So I don’t know if any of you are thinking of ever coming to Kenya but let me give you a piece of advice if you do. Don’t pass out in public.
A few days ago in Nairobi I was at a stage called railways to catch a matatu (those mini buses) home. Apparently I stepped of the matatu I was on, told Wilson (the person I was with) that I was feeling kind of busy and then hit the floor. I don’t remember anything after that, probably due to the whole unconscious thing, but I’ve been told it was pretty much general upheaval after that and panic. When I came to in some stranger’s car that was about to leave for the hospital my first thought was that Wilson was hurt from the look on his face.
Before I continue let me tell everyone I’m fine. I promise.
Anyway after arguing with people for about a half hour I convinced everyone I did not need to go to the hospital. That’s when the tirade of calls began.
First Wilson called father Patrick to tell him what happened and I had to argue with father that I did not need to go to the hospital but it was too late. The phone tree had been activated.
Within 10 minutes I was receiving calls from Madame Grace, Mama Michelle, Lucy Ann (a woman who travelled with us to Loita and took us to the wedding), Some (pronounced som-a father Patrick’s brother who once let me spend a night at his house on my way to lotoiktoik) well trying to assure Wilson and his friend Vicky, who had apparently come running, that I really was fine.
After much argument on my part it was decided I would stay in Nairobi another night and leave tomorrow. Once we made our way back to the apartment I had spent the night in before a girl was nice enough to let me borrow some clothes of her as mine were dirty.
Anyway I may as well have gone to the hospital when Wilson wanted as within a few hours Lucy Ann had showed up and announced we WERE in fact going to the hospital and both Some and Father Patrick would meet us there.
After many hours at the hospital and a severely unpleasant CT scan the doctors confirmed what I had told everyone- dehydration. (Please spare me any lectures on drinking water. I got one from the doctor and my father and have had water poured into me ever since).
So in the end I am fine with nothing but a bruised ego and a dread of going back to railways and being remembered as that white girl that passed out (please don’t say fainted- it sounds so girly) and a realization of how loved I am here.
It makes it so hard to think about going home because it makes me feel the same way I felt leaving Chicago. Like I’m ripping myself away from my family.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place where I have felt so overwhelmed by love from people who seemingly have no business loving me. There is also the feeling of how much I love everyone here.
I want to write a blog about how easy it is to love here and how people become so important to you so fast but all I can be is sad as I think about coming home. Not to mention the terror I feel that has become a common theme in my life.
I usually feel like I haven’t done anything to earn the love an affection I get here. You guys want to know something? My hospital bill was almost 18,000 KSH. Do you know who paid that? Not me. Father Patrick did automatically and with no complaint. What have I ever done to make me worth 18,000 of anything to him? To anyone? When I take a cold look at myself I see a girl who runs away from the bush and to Nairobi at every chance she gets, costs the mission money and is getting people’s hopes up while unable to actually deliver. At all. I have received an immense amount of love and affection here and have had more fun here then I have ever had in my life but what have I done to deserve any of it? Maybe my nature is just neurotic and I will never feel good enough but most of the time I feel disappointed in myself and at worst disgusted with myself because I’m either not doing enough (or anything at all) or I’m not doing it the way a major corporation like the peace-corp. would do things. (I know I’m breaking every rule they ever laid out for their members) I just feel like I’m doing everything wrong sometimes.
Sometimes I wish I had just gone to college and never learned all of these things about the world.
And then it’s time to get up brush myself off and stop feeling sorry for myself. I have to remind myself that what is going on is just the African version of my irrational tendencies and it’s time to be rational.
I will feel much better if we can get some goddamned water here, though.
Anyway I’m kind of out of steam so I will update again soon. I miss you all and will see you soon.