Kenya On My Mind


I am “thinking Kenya” this morning. I’ll arrive in Nairobi Oct. 21, stay there a few days, then travel west to Eldoret and the Rift Valley. There I’ll be speaking and teaching at a pastor’s conference for leaders from Kenya and Uganda.

This week I’m getting vaccinations for yellow fever, polio, hepatitis A & B, + anti-malarial medication to take with me.

I’m reading about Kenya – using Lonely Planet’s guide. It’s very good, and puts me in a mood of excitement. What a beautiful, amazing country Kenya is!

Eldoret is home and training area to Kenya’s famous and elite long-distance runners. (Remember Kip Keino?)

The currency in Kenya is the shilling. One American dolar equals approximately 80 shillings.

I read the Daily Nation, Nairobi’s newspaper. In today’s DN there’s an interesting article called “The Top 25 African Writers.” At the head of the article there’s a picture of Kenya’s most famous writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o. I just ordered Thiong’o’s Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Having done Ph.D work in linguistic semantics and neurolinguistics I will probably agree with Thiong’o’s thesis that when, in a colonialist act, a foreign language is imposed on indigenous people, there is more going on here than learning a new language. With the new foreign language comes an entire history and power structure. So, the imposition is great, and devastating to a culture. Needed: decolonizing the African (and Kenyan) mind.

17 hours from take-off in Detroit to touchdown in Nairobi. Not bad when compared to the 25-hour trip to Bangkok a year ago.