Tuesday, July 29, 2008

i had to say it...

things i miss.

now i know what you might be thinking...why think about things that i miss? well...there's a few reasons...the first one being i'm sitting in an office in a small village outside of mombasa with nothing to do (but thats another story), and the 2nd is that now's the normal time to be missing stuff...not 4 months from now...or even a month from now...and its true...when you go from a place like Canada to a place like Kenya...its impossible not to think about Canada...(and maybe today i'm feeling a little homesick)....so here goes...

1) People - this goes without saying...first and foremost my family and friends...but all of your faces are engrained in my mind
2) clean air - i think this experience is gonna take about 3-4 years of life away from my lungs...there are wierd smells everywhere...some of which i don't want to know the source
3) going out after dark - its like that movie "I am legend". you have to be indoors after dark (which comes at like 7pm)...whaddya mean i can't walk down the street at 8:30pm??
4) sense of security - all around i see fences, and barbed wire and electrical wire and gates and guards and big dogs...i can't help but ponder the quality of life when you have to put up all these barriers...
5) not having to be suspicious of people - its not my nature to be wary of people, but i was told i have to be. so whenever i walk around town, even in the middle of the day, i walk fast and with my impression of a mean look...like i said so far the only casualty is my sunglasses...
6) not being ripped off - take your pick - it seems like everyone on the street is out to rip you off....especially a taxi/tuk tuk
7) cleanliness - keep looking straight, don't look to the side, don't look down and watch your step...
8) healthy food - everything is deep fried here. i ordered a tillapia and got a deep fried fish on my plate...like the whole fish..with the head and tail and fins and everything. one side of the head even had the eye in it....
9) my bed - obviously...but i'm praising my sister-in-law who vacuum sealed my favourite pillow so that at least i would have that here...bhabs you rock!

all of these things got me thinking. In Canada, we tend to say that canadians complain a lot (at least i thought so). but is it complaining that we're doing? i think one of the biggest tragedies that i've seen in kenya so far is complacency. the notion that this is the way it is...and things will never change - corruption, crime, pollution, poverty, etc. etc. etc. this is such an unfortunate mindset and i don't know if this mindset will ever change. i hope it does though...no one should have to live the way some of these people do. kenyans have that famous saying "hakuna matata"...but at what cost?

this has made me realize the importance of speaking up. Canadians don't complain...we refuse to be complacent! We refuse to accept that things can't change. Isn't it ok to demand that things continue to improve?...i realize we have one of the highest living standards in the world, but does that mean we should just settle at where we are?

just make sure you appreciate what you have to begin with....

n

2 comments:

Dodging said...

Hey Nik,

Just read your blog. Wow, sounds so different there! It's also funny contrasting your experiences so far with what AK told us about his experiences. Guess you guys are seeing different sides of Kenya? Anyway, keep the posts coming! And next time I get told I'm complaining too much, I'll just say I'm refusing to be complacent ;)

Sophia

JenR said...

HUGE HUG...we miss you too, Nik!
keep your head up...literally
it's amazing work that you'll achieve over the next 7 - 8 months...not sure that i'm generous to do the same
so proud of you!