29 Jan 2008

I Wept For My Country

Last night was one of those nights when i have deadlines to beat and the only way to beat them is to work really late. Anyway, by midnight, i was done but my internet was misbehaving. After i finished the last article, i was only too happy to get into bed. Bad habit i have acquired when DVP is not around...watch TV till i fell asleep. Last night however, not even the House MD could lure me to sleep. When that happens, I try watching CNN. Take it from me, at 2 am , the last thing you want to hear is how the Kennedy Family have endorsed Obama blah blah. I tossed and turned until I gave up. I was disturbed. Not only by the fact that Lars (DVP) is stuck in Baringo, but by what is going on in my country. It been over a month now since we went into elections and a month of unrest in a country that boasts to be the epitome of peace in Africa. I sat up in bed, thinking of how hot I was and I made to open the window. It was drizzling outside and the breeze has never been more welcome at that time of the night. Then it hit me - I had the option to open the window or close it to suit my needs. There were, however, some of my countrymen and women in makeshift shelters in open areas who did not have that same pleasure. Not because they did not once have that option, but because what they once knew as home was a pile of ashes. I thought about a woman who had been on TV with her less than one week old baby. From the back of my eyes, tears welled up - and stung. It was a painful thought and equally painful tears. And when the breeze turned into a squall, i chose not to close the window. I wanted to feel the cold. I wanted to not have the option of closing out the cold and snuggling deep into my covers. I came () this close to walking outside and standing in the rain. But i figured that if i caught pneumonia and died, I would not have helped that much. It's not that I was seeking to help, I was seeking 'kinship' by putting myself in the same 'shoes' as the people in Jamhuri Park.

I wanted to feel what they were feeling, experience the anguish of being displaced, and though I could not get to the level of frustration at not being able to have a place to call home anymore, I could, at least teach my mind something. I could engrave in my mind's memory the feeling of that night, the cold in my bones, the feeling of not belonging would so deeply etched, that the next time I looked at any person who was not from my tribe, I would remember that night and think twice before I spoke or acted. I would remember that on that rainy cold night, no tribe was immune to the chills and the fear of uncertainty.

Note: (18th Feb)

I drifted off to sleep bundled up on my bed with no covers and my window open. When I woke up in the morning, I had a cold, that lasted 2 weeks. and you can be assures that in those two weeks, I was more cautious on what I said about people of other tribes, I was more cautious on how I related to others. And I still I'm and I guess that was the best humanity class I will ever attend.

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