Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Typical Day?

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savour you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want, more than all the world, your return. ~Mary Jean Irion

In one of my first blog posts, if I recall correctly, I included a short bit about what a typical day was for me. A lot of things have changed since that post so I think it's about time for an update on what a typical day for me looks like.

Now lets begin by saying that there is no such thing as a typical day. If there is no such thing as a typical day, then how does one describe a typical day? Well right now the school is still on holiday which means that a typical day during the school holiday is different from a typical day during the school term.
Note: In Kenya the schools are closed during the months of April, August, and December. The school term lasts 3 months and one month for holiday.

Well during the days of school holiday, a typical day looks like this:

Wake up casually at any given time and spend the day walking around town. Usually I will have discussions with people I've met - such as students from any of the given post-secondary institutions in town, shop owners, community development workers (i.e. NGO workers), etc. I also tend to end up meeting new people and having talks with them also.

Typically, the conversations include information about what I'm doing in Kenya, where I come from, how I learned Kiswahili, etc. The subjects of the conversations tend to vary from person to person. Sometimes we will discuss HIV/AIDS and prevention methods, other times we will discuss perceived problems in the community and what can be done to solve the perceived problems.

No matter who I talk to or where I go, I almost always walk (sometimes I will take a matatu if I'm traveling far). My walks around town are by far the most typical thing.
In my walking, I typically see many things which may be considered abnormal back home.
A lot of roads in town are not paved so I tend to walk on sand and dirt while walking from one place to the next. (I wear sandals every day :D )
Typically, I will see herds of sheep resting around town. Sometimes there will be may be 6 or 7 sheep resting in the shade underneath a broken down truck. At other times, there will 2 or 3 sheep on the road (occasionally in the center) not going anywhere.
Also, typically they there are storks to be seen. The storks around here are quite large birds - in fact I've seen some that are as tall as me. On occasion the storks can be seen flocking together near an intersection on my way to work. At other times, the storks can be seen flying around a bit or they will be in the trees enjoying the cool breeze.

Typically there will also be herds of goats (and/or sheep) that will walk around town. Sometimes the herd will be lead by a kijana (young person), sometimes the heard will apear to be walking as if they are not being lead by anyone. Sometimes the herd of goats will cause a brief traffic slowdown which will result in loud horns being honked, and on occasion a goat will be (gently) tapped by a vehicle as a signal to get "off the road".
Typically there will also see a few donkeys near the end of town.

I will also typically see some dead animals or at least parts of dead animals as I walk. For instance, I tend to walk by at least one piece of a goat's leg almost daily (though the location where it may be can vary). On a few other occasions I've also seen the skeletons of goats and small birds in the particularly sandy parts of town as I walk.

However, considering that there is no such thing as a typical day, what I see and who I talk to on each day varies with each new day. Each time the planet spins and brings about sunlight once more, a new day begins and each new day brings new adventures, new friends, and new insights.

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