Monday, 18 February 2013

Who's your Black Momba?!

Arriving at the Nairobi airport at seven was quite useless as we knew we would not be leaving for another SEVERAL hours. After checking in and weighing everything we, wanting to make the most of our time went to the coffee shop down the street ordering some small pastry and coffee. We are American.

Kim was eating a yummy green lettuce with mango salad(Okay she got the salad I got the pastry, go figure)   when I calmly pointed out that there was a worm presently also eating her bit of mango. She simply said, “Oh” putting that piece aside and continued eating. This is Africa.

Because we were afraid we had exceeded our cargo weight limit, Kim and I decided to wear our heaviest things on the plane, namely our jeans. This might not seem to be a big deal when you are going most places, but when you are going into a 115 degree humid desert…It’s dumb and yet with this decision we would save a whole 2 dollars and hey, a “A penny saved is penny earned.” We are American.

Kim and I waited in the tinny airport to be picked up by a man who said, “He is coming.” I think an average African uses their phrase “he/she is coming” the same way we evangelicals use “Jesus is coming” What we mean is “Could be anytime” What is unsaid is that it might be a loooong time. Then when you ask “How long?” we will most certainly say “Soon," for “Sooner is better than later.” What we both mean is, we want him to come soon and he might come soon and in the light of eternity, let’s be honest, it is soon. This is Africa.

Dying of heat and dripping with sweat we decided after an hour that this Africans "Soon" was just simply not soon enough for our trouserd selves.We are American.

 Being in Northern Kenya whist we waited our next day travel to Sudan, I walked down to the nearest duka (Small store) to buy my last delicious coke before I would be deprived of one for who knows how long in Sudan. Walking back, five young girls (Complete strangers) walked up beside me. One girl said, pointing with her chin, “You give me that soda” I smiled and said “No, way hosay!” She gave me a confused look and told me her name. (guess it wasn't Hosay).Also, for those of you who think this was cruel, not giving away my last coke, if I gave away everything asked of me on my way back I  would be empty handed, five years in debt and fully unclothed...Not kidding.  Anyway, One of the girls put her arm around my shoulder while two others grabbed bits of my hair rubbing it between their fingers as we walked along. We talked in broken English, laughed and talked about each others tribes. This is  something I love about Africa.

Arriving in Nagishot, Kim and I moaned as we looked at what had been stolen by lovely neighbors and what the mice had done to our kitchen and hut’s while we had been gone. Kim and I went to work like Martha Steward at a garden party except this was no garden party. With the occasional “Ehhh!” and sporadic gags our kitchen was on its way to being nice and tightly. We are American

Cleaning my hut was a bit of a challenge (That’s the thing about a mud hut, can't seem to get the dirt out) Just beginning my efforts on my mice ridden room I saw a black snake making itself at home and cozy next to my bed. Looking at the nearest weapon next to me,  a small Swiss pocket knife, I grabbed it with one hand and threw it stabbing the black momba right in the head…Just kidding.

 Not desiring to get so close to the little fella I went outside where I saw two teenage Didinga boys just chilling. I asked if they could help me with a snake problem and the boys literally raced to see who could get there first. After repeatedly hitting the snake on the head with a stick, Lobia held up his now mangled prize, heaving his chest into the sky and saying very James Bodishly “This one is very dangerous.” In moments like these I LOVE manly shivery. This is Africa.

Being quite proud of my presence of mind on the snake business, I finished cleaning my hut making sure there were no brothers or sisters snakes hiding somewhere. Just getting ready for bed suddenly something jumped out at me, I did the most practical thing possible…I screamed and hid only to see the back end of a startled cat running out of my room. Really?!  I’m all calm and cool over a snake and I scream at a startled kitten?!!!

Anyway, thought I'd just give you a bit of my life as an American living in Africa.


  1.! I just laughed so you girl!

  2. I've been thinking a lot about a quote from an NTM orientation paper I read:

    "Becoming incarnate in another culture will be a trial by fire, a test of inner strength, of personal faith, and most of all a test of the veracity of one's love. An individual who is not ready to give up being an American for a time and to begin learning as a child is not ready for the challenge of cross-cultural ministry."

    I'm so thankful that you've been willing to humble yourself and become a learner again. I'm praise God for your desire to put Him ahead of your own comfort. Know that I'm praying for you. I've really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Thank you for sharing some of your life with us.


  3. I always said you were full time entertainment! So thankful you have kept hearing the romantic music in the background:) You've always been a source of joy!You must be pretty sick to have meds flown in...