Tag Archives: football

August 11

Let’s just start from the beginning…

Hot chapati and chai–this day has potential.

Washed the privates–this is going to be a great day.

Then it was off to Sarah’s to see some of the beadwork that she does. I left with four bracelets and one ring. That woman is the epitome of Maya Angelou’s “phenomenal woman.”

It was also a youth day so I spent the morning and afternoon in a meeting with them. I wanted to tell them more about myself and see if they had any questions for me. One boy said that he had heard in the news that gays and lesbians had equal rights in America and was curious if I agreed with that sentiment. I explained that yes I did agree with that and how the culture regarding those individuals was completely different in the States. A part of me thought he was hoping for that answer because he might be gay.  In Kenya, homosexuality is still believed to be a taboo invented by Western nations. I’m still trying to figure out how exactly to approach this situation.

We then went to play some volleyball and of course had to stop when our ball got punctured. I have bought four balls here and literally every one of them has gotten punctured.

Fundi, the repairman, known here as an engineer, is usually able to fix them, but he charges 100 Ksh. We decided to have a snack while we waited, but when we went back two hours later,it still wasn’t done. Oh, and it started pouring so we didn’t even play as a team. It had looked like it was going to rain all day so when Moses asked if we would play, I said “I am down to play as long as the rain doesn’t stop us.” He then looked to the sky and then said, “Me, I think it will rain at 4:00.”  Sure enough, right at 4:00 PM it poured buckets.

It turned out that most of team was there waiting for the ball to be repaired so we ran through the rain for some hot chai. Some of them of course tried to push their luck and order more than one tea, but this mzungu wasn’t having that.

Following tea, I was off to the home of Alpha and his family. They have one of the nicer houses I’ve seen in this area, but it was still very basic. They also built two traditional manyattas for visitors to stay in that were neat to see. Despite the rain, Alpha was all about playing football. I, of course, fell in the mud.

Franco and I walked home after saying our goodbyes and arranging a time to meet for tea and football the following day. Paulo had left before us but we found him at Penina’s family’s home and decided it was best not to interrupt–it may be about time to negotiate a bride price.

On the way home, we stopped to gather the roots of this bush that would be good for our colds. We cut it up and put it to boil and then mixed it with our chai. Man was it bitter…We’ll see if it works.

And with that Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m off to wash my feet and head to bed.

In other news:

  • An elephant was found dead so the Kenya Wildlife Service was all over it. However, if a human is killed by an elephant it takes months to have the case reviewed.
  • Some members of parliament are refusing to pay their taxes even though they were the ones who passed a bill saying everyone must pay taxes. The President has already paid his.
  • Two people came up to Joseph saying, “The white man brings kids to play football and volleyball on our land, he must pay!” Um, about eight of those kids are members of your family. I will not fuel your drinking problem. This frustrated me to no end.
  • Five people were trying to cross the seasonal river on the way out of town and were swept away. They formed a chain and three survived, one was found dead, and another is still missing.
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Day 8 & 9: August 6 & 7

Two of my biggest fears are coming true:

  1. Having cankles and
  2. Being a burden

The last two days have been a lot of fun. I’ve finally figured out what my volunteer work is going to be. As I mentioned I am forming a sort of Youth Union through the churches here. Basically, I’m mobilizing the youth and empowering them and kind of being a mentor.

This past Friday we met and had lunch and we’ve been playing football (soccer) and volleyball ever since. Saturday we met at 11am and played straight until 6 pm, only stopping because the sun was setting and we didn’t want to catch an elephant on the path home. For the most part, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, granted I couldn’t tell what they were saying half the time. I let myself get frustrated at the end of the day and looking back it was really immature. A couple of the boys were being selfish with the ball and I made a few mistakes and no one explained what I did wrong, they just stared. When I mess up, I like to know what I did wrong so that I can correct it.

On Sunday I woke up singing the main song from the Lizzie McGuire movie: “Hey now! Hey now! This is what dreams are made of…” so I thought for sure it was going to be a great day! For the most part, it was. I played some volleyball and football with the boys and have now met the cutest little four year old with the biggest lips and chubbiest cheeks by the name of Dixon. It was also a church day…

Church was packed and it was primarily singing. I had to get up with all the “unmarried” to sing a song, luckily they chose one of two songs I know: Doi Boi Yoki (lyrics to come). I also got to sit with the children which was nice. I had no idea what was being said most of the time, eventually a translator came and sat next to me, but he only translated about every five minutes; I probably missed a lot!

After church I was approached by a highly intoxicated individual who swore he had met me previously. I mean, I know white people are rare in these parts, but I’ve got no idea who you are…

Julius, another man who I supposedly met, bought Franco, myself, and Joseph tea–the drunk man accompanied. After tea we couldn’t decide whether we wanted to play football or attend the crusade (The conference thing I mentioned earlier); thankfully we chose playing football. We made the 45 minute trek home, changed clothes, and made the 45 minute trek to the field. Rather than just me, Paulo, and Franco going, we were accompanied by two younger brothers, Manuel and Joshua, and Dixon, the boy I mentioned earlier.

Football was good, except the field is littered with huge stones and then holes where said stones used to be. Knowing me, I was running and turned my ankle in one of the holes and heard it snap. I knew it hurt, but I did what I did in high school and just kept playing, attempting to walk it off. By the end of the game it had already swelled up pretty bad; I had four ankles for my left foot. We had no choice but walk home.

Dixon was still with us so we stopped by his house and were greeted with the usual tea. In the time that we were there, my entire foot swelled up to my shin to the point where I had to untie my shoe (hence the cankle reference). It came time to leave and I couldn’t walk at all, plus it was raining and dark. Franco held my hand the whole way home and kept saying “Oiy! Sorry Sam!” The trek home took a lot longer than usual for obvious reasons. Once home I was greeted by everyone. Franco, then, took off my shoe and sock, boiled steaming hot water and massaged my foot.

“Ay Sam! We can no longer look at your leg! We fear it!” Uh, okay.

“Tomorrow we go to Hospital!” They exclaimed.

“Uh, why don’t we just wait to see if it gets better by itself?”

“You Americans, we have noticed that you fear nothing.”

Well, that’s where they’re wrong. The whole reason I didn’t want to go to the hospital was because I feared going in with a minor injury and coming out with something a lot worse!

I had a bunch of 800 mg ibprofen left over from when I got stitches so luckily I thought to bring that. By morning it was still very swollen, but had begun to bruise which I think was a good sign.

I’ll be sitting out on soccer for a few days as well as treks around the bush…

Heal! Heal! Heal!


Sam G

I absolutely dig adventure and travel!

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Verbal tantrums of a writer & an anxious spectator of life.

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