A Kenyan Morning This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

May 7, 2009
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The bright blue sky frames the skyscrapers that vary in color, height, and size, but all have the flashy antennas and satellite dishes that show how Africans too are embracing technology. The neighborhood is silent with the exception of passing silhouettes, who hurry by, fearing they will miss their matatu ride. A matatu is a van with a bright yellow band around it. The drivers are usually vulgar and, in my opinion, unconvicted traffic offenders.

The birds begin to chirp at exactly 8:01 a.m., rusty school buses noisily drive past, students walk by laughing in their unkempt uniforms, workers sweep the dusty streets with makeshift brooms of fallen branches tied with a piece of black rubber to the wooden stick. The snake of traffic slowly begins to form, accompanied by the continuous hooting and exchange of vulgar insults and rhythmic Swahili chatter that resonates in almost every corner of the concrete sidewalks.

It would be wrong to deny the cloud that echoes in every person's conscience as they walk on the concrete sidewalks tainted with crimson and tears of despair merely two weeks before, as brother fought brother, as the catalysts of the battles sat comfortably in their leather chairs, watching the situation from plasma screens, with sinister smiles on their chauvinistic faces. These unspoken events now lie there, fragile and vulnerable, amidst the crowds of people talking as if it never happened, faking it, when all these mixed emotions simmer in their hearts.

The little children, satisfied from a hearty breakfast, play with brightly colored beach balls, as the forgotten children in tattered clothes and soiled feet lie under a tree, trying to ignore the biting starvation that eats away at their hope with every passing second.

The askaris, soldiers, silently try to serenade the housekeepers hanging wash on the make­shift lines of yarn and sticks, unaware that the one they flirted with a month ago is now eating for two.

A life laden with troubles is all I see as I stand under that rusty streetlight in my navy blue uniform, waiting for my bus to arrive. But it is beautiful all the same.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

AQUAMARINALIN said...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 9:17 am
This isn't a really great representation of most of Kenya, but it is a great one for specific areas where people are not as poor and living in better conditions than thoses in poverty. So yeah, I liked the article. But it still doesn't show much Swahili culture, which is the main culture in Kenya.
 
Dreamsunnydreams replied...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 9:24 am
Well, living in Kenya ever since I was born I learned that life there is not mainly based on swahili culture but only in the coastal parts, this story is centered in Nairobi, the slum area of Nairobi namely Eastleigh and Kibera.
 
boston418 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 7:21 am
Wow.... beautiful. Maybe this is not AQUAMARINALIN's Kenya, but it clearly is your Kenya. And what more are you obligated to write about? Five stars.
 
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