01 October 2008

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

Today was the hottest Kenyan day so far...
We walked to Oasis and were sweating by the time we arrived...

It was a National Holiday today, so the Oasis boys came by the Centre to say hello...I was asking about their exam this week...they don't find out their scores until tomorrow.

About ten minutes later Moses said, "Um...Alice...Thank you for helping me."

We then had a ridiculously politically-incorrect conversation, but very true to an inquisitive teenage boy.
Moses: "Do you say the word N*****r?"
I said, "No."
Moses: "How about Negro?"
Me: "No."
Moses: "Black?"
Me: "No."
Moses: "You don't call them Negroes or blacks? What do you call them?"
Me: "African-Americans"
Moses: "Oh...do most of them do drugs?"
Me: "Some do...but so do some white people and some people from Mexico...and most of the people I went to High School with..."

Then, evidently content with my answer, he asked if we use chalk in schools...or charcoal for fire...he's the very cutest.

On our way to lunch, Chris saw some kids swinging on our new toy...so he went to try it out.
After lunch, we headed to Gilgal...Daina taught us all about Rocks and Minerals...She's a very good teacher. Q&A hour was cut short today, but not before a discussion on circumcision, virginity, HIV/AIDS, and the difference between the US and the UK. Seriously, Kenyan teenagers are inquisitive.
We walked out of the classroom to this...most mothers would say this is dangerous...The mother of these kids wanted to make sure I got a picture.
The kids began to cry immediately when Chris took Clinton's spot as the driver...
After they played some football and I did some office work, we headed home. More beans and rice for dinner...and a viewing of "Drop Dead Gorgeous", which neither Daina nor Chris had seen before...

While writing this blog, Elvis (the first boy in Form 1) called to tell me we can come to visit him on Saturday. He said, he can't wait to see us and could we please bring some drinking chocolate and peanut butter...Then I said, "I can't wait to see you..." He said, "Even me. I love you. Good night." I love that...a 17-year-old former street boy saying "I love you" in front of all of his friends...so, so sweet.

Now it's off to read and prepare for pool day tomorrow!

1 comment:

Mama Oasis said...

Ok...you know how you always say that I make you cry with my stories? Well, today you made me cry ...so we are even!

I can just hear Moses ask those questions...with that quiet, introspective voice of his...Thanks for being so honest and forthright with him.

I had a similar conversation with the some of the 1 & 2 boys (including Moses) right before we went to Kakuma for the National Music Festival where their school choir was performing. I asked in what category of music they would be competing. They replied (in all seriousness) that they would be singing a "Traditional American N***er Spiritual".

I almost fainted and then realized that they MEANT "Negro Spiritual" which is what the gospel songs that the slaves in America sang were called. When I cleared the shock from my face (they were like, "WHAT?!?!") I explained how the "N" word is not appropriate to use in America..especially for white people and they told me that they hear it "all the time" on American rap music and because of that, they thought it was an ok word. A long discussion ensued on the power of words....anyway...I bet Moses has been mulling that over in his mind all of this time.

And Elvis....Oh my gosh...remember how you thought he didn't like you and I told you it would just take time because he doesn't trust as readily as some of the other boys? Well....Yay!

Speaking of Elvis....I can't get my Kenya phone to turn on and I forgot to write his number down. Will you email me his mobile phone number so that I can "visit" him by phone on visitors day too? I can't bring Peanut Butter...but I can give him a bit of mom love and encouragement from here.

Oh....bring him some Potato Chips too (Crisps)...he really LOVES those and tell him that they are from me (I'll owe you the shillings!).