I'm Eating Cheese in Kakamega!
First, a huge thanks to Cory for a spectacular political and economic analysis of Hurricane Katrina. I've really been in the dark for the most part about the storm but my heart goes out to everyone affected. Also thanks Lynn for the article about the first Intro to Gay and Lesbian Studies in China. Unfortunately Kenya has not made it that far in its attitudes towards homosexuality; basically it "doesn't exist," just like underwear. Am visiting friends in Kakamega
and Webuye this weekend, then spending Monday in Kisumu doing research for work.
Kenyans English is a bit hard to adjust to sometimes. Last week my neighbor Winnie came to my door and said, "I have your hex." I started getting nervous even though Kalenjins swear up and down that they no longer practice witchcraft. "Sorry?" I said, thinking she was smiling pretty big for someone who was telling me she just put a curse on me. "Hex! Hex!" she said. "You know hex?" I was starting to get really worried, until she pointed to my hens. "I have your hex," she said, meaning my hens had started laying eggs inside the carpenter's shed. "Ah, you mean mayai - eggs," I said. Also, the other day when the rooster came into my room
and for some reason had a field day with my comfortor, my neighbor told me, "Haha! You have a cock in your bed!" And whenever their cat sneaks into my house and the neighbors come looking for him, their 5-year-old boy asks, "Pussy is where?"
A few weeks ago my supervisor and I were traveling to Serem in a barely running, rickety old pickup. As we approached the town, we jolted to a stop. Everyone sat completely emotionless and still, reading their papers or staring out the window, the typical Kenyan reaction to vehicle breakdowns. After about five minutes, the driver turned the vehicle around, put it into reverse, and we drove the rest of the way into town - BACKWARDS. Later my supervisor explained that the truck had run out of gas, and since the way into town was slightly uphill, by going in reverse the driver was able to use gravity to tip the last of the gas into the engine and make it to Serem. Karibu clever Kenyans!
Better run, Rich and I are expected in Webuye for a fajita dinner tonight. I get to eat cheese!