So our return to Kenya pretty much sums up our mixed feelings about being here, I have already begun the emotional denouement into anger and frustration that I usually feel here. Last night when we got off the plane the British Airways stewardess told us that they would bring out stroller up to the gate for us. So we waited for a few minutes and then I thought better of this so I asked one of the six baggage handlers that were milling around the gate if that was in fact what they were doing. He looked confused for a moment, then smiled and said, ‘I think so.’ Knowing better I knew this was the, ‘I’m going to tell you what I think you want to hear,’ rather than the actual circumstances. In a few moments I saw him asking a superior who told us that it would at the baggage carousel.
While filling out our re-entry cards one Kenyan airport staff asked me if my daughter clad in footie pajamas in 80 degree heat, ‘Was not cold?’ I just smiled and said no. I didn’t point out that I was sweating profusely.
When we were collecting our baggage I stood there, repeating, ‘Stroller, stroller, stroller, and five bags, God. We need a stroller and five bags, God…’ Over and over in my head. Until our stroller and five bags did appear, to which I almost dropped to my knees and thanked the divine in the middle of the glut of passengers still waiting for theirs to appear. Which I think wouldn’t have been too odd of behavior because most of them were short term missionaries anyway. In our new divide and conquer theme of team marriage because now we have a little one to look after, I turned out to be the one hauling the baggage off the carousel. Scott apologized for this because he felt he had to guard our stuff, for often in Kenya it walks off, I shrugged off his apology and told him that was exactly perfect.
All five bags and our stroller did appear. We were met by our friend Jaime who hugged us both and tickled our little one under the chin. Immediately after leaving the airport we were ‘helped’ by a janitor to get our cart of many bags over curbs. He continued to ‘help’ us load the bags into the car. Out of nowhere there materialized two more men who ‘helped’ us jam the bags into Jaime’s Subaru. These men then became indignant when they found out we had no money to tip them for the ‘help’ we didn’t want or need. All the while I remained in my gender role holding Emma and watched a Kenyan family who received no such ‘help’ giggle at our predicament.
Upon arriving at our apartment, we were greeted by a new guard, the 8th or 9th in the year and half we’ve been here. Jaime helped us with our baggage and went home to his expecting wife. We were greeted by food that they had left us and welcome home notes.
We begun the process of putting our jet lagged baby to bed. I was thirsty, as I often am after flying, especially ever since they decided that all water is an explosive, and I realized that we had no drinking water. (We have to boil our water in Kenya, so we don’t get typhoid) I opened the fridge and noticed that there was about an inch and a half of boiled water left in our fridge container. I eagerly snatched it up and whipped open the lid only to see about five dead ants floating in it. I thought, ‘ah well, I’ll just boil some.’ I grabbed the kettle and peered inside, alas its floor was littered with dead moths. I drank some milk and called it a night.
So here we are ‘home’ in Kenya, but not really feeling like we are home. Our friends our amazing and supportive, but we are continuously hounded by minor and major irritations. Is a glass of water really that much of a task? Apparently it seems so.
PS: Did I mention that all of the dry goods that my husband meticulously stored in airtight containers were full of weevils and dead moths? Rice and flour must come with them here….