December 9, 2011
I am travelling out of town. Heading for my in-laws’. It will be the first time meeting most of the family members on that side well, since my parents–in law just moved back to shags. Four days I will be away from Nairobi. 12,000 hours I will be gone; away from freedom, electricity and laziness; missing from the only form of livelihood I know; missing from life. I will give up the ghost and rise again 12,000 hours later. I have never been away from Nairobi for more than two days. Not after I finished high school. Even in those two days tops I have never got to the point of missing the relaxing comfort zone of my home or the annoying traffic noise pollution that sort of worries me in its absence. The only thing I ever got to miss was my bed, once when we had gone for a burial in Kisumu and we slept in the bus we travelled in. I slept for an average of seventeen minutes, thanks to a myriad of interruptions from drunks and intoxicated youth staggering ridiculously, looking for empty seats or slots to plummet into, generously whiffing the air with all variety of odours and all.
So I have been told stories, enough to build a perfect replica of Wundanyi, Taita in my mind. I know the sands are light in colour and texture. It’s perfect for growing light foods like maize and a few soft wood trees. I have heard of many monkeys that make life unbearable for humans. They harvest the maize while it’s still so young and destroy acres and acres of plantation. To prevent this one must have as many scarecrows as possible, as well as idle men…ok paid men to kill the stubborn monkeys that don’t get scared away easily.
At first I was excited at the thought of watching the monkeys steal away till I was cautioned that Taita is nothing like City Park. They are not friends with humans in Taita; they battle with humans for survival… And they die.
So without much further ado, let me finish packing my bags now. I have been at war with time beating deadlines to clear debts and update accounts. I tried so hard to type this week’s post and this is the much I could manage. I hope you don’t mark my face and plan to strangle me or throw eggs at me should we cross paths. I will not pack my laptop so don’t look for me online. Where I am going, I hear even the network is rationed hence. Should you wish to call me, please do so very early in the morning and hope that I will not be in the woods fetching firewood or balancing an 18kg Jeri can of river water up stream…if I manage to get the thing past my waist.
I will carry with me a camera and share photos with you, if the monkeys don’t beat me to its ownership. And I will take a before and after photo and when I get back, let’s chat more on what you did that I wouldn’t do and what I did that I can tell. Think * hugging trees, pissing on a trail of ants or pooping behind a bush… Happy holidays y’all and see you in January. If God wills!