Mama Chameleon

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mama gets real


I have taken you on a couple of safaris to my heartland Kenya, and I will continue to do so, because I love it.
I long to go back and visit all my cherished spots, as well as those exclusive places I couldn't afford to go to as a child.

But I have been remiss.
In the sixteen years I've been away, I have forgotten. I have gotten comfortable and complacent. What I once would have considered a luxury, I now demand.

I pour money into unnecessary 'have to haves' .

I lie on the couch at night watching TV, forgetting my childhood of playing cards with my family and having to use my imagination.

I complain about the heat, though we now have to airconditioners.

I take days to fold my laundry, though I own a dryer.

I groan about my kitchen, though I now have a dishwasher.

I complain about having to cook, though a tasty meal is only a jar and five minutes in a microwave away.

I have forgotten the constant blackouts, losing all that we hadn't saved on the computer. I have forgotten the common occurence of flour, milk, sugar or bread shortages where we had to line up for rations.
I have forgotten having to have broken glass cemented into the high wall surrounding our compound;the nightwatchment with all his weapons ,and the ferocious dogs, all to protect us from thievery.
I have forgotten Dad having to manually empty our waste from the toilet bucket every day when we lived up north.

I have forgotten, though I never even really knew. Not firsthand.
I never knew what it is to wake up in one room (the size of our bathroom) where 10 people sleep. To transform that room into a kitchen for making breakfast, and then into a dining room to eat it, and finally into a living area till it is time for bed again.
To not have a toilet. No running water. No electricity. And just outside, a filthy sewer trickles past for ambience.






And neighbors. Which ones? Take your pick from thousands.
I am not inventing this scenario. This is where and how an old friend Frieda still lives with her family.

Now I know I can't change all this by abandoning the luxuries I have already accumulated.


But it should shut me up for a while for starters. It should make me thankful, and sharing, and careful of abusing the abundant resources at my fingertips.
Why did I have this rant today? A fellow classmate's blog gave me plenty to mull over:
http://www.africanwanderings.com/ And then I discovered another classmate's brilliant idea for helping to get Africans interacting, networking and progressing with technology: http://whiteafrican.com/?p=193
Check these links out. they are from the heart of adults who grew up in Africa, but who are torn and want to make a differencewith the unique perspective they have of being third culture kids . If you are curious as to what this means, ask them. and leave comments. You know as fellow bloggers they are our daily bread (online!!)


Mama will be cheerful again tomorrow. Have a great day, and count your own blessings! =)







Posted by michelle :: 8:52 am :: 10 comments links to this post

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