after 34 years, i’ve set foot on the original motherland, kenya. and it’s a little surreal. barely in the 80s. not as hot as i was expecting. especially after hearing my new motherland is buried under a foot of snow & single digit temps. (cue evil laugh if i was truly an evil person. but i’m not, so i won’t.) also wasn’t expecting the indian-infused food. with the chopatis & mung dhar (lentils). unfortunately, the samosas & pulau rice have beef in them. the veggie in me isn’t happy. at all. but walking into the kitchen at the guesthouse smells like my mother’s kitchen. it is dustier here than i expected. giving me a stuffy nose & multi-colored snot. but i digress from my purpose of being here.
the photography workshop!!!
42 students & 4 teachers learned how to photograph their school, the people living near their school, the land & themselves. it was magical. some are ridiculously amazing photographers in the making. others are sweet in discovering a new skill. and one student made the whole process a worthwhile.
jane didn’t want to take a self-portrait. with literal tears in her eyes, she said she was not beautiful, too ugly to take a picture of. we worked with her to show her when she does things she enjoys, she is beautiful. including when she photographs herself. the lesson ended without knowing if she really got the lesson. the next day, jane wrote a caption for her self-portrait. said she had three big sisters who told her to be courageous & that she was beautiful just the way she was. guess she got the lesson.
walking through a slum is always interesting. a man, pushing his 9 month old baby on a bike, saw me & said DO YOU WANT IT? my response was HUH? again DO YOU WANT IT? did he mean the bike or the baby? or was it more of a 2-for-1 sale? either way, the answer was NO & kept walking. saw him again later that day. with just the baby. no bike. he saw me, hitched the baby higher & brightened his eyes at me. guess he found a taker for the bike. and still looking for one for the baby.
hard to believe, but only half my time in kenya is done. now it’s time for the animals, the maasai & the big, grand african pastures. stay tuned!
sawhili word for the day…githeri, a stew made of beans & maize. i went to a food stand with two students. the woman there was cooking a covered pot over an open fire. i asked what was inside. GITHERI. had to ask for a repeat of the word. twice.* mainly cause githeri in gujarati (the language of my brown people) is a female donkey. wanted to know if she was offering me donkey meat. which would explain why the pot was covered.
*to explain my suspicious nature, please reference the aforementioned note of the similarity btwn indian & kenyan cuisines.