Monday, June 13, 2011

..In memory of Chowder..

Hey lay there..motionless. He had been dead for about 4 hours. Rigidity had already set in. Brave soldier. Chowder. His last few days, I wouldn’t wish on anyone. From peeing blood to having both your legs broken and ran on ‘em. I took one last look and went inside the house to break the news to everyone. “Chowder, is dead”, I said, almost not believing it. I wish it wasn’t true. “At least he wont pee on the curtains again, huh?”, I tried to joke..but no one was laughing. Chowder, our cat had gone to cat heaven.

He had been sick these last couple of days, the sickness didn’t get him. But the dogs did. Lancelot and his gang. By the time I got to them, chowder was already down, hissing madly. He saw his opportunity and fled only to return in the morning. I knew defiantly that his fore paws are not supposed to bend that way. He was a fighter, he was. Two broken legs. And he walked on them until he got into the house…and just collapsed. He didn’t eat, he didn’t do anything. Good bye Chowder.

“I want to be a Judge”, he said through cracked lips and a hearty smile. Somehow, I could picture Maura in that ridiculous judge outfit passing sentences and hitting the gavel. Meet Maura, ten years old, and up until four years ago, one of the many children at the Vumilia (Swahili for ‘perseverance’) camp for the internally displaced, in Mahi Mahiu. Like many children there, he doesn’t understand why he can’t go back home and play with his friends and stay up to dusk chasing tires and hunting pigeons.

His eyes are full of hope in a sea of hopelessness. His heart, bigger than any other. We visited his home a few days ago and help built permanent housing for the IDPs. Thanks to the valiant efforts of Habitat for Humanity, we were able to set up foundations of 10 houses. Not an easy task! Not trying to create a holier than thou persona here folks, just trying to stir passion in you guys and open your eyes to the plight of the many suffering in IDP camps now scattered all over Kenya. The men are full of despair, but they hide it in boisterous conversation with us. The little crops they planted, maize mainly, now lay dry in the fields, the rains came to late, and now, they are good for just cow feed. Which is a twisted joke, because they don’t have the cows to feed. The women tend to the young ones and try to their best to have something for them to eat. At times, they go hungry.

Nick and Jenn. They got married like two weeks ago, and boy, did we have fun at the wedding. Jenn’s Dad, Dr. Prather, is just crazy. Mid way during the traditional father-daughter dance, they put a mix of hip hop, to jazz to country to pop…with dance moves to boot..and just left us guys laughing. We wish you all the happiness. You guys deserve it.

Eleven. One-one. Kumi na moja. Yes folks, eleven, that’s the number of children I am intending to have….but I scaled it down to eight kids when I had the opportunity to baby sit my adorably lovable hyperactive  seven month old niece. I absolutely don’t know anything about kids. And the few hours I was left with her ratified this. Even when she was asleep, I felt I had done something wrong. Was she sleeping correctly, was the pillow to fluffy or should she be holding her stuffed elephant with her right hand coz she is a righty or to the left to improve her coordination. But one thing, when she was fast asleep, and he little fists curled up, and occasionally, her toothless grin, that was amazingly cute, there’s nothing as precious as children. Not going to cry…not going to cry…monster trucks..phew that was close.

So a thousand plus hits later and a few stories later, errant photographer is giving you guys mad love. Thank you all for following my blog, your creative criticism and general support. Thanks. Many of you don’t know this, but my other name is actually ‘Juma’, but I decided to drop it, it doesn’t go down well with my beard. Enough said. Don’t wany to get a cavity search next time am in the airport..get my drift :-]

Only three weeks and my brother is getting hitched. Congrats bro. my aunties are still on my case, asking why I’d prefer my baby..the hummer..than getting out there and get me a girl. How can I leave the hummer!! Yes she has abandonment issues and occasional mood swings to next Tuesday, but which girl doesn’t. It’s me and you to the end baby. Hey, sorry for taking a while to blog, been caught up with work, speaking of, soon, watch this space. Errant photographer out.