I had the craziest lunch the other day. We were up at Limuru North of Nairobi working at our ceramics manufacturer on the installation of a new dryer. First of all, I consider it my first truly African meal. I had the famous Kenyan Ugali with some friend pork and vegetables. When we walked into the roadside stand, there was this huge pile of raw pork sitting on the counter (Only a few flies). We ordered a kilo for around $3. The guy slapped a bunch of meat onto the scale and put it straight in the frying pan. It tasted great but I definitely felt it later.
Anyway, that wasn’t really the crazy part. When we were waiting for our food, my driver started playing with this “kid”. When we sat down and started talking to him, we realized he was definitely not a kid but a midget (Little person?) Either way, through the course of the meal he told us about his story. One day when he was growing up in Norther Kenya, he was out gathering grass for cows to eat when his entire family was attacked and killed by raiders. He had nowhere to go so he was placed in a church orphanage. Several years later, he made it to college on a scholarship from that same church. He was almost through, when his pastor stole the $20,000 scholarship money and disappeared. Can you imagine your pastor stealing from you? Somehow he made it back to university and is studying divinity to become a pastor himself one day. He told me his absolute dream is the get out of Kenya and travel to the United States. All this he told me with a completely straight face, like nothing out of place had happened. Who knows if every detail is true, but I do know he’s had a difficult life.
Hearing a story like that is extremely humbling. I have no right to complain compared to an orphaned, robbed, midget in Kenya. It’s amazing how the odds are stacked against so many people here. Some manage to succeed through persistence and probably good luck but others are not so fortunate. It definitely makes me realize the opportunities I have had and want to take full advantage of them.