Forty Days Til’ Forty, Day 13: On This Day in 1996

Came across this fun journal entry from November 02, 1996, written during my semester at Daystar University in Kenya. Mind you, this is a twenty-year-old Sarah written in the chirpy overtones of my younger years. In it, I’m describing an outing with my Kenyan roommate, Phyllis. I share it here and will spare you my snarky side notes because, well, there is something sweet in my 20-year-old-cheerfulness even if I can’t help but roll my eyes a little.

Nov. 2, 1996, Saturday – Today turned out to be slightly more eventful than other days. I’ll get to the details. : ) Phyllis and I went to Karen with the Harvesters-the group she sings with at school, and we visited the Resurrection Garden. It’s a Catholic run place–nuns live there . . .  but I wouldn’t call it a total convent. So then we had a picnic, a nice leisurely time. Well, after our picnic we were all sitting around. It was 2 of the girls’ birthdays, so they were giving little speeches and presented with birthday cards. So, tra-la-la, we were all sitting there . . . and this big hawk-like bird was circling our picnic blanket which lay exposing the food. So, suddenly it swoops down and grabs a little food . . . quite close to where I was sitting. Then, time passes, and it continues to circle where we are. Finally, I had forgotten it was there because I thought it would have tried again sooner. . . So, there I sit, casually in that sunny spot, enjoying the warmth on my back, my hand back on my head. . . when yikes! The bird comes swooping down and goes for me! Ha! I was bird bait!

I don’t know what it thought it was doing, but it scratched my hand…good thing my hand was on my head or it may have scratched my head! I was so in shock. I just jumped up. I don’t really even remember what I thought was happening. Whoever heard of getting attacked by a bird? So, after the picnic, Phyllis and I went to a wedding for a girl who works at Daystar, named Sarah in fact. The humorous  thing about the wedding was that the mother of the groom was in no way approving the marriage, and she had supposedly intended not to be there. Well, she was there–certainly not in any state of spendor! And when the priest asked if anyone was there who did not approve and said, “Speak now or forever hold your peace,” Wow, that place was a little tense! I could see the mother. She really looked upset, a mixture of fury and great disappointment. 

Anyways, then again the plot of my day thickens. Phyllis and I were making our way to the nissan (not a bus or a matatus but a nissan : ) And she was preoccupied talking to a guy she knews…So, there I am trying to keep us through the congested sidewalks, and I just know I’m like a neon target saying, “Hello, mzungu here–come and get me!” And then, suddently, I’m being pushed from behind, and Phyllis feels me being pushed into her. So she turns around, and all of a sudden I’m being pick-pocketed. No kidding! And, frankly I really wasn’t too freaked out. I think I knew it was coming. And I only had money for the ride home in my pocket. I never put anything of value in my pockets. But the pathetic part about it was what a lousey job the guy did. First of all, I saw him. Secondly, he was hardly inconspicuous about it! Everyone turned around and looked at him as all my change–which amounted to less than a dollar fell on the pavement. He probably thought he was going to get something of value. HellO! Not that stupid here. Yes, I’m a little sarcastic tonight–probably because I’ve been called out all day as I’ve walked through the markets and streets of Kenya. It really killed me when these men called me “Janet.” What a stereotypical mzungu name! Ha. : ) I was amused. . . . 

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