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Mensaje por Admin el Jue Nov 17, 2016 12:08 pm

English.
Here I paste a chapter of my short novel "My Name is Kumi", where I reflect my experience in Kenya working for three months in a local ONG, as a teacher for kids...

Chapter 2 Born in the Slum

Comparing my own experience with hers, maybe I can’t say neither I was happier nor I was even more unlucky. I was born just my way.
If Missis Nyemba, as she masterfully explains in her novel, was born in the forest, exactly inside the Nakuru Park, a forty miles wide reserve of wildlife close to Nakuru town, I was born in a slum.
Was she, since the very beginning of her life being just a small baby, exposed to all kind of risks? No. She wasn’t born under a bush, like a monkey or a gazelle, but inside a house. A good big house, surrounded by stone walls and furthermore by barbed wire fences almost two meters high. Inside the forest, yes, but conveniently protected by a physical shelter, the lions never could jump over and go across.
Her father being a ranger, a guardian of the forest, her family has the right of holding one of the rangers’ houses, built in the midst of the reserve, to make easier and faster her father’s mission: sheltering the species in danger, like rhinoceros, from the poachers’ attacks.
Her descriptive tales referred to lions roars and threats, or baboons’ frequent visits, or buffalo fights in time of oestrus females were really masterfully written and hugely designed, but for me were no more deeply impressive than a footage or a movie about wild animals passed on TV.
It was nothing compared with the case of my poor little neighbour Daisy. She was six years old, but her body was small, thin, malnourished and skeletal. But, in all this painful shape, there was such a cute face, such a beautiful head and such a tender heart! She was as sweet as a smile. But she was blind, my poor angel Daisy. Most of the day she was alone at the door of her hut, nobody looked after her and she pulled herself along, as a snail, looking for something to eat. But finally she didn’t find more than few blades of grass mixed with soil or a mango nugget. Sometimes someone who passed along would throw or put in her hand a cabbage leaf. If she was lucky, maybe at dusk, when mom would be back, Daisy could have a banana or a mango for dinner before going to lie on a cot to sleep. And so day after day, poor girl, until one afternoon, before her mother came, she died hungry, sick and alone like a dog.
Poor Daisy! Such a cute face, such a smile in her mouth! Such a night in her eyes! Such a diamond in her soul!... She was no threaten by lions, no frightened by baboons, no attacked by a snake. She was the victim of other more horrible monsters living in our slum: Hunger, Abandonment, Disease and Hopelessness.

Here, in such a miserable slum I was born.
I saw Daisy every day, but I couldn’t do anything for her, because we were so poor as she was.
Yes. A lot of poor people living in a hut and a smelly slum. We were fourteen in my family. My dad, my mom and twelve siblings. Only two after me. “Finally no more”, said my mom very often with a sigh. She felt herself relieved and free when a quack told her she wouldn’t be able to have more children, and I can understand her, because giving birth and breeding twelve children is really very, very hard.
But I remember my father, when he was angry because his motor bike was out of order and he couldn’t work, saying “What a disgrace! In all houses everywhere sometimes one sibling dies, except in our house. Here all of them live, all of them eat and we must buy food, clothes and shoes for all of them!”...
Now, when I am almost eighteen, my mother is fifty six and my father is dead, I remember these damned words and I pray God for him. But sincerely I must admit that when he was alive and angry and was telling this devil of phrase before us, I could understand him and sometimes in the night, trying to sleep on a cot with a bunch of six siblings fighting to get their own place, I prayed God to be me the first one... I was ready to die.

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