“If I know a song of Africa… will Africa ever know a song of me?”
– Karen Blixen, Out of Africa
(From Fri., Nov. 7)
I was on my way home for a lunch break when halfway through, on a reddish path amidst a bunch of thorny trees, I heard someone calling my Kimaasai name, “Naisoi!”
I turned around and saw a girl running after me. I recognized her. She was the one who grabbed my hand Wednesday and promised that she’d bring something for me today. (We had no school yesterday because of the “Obama day”).
She caught up with me and pulled two colorful strings of beads off her wrist. She then put them on mine, twisting the two together into a pretty shape, a sea wave of every possible color.
“Did you make them?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said quickly, still working on perfecting the shape of the gift.
“Thank you… they are beautiful.”
“It’s because I love you so much, Naisoi.”
I felt a lump in my throat the rest of the way home. I saw such kindness in her eyes, such effortless sincerity. She wasn’t in any of my classes, which made her gift even more unconditional, selfless. It wasn’t so much the pretty bracelet on my wrist that mattered, but the piece of her heart that she gave away so eagerly.
* * *
Dedicated to Eunis, Sophia, Lucy and all of my other smart and beautiful Kenyan princesses. I miss you, and I sure appreciate the way you cared.