Monday, November 3, 2014


I borrowed salt from my neighbour today.This is Africa.In the south, they call this Ubuntu; an ingrained spirit of sharing. We had not foreseen the probability of us running out of salt so soon; at least not before mama goes to town to do the monthly shopping from the supermarket. She does not like the boda boda rides to the stage. Sometimes one has to sit with a goat and a man carrying a briefcase on one hand and a chicken on the other.
I need to get my hair hot combed before I go back to school and I will have to accompany mama on her next trip to town. I dont like the smell of my hot combed hair. It reminds me of the smell of burnt goat hides and animal skins; like the ones papa was roasting last year during Christmas. Mama keeps quoting that proverb,''She who loves beauty does not complain.'' Papa keeps reminding me that my name means beautiful and I will have to bear the pain of that hot comb coming close to my big ears(I hate it when my ears get hot), sometimes almost touching my scalp. 
The best thing about town is those potatoes that have been cooked in a lot of oil. I once tried cooking them here at home and they soaked up so much oil. I will ask the waiter how they make them when we go to the hotel in town.  
Back to my salt story. It is one of those nights when we cook extra-ordinarily large meals. Our relatives gave us a surprise visit. They always do; I will be surprised if they ever give us a notice. Today, I got to meet a new aunty, tata Wanjiru. She is the daughter of the cousin to my maternal grandmother(the one Waitherero, my sister, is named after). I dont think I will ever meet all my relatives; somehow, I am related to everyone. I wont complain about it though..

''Nyabera, this is Africa,'' mama reminds me.

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