Sunday, February 03, 2008

A story from Kenya

Yesterday I linked to Ben Byerly's new blog.

Here's a remarkable story from a Kenyan colleague of his that illustrates some interesting dynamics of the situation in Kenya:


I would like to briefly share with you my own personal experience during these troubling times in Kenya. Just before Christmas, I traveled in the company of my wife and two children to visit my mother who lives in our home in Lugari, Western Kenya. This is the place I was born and brought up.

During this visit, I could sense the high political and tribal tensions and feared that it could explode if things went wrong during the elections. Lugari is largely inhabited by the Luhya community and are immediate neighbors to the Kalenjin in the close by North Rift Valley Region. Even though I am ethnically Kikuyu, I grew up in this neighborhood, speaking Luhya and Kalenjin-only learning the Kikuyu language at university!

Only a day after the elePublish Postction results were announced, I learnt that my mother's home was looted and burnt. This action was largely because she is Kikuyu. Last week, we moved our mother back to her 'rebuilt' home. Her neighbors pooled together resources and rebuilt her main house. My siblings and I have sent in non-food item and neighbors have been giving her food.Then, last week I learnt of the most amazing thing. When the raiders attacked my mother's home, they took away all her cows, sheep and assorted household items. Late last week they returned them all! At 77 years, my mother is now overwhelmed by the kindness of the people she has lived with for 42 years. On a phone call to her this morning she told me that she wants to live the rest of her life with them and express her gratitude to this community where love and sacrifice for each others sake has always been the way of life.

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