caught up in his dreams pees on the bed. You’re pissed, but as the old saying goes, a baby’s pee is like anointing oil, you forcefully drift off to sleep amidst the stench.
You are sooner than expected awoken by Wanjiku’s ever so emphatic growls (one sounding like the dragging of a heavy wooden chair on a wooden floor), which you’re supposed to believe is snore, for a third time. As usual, you pinch her thigh so hard, that she wakes up, and before she comprehends, and orientates on what just happened, you have gracefully taken over where she left off in her snores…
Soon, the cocks crow. You ignore, forcing yourself to believe that it’s one of those dreams which always seem too real. No sooner have you drifted off to slumber, than the alarm clock begins to chime***Or what is that sound called?***. It is so loud and croaky f course due to the recycling (where when anybody, well into the journey of civilization would have disposed the batteries/cells, what you do is hang them in the sun, at the top of the roof, to recharge them) of the batteries. it is 5 a.m
Wanjiku jumps out of the bed faster than a bullet, and in the diving process yanking off the blanket with her , uncovering both Njoroge and you. She only remembers to cover Njoroge and runs off to the kitchen to prepare for the day. You angrily struggle to pull the blanket to your side, in the process waking Njoroge, who only knows screaming out loud as the only way to alert of his arise. Your efforts to shush him hit the wall, and “Wanjiku!! come and pick this baby!!” is what is heard from you. She takes her sweet time. Or rather, did she really hear you??
After half an hour, Wanjiku comes and noisily suckles the baby quiet. You are again woken after forcefully drifting amidst the baby cries. Annoyed and resigned, you get up to prepare to go to work.
Your waist down is urine wet, and in no time, your nostrils are already used to the stench, which is now a natural mark that you’re alive and well, and that your son is alive. You rush behind the house to urinate- of course there is no need for a toilet, since there’s a large garden, where people can defecate and of course anybody can urinate anywhere, all in the name of fertilizing the lands using manure.
Wanjiku as some of her duties, has brewed tea, and left water heating, for you in the kitchen (a small, round, mud houselet made outside the main house. In, it, all food is made and taken to the main house. It will also work as a storage for fork-jembes, rakes, hoes, and all other garden tools, firewood, large sacs of food from the garden, and pests of course). You rush into the kitchen holding a metal
karai basin, and the first thing that hits you is the smoke from the wet logs that are burning slooowly. After fighting to open you eyes in the foggy mist of smoke, you get your hot water and are headed for the bathroom.
The bathroom is a tiny mud room, with nothing for a roof, and an old worn out sisal sac for a door ***in this case you can actually communicate with anyone outside the at the compound as you shower, without even trying hard, since your shoulders up is exposed***. I think this is a good explanation why many will not shower while it rains, and in the night.
It’s a nice feeling, cleaning yourself with a so-old-till-fluffy piece of nylon sac, and an a so-small-till-almost-imaginary Rexona soap.
Soon you’re seated at the table, in the main house, sipping a cup of hot white tea, and with it a meal of yams, cassava, arrowroots, sweet potatoes, bananas and Irish potatoes boiled together. ***During harsh times, all these are replaced with last night’s remains of Ugali (Pie made from corn flour stirred in boiling water until cooked).
As you head out of the house, you are saved from falling to the ground by the door frames, which you enigmatically hold onto as you skid on the floor. Annoyed, you wish you had a cemented floor, as this would stop everybody from pouring the remains of fluids, of whatever viscosity -be it tea, porridge, milk, water… – on the earthen floor. Due to this, the house floor is almost always dump and slippery.
Soon you’re out of the compound and off to work, as a primary school teacher, at a school 6 Km away from home. you have to do the walk, unless the headman, a sole owner of a motorcycle in the village, and whom you have successfully befriended (by doing him favors like giving him 10% of whatever it is you harvest from your garden) catches up with you on his way to his office, located close to the school. It is 7:30 a.m and you’re happy most of your morning is gone.
This is in the village. If it were in the town, this would have been a completely different story…
A. O. B
Kenyans in dire effort to use hot water….
Should Kenya unblock it’s borders to Somali, for at least the aide trucks to get through to Somali??…