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PROJECTS BLOG 12/06/2009

Sloppy Joe

A little kid touched a friend’s boob last night. She and I were walking in old town. He was bigger and braver than the rest of his friends, all in school uniforms. He said ‘how are you’ with a nasal tone making fun of my nasal sounding Mzungu accent.

She stopped all of a sudden. I didn’t know why and but she had that stare. The way one stares down a bad dog. The boy ran. She was pissed. She said she almost hit him. I wish she had. I wanted to myself. But the moment was over, the boy was long gone.

Most of the women in the part of town I live in are covered in hijab. Which they take off at home for their husband. Her tits – were right there, behind a tight t-shirt.

Where am I in this? The mzungu is a walking symbol of wealth. A symbol of a social class that most people here dream of…. Tom Cruz strides across a red carpet …. it makes me want to spit.

So what? Spin around chains dipped in kerosene at night in the park with people living on the street… Maybe I’m a someday wanna-be buddha, son of a king, seeing suffering for the first time and wanting to take myself out of the equation. Not wanting to be a walking reminder of people’s crap nor a walking excuse for people’s crap.

There is a small boy that has been learning to dance with fire his name is Matano. He sleeps in the park. He wants to return to his mother in Lamu. He says she sent him away to find his father in Mombasa. He found him. He was hurt by him and abandoned. No money to return home. Living on the streets for over a year now. He is skinny, too skinny, they all are.

MotoMoto Circus was invited to Lamu. So the boy – he’s coming with us. Feeling Pandora’s box opening: “Here is your son. We brought him back to you.” ….. “Thank you? But I don’t have any money to take care of him …. “ shit ….. (She would be looking for him if she had money right? – I would like to think) God – I hate being a stupid ‘rich’ white person – with no money to boot.
Most likely I will bring him back to Mombasa and try to get him enrolled in one of the shelters. It’s a sloppy solution when you are surrounded by so many people who need parents … to shove a kid in with 60 others. It’s a sloppy solution to be adopting every kid that pulls your heart strings. It’s a sloppy solution to leave him there on the streets.

There are sooooo many people here in Mombasa. A flood. They sleep in the homes of friends and relatives. They are all looking for jobs. None are very far from the street. Its 4:00pm I am about to head out to the afternoon practice. I can hear a madras next door and children chanting in Arabic.

A brother of one of the boys going to Lamu with us for MotoMoto … he was supposed to come with us, but hasn’t been showing up for practices or meetings for over two weeks. If he shows up for the bus I am going to have to tell him we gave his seat away. Sloppy.


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