You try your best not to contribute to the corruption within the system, telling yourself that change starts with you. Then your life comes to a standstill because you have refused to part with $40 in order to gain a bigger return. The bureaucracy in Kenya is mind blowing. Police stop you for speeding, ask for $20 – $40, and you weigh your options – pay that small amount now OR go to court and get charged $400. You meekly hand over your $20. I have been waiting for my Identification Card to get processed for well over a month. My life is on hold – I cannot get paid, I cannot register for my tax deductions, pension etc because my ID has not been released. I had to jump through hoops upon application, because they had to ‘verify’ that I was Kenyan. I have been Kenyan since before I was born. But I had to stand there and explain why I was Kenyan. Why I have never had an ID but I have travelled extensively under my Kenyan passport. They nodded. Checked my BCG scar. Seemed satisfied. Stamped my papers. I got fingerprinted and photographed. Then my registration stayed on someone’s desk for 3 weeks. Continue reading →
So the new year started. And I had not written a thing. Yet so many things have happened in my life and all around me. First, Baby ASW is now eating. Pureed food BUT it is still NOT breastmilk. Second, I am in Kenya.
Here is how the last few months since I last laid pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) have gone:
A. After a hellish experience trying to obtain a passport for my little one, with Baba Austin having to visit the American Embassy TWICE to sign off on permission slips for Aus to get his PP then I had to deal with sending every document in my arsenal with my full African names to prove that I was who I said I was…we received his passport and I booked tickets to Kenya.
B. We survived the trek from Los Angeles, sleep-over in Dubai, to Nairobi. With 8 suitcases in tow, and a car seat and travel frame AND Continue reading →