Thursday, June 24, 2010

Living of Love

Hey guys!

So we finished shooting the gospel video, thank God, and I am now back in Mulot. The problem is now I miss Kisumu.

The thing about getting to travel around and live this kind of life is you start to love all the people and places almost too much. Saying goodbye to the people in Kisumu was almost as hard as saying goodbye to the people back home.

I have another home now, the problem is I had to leave it. Just like I’ll have to leave this one. To go back to the one I miss desperately across the globe. For the rest of my life a I will miss somewhere else.

I think the reason I miss Kisumu so much, and know I will miss Mulot so much, is because both of these places are so full of love. People here are so willing to love an accept you; they want to love you. It is truly the communal family feeling my friends and I tried to create throughout high school.

You can see this love in every aspect of society. All the women are “Mamas” the men “Abbas” the younger crowd, so around my age, are all “brother” or “sister” and every child is called “son” or “daughter” by everyone. Everyone is considered an intimate member of the family.

You can find examples of this everywhere. In the community built orphanages, the fact that no food goes unshared, in just the way people interact with each other. Nobody ever starts a conversation without prefacing it by asking how you are or inquiring about your health.

Yesterday on the bus home Madame Grace and I sat in the front. About half way through a small child started coughing. Without thinking Madame Grace took one of the plastic bottles of water brought with and handed to the child’s mother. After she struggled with opening it for a few minutes a man behind her grabbed it, opened it and then proceded to hold it so the child could drink.

This doesn’t sound like a particularly love filled or community oriented story but think about it- when was the last time you did something like that? When was the last time you saw someone do something like that?

My friend Jay, who is poor as shit and probably can barely pay his rent, never goes hungry because someone in his apartment complex will give him dinner no question asked. The only expectation of Jay is that he would do the same thing for them. Which of course he would.

What inspires people who have so little to share it? Why don’t the hoard the little they have and refuse to see others in order to protect it? I mean if all I had to live of was an acre of maize I don’t know if I would be so willing to share it.

Are we as westerners so fundamentally different from Africans? Why are we less willing to help each other out? It’s tempting to tell yourself that people don’t need as much help in the USA so it’s easier not to share but let’s not entertain that kind of bullshit for a second. People need just as much help there as they do here but for some reason we fight like hell not to give it. Whether people are arguing against welfare or walking by the homeless without a passing glance or are bitching about the 50 hours of required community service from high school it’s like we are always fighting to not have to share.

Do you know where that gets us? At home alone with our shit.

I don’t want to offend anyone by saying that no one is the US shares but I don’t think anyone could argue that it isn’t a very different begrudging sharing. Like “I will lend you 5 dollars but I will not be happy about it and I expect you to give me that 5 dollars back soon” whereas in Africa it is more along the lines of “I will give you have my food because you are my neighbor and you are hungry and one day you will do the same for me because we are both human”

Yes we have more wealth in the US but where has that really gotten us?

Interesting related note, I can’t find the Swahili word for “please” I don’t think it exists but they do have “thank-you” and “welcome”

It can drive one a little crazy, everyone being connected like a family and nothing belonging to any one person, but only as crazy as your family back home drives you. It’s really amazing to live so communally.

Maybe the reason people have such huge families here is because they feel like they have too much infinite love for the small amount of people already alive so they have to make more.

My Infinite Love is back home with you

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