A pick into my head

Everyone is in a rush, behind me a group of first ten are waiting to cross with many more behind them. Ahead on the other side of the river they look at me with anger wishing they could just do away with me. There I was at the middle of the bridge, paralysed with fear. 

The two logs of wood that acted as the bridge were starting to get wet from the splashing of water  from the torrential river below. My hand could not let go the two ropes on both sides, I stood still a mid shouts and cries of ‘stupid woman, get off so that we can go home, or jump into the river and die, die,,,,die’

We had received information that it had rained cats and dogs up in the highlands and soon the river would be filled making it difficult for any one to cross. This happens because the bridge gets wet and very slippery, many have died trying to cross during this times. Or it is sometimes swept away.

Everyone was in a hurry trying to get home before it gets more dangerous.  And since the bridge can only accommodate one way traffic two village elders from both sides of the river had come to help control the crossing. A group of ten from both side would cross in turns. 

I stood still and watched as the man who was helping me across try unsuccessfully to swim out of the river. He had accidentally slipped and fell in. Not knowing what to do the man behind me, the village drunk, kicked me with his foot, I ran through the bridge and fell on the other side of the river to the cheering of the crowd. The village drunk had become a hero.

I lay there for a minute in disbelief of what had just happenned. Just when I was getting the hang of it, I felt a sharp pain in my mid finger. Though coming from a small bite mark on the tip of my mid finger the pain was excruciating. I screamed and ran around like a mad woman but no one paid attention, they were still annoyed with me, or busy getting away from the soon to be flooded river.

Up the river bank somewhere, a nice old lady asked to inspect my finger which had started swelling. Soon the the rest of the hand up to to the wrist joined in. The lady after inspection took out a piece of aloe vera herb from her bag and started applying all over my hand. Aloe vera is my wonder drug, I always have it somewhere. Right now there is a piece in my fridge that I got from my aunt’s, my dust bin is filled with used pieces of it and out in my flower bed there’s one planted. I use it on my face, cuts and wounds and once in a while a drink aloe juice to cleanse my system.

But this aloe was a little bit strange, coming out of the leaf it was not mucury and colourless as usual but whitish and smooth spread like jelly. She had actually mixed it with petroleum jelly, who does that! She told me I had been bitten by a small but dangerous maroon coloured insect. The kind that when they find their way into concrete they can bring down a building. 

The swelling continued despite the fact that the whole hand was covered in aloe-jelly. It looked like Mr Halk’s hand- one of the avengers, but the pain had reduced. Then the swells started bursting, I watched in horror as the skin got loose all around the fingers, the palm and around the wrist. Then like a glove it cut off around the wrist. The old lady carefully pulled it out.

There a new brand hand was, soft and beautiful. But it was not for keeps. 

I woke up from my sleep. 

I should stop watching Japanese ninja movies, they are corrupting my head.

I smiled at myself, my head was trying to wake me, it was time to use the bathroom. I appreciate a lot because in my childhood this bringing me back to consciousness was in vain and every night I ended up doing it in my sleep right there on my bed.

Am always woken up by different dreams depending on how tired I am or how heavily asleep I am. They start like nice beautiful dreams with me and family at home and evolve into scary and horrifying ones if I resist the first call. The most horrifying if them end with snakes in them.

I remember this one night after working the whole day in the hot sun a snake crept into my dream. This particular one jumped towards me in order to bite me. I held it with my left arm and squeezed life out of its head. That’s how tired I was that I could not let a snake mess with my sleep. 

The horror of having killed a snake with my bare arm woke me up,,,I think!!!!! I had to run to the bathroom coz it was almost out.

I love how my head, mind, brain, nerves or whatever it is works. It’s too complex to comprehend. But I love the dreaming part.

I leave the rest to the Neuro Scientist Doctor Pierce the main actor in the TV series – Perception.

The little boy in Usenge

Sad story alert!!!!
About a little boy in Usenge

He’s six months I think

Nope, two years affirmed

Never makes eye contact

Always outside, moving in a strange way

Pulls both legs forward, hands on ground as support

Never said a word, nor taken a step

Only sound made is a cry for help

It broke my heart

So I picked him up

Embraced and fed him

Twice he peed and pooped on me

But I cleaned and rocked him to sleep

In the house he dislikes

Slept souldly outside on the soil

Prefers mother earth

Was born prematurely

By a single mum of two

Seventeen years of age

Retails fish for a living

He stays home alone most times

It broke my heart to leave him

But promised myself to find help 

Journey to Nyanza (Nairobi-Usenge)

Ten minutes past nine, ….fifteen,….. thirty then the long awaited nine fouty- five o’clock, the time at which our bus was to pull out of the bus station and start the long journey to Usenge. The Easy Coach crew was  still loading and helping with the boarding of the 9:15 buses.The passengers booked in the 9:45 pm bus.. as it was announced would  instead use the 10:15 bus. But it was 5 minutes to eleven that we left the packing bay, approximately one hour after the time that we were supposed to, that was disappointing for such a big company with over 600 buses.

Immediately the lights were switched off I was off to slumber land, woke up shortly in Nakuru stop over to use the bathroom and slept again all the way to Kisumu city  where I was half awake due to the noises made by the passengers getting off. After some time we were in Bondo the main town before Usenge, I was fully awake then because it was  morning already, around 7:30 am. 

We were about six passengers in the bus. The turn boy came to have a chatt with us.” Where in Usenge are you ladies going?.” He asked.                                      We had no idea, so we looked at each other and laughed.                                          ” You mean you do not know your home?, you are the kind that get lost in Nairobi city and forget where you came from?  He sad that looking at my friend who is fairly dark skinned, a big percentage of people in Nyanza are dark skinned (Mr. Obama Senior and Lupita Nyongo an Oscar award winner, are from this community).                                             ” Yes, am taking her back home, she’s a very bad girl” I said, and we laughed some more.                                                  “But you dont look like Luos”. He concluded after thinking for a while.     He then moved to the front seats.

Any time we got close to a town center he would ask aloud, ” Who knows there home ………” He would then mention the different centers along the highway, all the while looking back at us, then say. “Leave those ‘zuzus’ alone, they don’t know where they are going”. We played nice, we were in no position to do other wise.

We had been instructed to alight at the Easy coach booking office in Usenge, from there we would receive further instructions, and thats what we did.

The scenery was beautiful to behold,,, green vegetation in a fairly flat terrain with a cone shaped hill here and there. Then we saw it, the blue mass of water stretching into the horizon, Lake Victoria.  

Shortly after out arrival we got two boda boda riders who were told through the phone where to drop us. I got exited when I saw us taking the direction towards the lake. And to my great happiness we stoped about 200m form the lake. Am gonna be spending my weekend at the shows of lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in Africa after Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. 


Savor-Night Runners

A taste of the night running.

If you spent a night in rural Western Kenya and Nyanza, then you definitely know what I am talking about. If not, maybe you heard them but didn’t know what was going on. 

Its in the middle of the night and the lamps are out, suddenly the quietness of the night is disrupted by a knock on the door. Then the flow of sand on the roof, the roof being hit by a small piece of wood or swept across by leafy branch of a tree. Then it’s rubbed across the highs and lows of the iron sheet making some funny sounds. sometimes you even hear the sound of someone passing wind.. Yes loudly.  Burrrr.

And the sound of soneone running around the house, again and again. Night running.

That’s the art and craft of the night runners. We grew up scared of then especially when we visited my granny in the village. The one in our village was popularly known as Joram Khalosi (Joram the night runner). Am not sure whether he was real or just a made up scare name for kids. But there were night runners that disturbed our peacefull sleeps on some nights.

 My friend tells me that in her rural home a night runner would come to a home, get the biggest of the bulls and ride on it to another village and back. He would train it to love him and hate the owner to the point that it would kick the owner any time it saw him. 

In my village, it was rumoured that they trained leopards to accompany them in the night running business. We would here footsteps of four legged animals on the roofs, maybe they were cats- leopard or the domesticated kind, not sure which one.

Its not really something they do out of choice but its some kind of inherited imperfection or witchcraft. They are involuntarily forced to run in the night- like a neuro disease of some kind.  It was rumoured that a man started night running after being transfused with blood, probably harvested  from a night runner.

We did not have much of the bed time stories like in the western worlds, but I remember as telling an re-telling the story of the night runners almost every evening when in the village. The wife of the NR as in the story would be left at home cooking ground nuts. She was supposed to be very careful not to burn any because that would mean that the husband will or has been caught. Huge responsibility. Right. Be careful who you marry. 

So how do we catch a NR. It is said that it is very difficult to catch one. First, if you were to lay a trap for them ensure not to go into the kitchen the whole day, because they can smell smoke from a far. Still yet you need to eat leftovers from the previous night only and you must dress like them. nude. crazy stuff. I think the night runners themselves came up with the story to ensure that they continue with their business unstoppable. Who in their clear mind would go out nude in the darkness so as to catch a NR!!!!

Last year or so some of them came out and had formed a group that asked the Athletic Kenya to recognize night running as a sport. Technically it is a sport for it involves running, the only difference is that it is done in the night and when one is completely naked. 

I thought I should savor you guys with some night running story.

Only in Western Kenya

Moxie Moxie

Change of plans

We’ll travel back on Tuesday night
Not Monday as we had planned
Not happy cuz I wasn’t consulted
Had plans of my own, now thwarted
Have to stay coz am the chaperone
They are in love
Wanna spend one more day together
Will find a way to have fun
Though just bitten by a flee
I am 
determined to stay happy
Enjoy the trip all together
Learn a bit of the language as well
Moxie moxie

Journey to Nyanza (Kibwezi- Nairobi)

Thee Friday is here. Our journey was to begin at midday, so I slept till late morning to reduce on the waiting time, but still I had a lot of free time because she was running late. So I watched furious 7 for the tenth time, still yet she was not ready. And since it was not my safari to begin with I didn’t wanna rush her. I decided to watch Coupled, a real TV show. I don’t usually do real TV coz everything about them is real, the heartbreaks, deaths, fights etc, my life is reality enough, don’t wanna add others to it. I enjoy entertainment that ends with happily ever after, where the bad guy loses and the good guy wins. But there’s always a first time to everything.

I was really enjoying the show that I kinda felt unhappy when she called at 2:00pm. When we boarded the shuttle I was in no mood for chit chat. Worse still the driver was playing the kind of music that I do not listen to. So I got out my flash disk and gave it to the turn boy. “Please play Diamond, wanna listen to some Bongo”

Instantly my spirits were lifted, I almost started dancing. Its gonna be the best four hour ride to Nairobi since the disk got almost 100 songs from my favorite East Africa musicians.

When the first song played the guy seated next to the driver looked back at me, in recognizing him I smiled back. He’s the owner of the the only supermarket in our small town. There is this one time while I was shopping, a song refixed on Coke Studio played on his stereo, I lost my self for a second and started dancing to the embarrassment of my son. ‘Mum stop, my schoolmates are watching’. … my bad. 

The journey was queit and smooth except for the traffic caused by trucks which outnumber other vehicles by two to one. Mombasa road is the main road that links Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya to Mombasa the main port in East and Central Africa. Most of the trucks are actually ferrying goods to as far as Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. They make our journeys slower considering the topography from Mombasa at sea level to Nairobi at 1700m above sea level is a climb all the way and mark you they are fully loaded. 

I thought with the introduction of Standards Gauge Railway transport which started its operation in June this year, they would be faced off or at least reduced to a minimum. They are the reason why our highways don’t last as long as they should.

About 20kms to Nairobi town the driver asked us to get into another vehicle, a town service mini bus. We were only three passengers and it was not economical for him to go all the way to town, he would take the northern by-pass to Thika town.

The music in my flash disk was still playing, the song after the one playing is one that I love very much, I had been waiting for it all journey. But we had to move, and we did. 

Afew minutes later we were in the Nairobi CBD, as I was alighting the turn boy called out.’pls hurry up mama’. Thank heavens I accepted to be called that two years ago or else I would have asked him if I was his mother. I guess it was the long ‘dera’ a dress mostly worn by Somali women that made me look like a mama. Or maybe I look and act motherly. Whatever the case I smiled at him and said thankyou.

We were really fortunate to get seats on the Easy coach one of the best bus companies in Kenya since most people from the country side travel home on Fridays to spend weekends with family. And so most buses are usually fully booked. We sat at the waiting area waiting on a call for us to board our bus at ….as the receipt said would depart at 9:45 the time was 9:05. Just 40 minutes of waiting. Good.  

Then we would take the long journey to Usenge…….

She found him, the old way

Looks like theres always a celebration of some kind on every Sunday. My aunt, my favorite of them all ensures that she’s made enough food to feed her family, extended family (where I come in) and the many friends and passersbys who always find some way to visit on Sundays. She’s one in a million. 

But this Sunday was kinda particular, she asked me to go early to her place to help with the cooking after which we would go for christian worship. The celebration would begin in the afternoon. Everyone was quiet about who the visitors were, and l didn’t bother asking since I would be there to see them.

About 2pm a white toyota station wagon pulled into the compound, in it three passengers. Two were familiar faces but one wasn’t. Then I got it, my cousin ( not blood related but she’s been in the family like forever) was having her “man friend” visit, to get to know her family.   

It was also the first time she would set eyes on him. He had travelled all the way from Nyanza about 700kms. A common friend of theirs had hooked them up and for the few weeks they had communicated over the phone. This visit/first time meeting shows a step forward into their relationship. 

Interesting, isn’t? A friend informs you that he has a friend whom he feels would be good for you, he has said the same things to the other friend of his. He provides the phone numbers and there, a phone rings and niceties  are exchanged. One simple scary call turns to late night chatts and calls. Then a visit, a month after the first call!!!!!!

From the look of things, she’s fallen for him and him for her. I’ll be taking a long journey to Nyanza on Friday escorting her to visit his home and family. Now I am in the mix, but I kinda feel its crazy. All in all, I am happy for her. Its a huge responsibility on my part, since there are things she’s hasent been comfy asking and I’ll be the one to raise them ,,,you know as the wing man(wo).

I don’t think this kind of thing is for me, but looking at the way I haven’t been successful in the modern way of finding him, maybe I should ask fo help. Weird as it may sound am open to new or old ways, all I want is to find love.