09 January 2008

Kenya et al

Current events: US primary elections, feet of snow, school starts Monday, payday on Friday, oh, and Kenya is falling apart.

I'll start at the beginning and then skip to the end.

The US Presidential campaigns sicken me. It is important to hear from those that wish to bid for the role, but why so much money is needed is way beyond me. The amount of money spent by each of the candidates during the period before the actual election is more money than many smaller economies produce in a year. Millions of dollars, gone. What do we see of it? Only a few people raised above the rest for everyone's consideration. I'd like to care, but it sickens me. I think I'll vote for Bono.

So while this goes on, and on, and on, Kenya just underwent an election. Sort of. Well, the people voted all right, but the votes were apparently not counted correctly and the incumbent president will not give up his power. All those people who eagerly voted became a bit angry when the tantalizing options offered to them were suddenly taken away. They became violent. It's in the news, sometimes. I do not have television, but I've seen it in a few local papers, in the middle section, the two pages of world news. Kenya had a fourth of a page one time, with a photo. The violent, upheaval type of photo.

That is not the Kenya I know. The Kenya I visited last summer was far from perfect (what isn't?), but was a sort of home away from home. It was not the peacefulness, because I did not consider it. It was not the comparatively good economy that only allowed for small margins of corruption. It was the people. They are who I think of. They are the home I found there. I do not so much worry about the tribal violence that has ensued. I worry about my friends who are forced to stay indoors where it is safe. They are unable to venture out for food and other necessities. The inflation in Kenya has taken off as well, making whatever money they do have worth so much less. For people barely making enough as it was previously, that is very nearly a death sentence. I think of the small businesses that The 10/10 Project has helped to establish. I know these people, scraping a living from the poorest parts of their country. Helping their community, strengthening the bonds of humanity. That is all shattered now. People, torn from one another; forced into hiding. Many dead. Homes and businesses burned and looted. It rends my heart.

The Kenya in the news these past weeks is not the Kenya I know. The Kenya I know is comprised of the many faces of lovely people who eagerly welcomed me into their homes; who fed me until I could eat no more; who loved me, and taught me to love.


Reflections said...

My Goodness!! I had no idea that was happening. I'm so sorry that you are worried about your friends. I hope they are okay.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally about the complete waste of money involved in the Presidential campaigns -- it's sickening to think of all the people who are not being helped because of it.