This place is beautiful. The sun is up. Bright. Not hot. And the landscape is all green. The sky is that shade of blue that creates in you a desire you can’t quite explain. And there’s this gentle caressing breeze. I’m on the equator. The very place where a landmark has been set, in Maseno, to show that the equator is crossing. I’m at the carwash. Funny, someone decided to open a souvenir shop and a carwash at the equator. You’re on the northern hemisphere when washing the car but on the southern hemisphere when buying African stuff from the shop.
It has been a busy week. And life isn’t that easy right now. People are sick. Very sick. In and out of hospital. Yesterday morning we lost one to kidney complications. Such a brilliant boy. You see, Joshua wasn’t a guy of average mind. The boys at Moi Forces can attest to that. Nothing further could be done, I guess, since everything possible had been. But God is. He plans and His thoughts are way above ours. And such is life, the gift to share when we can and part when our apportioned time is over.
I’m writing this here next to the shop near the carwash at the equator. LOL. There are these African styled huts with African chairs. The roofs are grass thatched and the huts’ walls are made of bamboo. They aren’t walls per se since they barely reach my waist line. They are strategically placed under a tree which I presume is over 100 years old. The cool calm surrounding is just perfect. Although the silence is occasionally interrupted with the sound of over-speeding trailers from Western Province. Just a couple of metres away, about 50, is the border between Nyanza and Western. But you wouldn’t notice that since the level of intermarriage and interdependence is so high that tribes have lost meaning over here. Well almost. The tribal rifts always arise when the politicians ascend with different ideologies. This region nonetheless customarily votes as one.
The flowers here are bright. Colourful. Mixed. Red, blue, a shade of yellow and bright pink. If I were a scientist I’d name them perfectly. I can’t tell you their scent since I’m quite far from them. They’re on the other side of the shop. Just a metre or so from the imaginary equator. I would want such flowers when I build my home. In fact, I’ve always dreamt of having one of the longest entrance to a palace, my home. With either side having nice trees. And nice flower beds. The flower colours on the right side should match with those on the left. The long strip of trees and flowers will be interspersed with beautiful springs. Fountains. And there will be birds of all kind (I’ll look for as many as I can get) chirping their souls out and drinking fresh water, with bees making honey from the sweet nectar. The trees will form this beautiful arc to the front of the house. The grass will be greener than what you can imagine and the yards will have these splendid rest bays. I’ll definitely consider having the African huts too. The road from the gate wouldn’t be tarmacked. Instead, I’ll have the small fine stones. Finer than normal ‘kokoto’ but not as fine as sand. So that when my car drives in from the gate, the tyres’ contact with the ground will create this unexplainable smooth but rough sound. That sound of arrival. After one walks or drives from the gate, there’ll be this insanely huge roundabout with the universe’ largest, most splendid fountain. One would have to go round it to get their car parked. And I’ve written all that just because I’ve seen these nice flowers over here. There’s a yellow bird landing on the plant now.
There must be a funeral around. Over 100 motorbikes have brought the road to a standstill with their continuous procession. This part of Kenya doesn’t use placards. No. We have sunflowers and twigs for that. The sunflower farmers must have incurred a big loss today as I can see very nearly everyone on the motorcycles’ carrying a big yellow flower. And a motorcycle doesn’t carry one person at such times. They will arrive at their destination and then all the women being carried on the motorbikes will break into tears and tantrums. They’ll wail. They’ll scream and shout. They’ll roll on the grass and cry out the name of the dead. They’ll jump around and rip their lessos. Remove their headgears (vitambaa) and scratch their heads with dust. When the night falls, some popular village DJ will arrive and everyone will dance (weird discos) all night. By the way trust me, these guys have all the tech stuff required of a DJ. Forget the MacBooks story.
Talking of funerals. When I was in Ghana last month, there was a minister, Government Minister, who died. He must have died a couple of weeks before since the funeral was to be on the said weekend. You see how we do it in Kenya when a big guy dies? State funeral and the president attends…? Well in Ghana they take it a tad higher. Just before prime time news at 8pm, there is an announcement on TV. They detail everything on the upcoming funeral. They even say the president, a John somebody will attend. Just after the news the same is repeated. But that didn’t quite get me. What got me shocked were the posters in the streets of Accra. I don’t know why they’d have posters inviting the public to the funeral. Yes, there were posters, big placards, placed strategically near the traffic lights so that as you wade through the traffic jams you can read your invitation to the funeral. It must be very normal there though. But Ghanaians are very good people. And the weather in Accra is good. Though not as sweet as the breeze here. But all their food is peppered! I really had trouble with that. Next time you’re in Ghana make sure you tell your host not to pepper your food if you’re pepper intolerant. See here, the food is very sweet but with pepper…. huh no.
I think I’m done here. Oh and for those wondering how cars are washed in Kenya… it is done manually over here. Soap, hand brush. Inside and out. Scrubbing. It is a tedious job. And the guys get paid 3 dollars approximately. US dollars.
I don’t have an appropriate title for this. I’ll call it “And When I Walk”. So that next time I’m in a bus to Nairobi or on a ferry to the Rusinga Island (surrounded by only water and hills, like in the movies) or on a plane to wherever and I write something with no be-fitting title, I’ll name it “And When I Walk 2”.