Monday, July 3, 2023

Finding Kansas Revisited: Kenya


            Shortly after returning home from my trip to Kenya I had to write about it. I had been on one international trip previously with just four months prior I had gone to Lithuania, but in the time I grew in just those few months I appreciated all the little aspects a little bit more. That, and when a mob of homeless boys holds you captive, well, it proves for some writing material.

            My appreciation for airports begins this chapter and I still very much look fondly upon the Amsterdam airport. I would go through there two more times after writing this chapter and I often look up airfare to Amsterdam just to experience the airport. I love travel, I love airports, and there’s nothing better than a five (or more) hour layover in a place you’ve never been. What, you don’t agree?

            I was 22 years old at the time and the drive I talk about on the road up to the camels was one that was just full of awe to me. I had done some traveling across the US, but I had never been this far out of my element and to see so much different landscapes in such a short time furthered the process of my eyes opening to the world.

            The story mentioned after the camel may not be over a page long, but in my life it has been played, replayed, lived, and relived over and over in my brain. I wish I had been a tad bit more long-winded to describe the terror experienced during the mob ordeal. However, unless you’ve gone through an episode like this, I don’t know if any words, no matter how complex and awesome of a vocabulary one has, words are useless and irrelevant to describe what it was like. Since then, and I’ve blogged about it almost yearly on the anniversary, it stays with me and when I saw the movie “Captain Phillips” it was too real for me and I broke out in the coldest of sweats.

            What is highly relevant in this, and I didn’t write about it because I was unsure about the relevancy of my words, is the fact that not only did I survive, but I survived at a point in time that I allowed myself the iota of a notion of a thought that maybe, just maybe more words did have a hint of relevancy. If that sentence sounded unsure, I made it that way because that’s where I was, but the fact that I survived something so dramatic and so dangerous and the same point I was about to dedicate myself to my writing work allowed myself to go even deeper within the depths of my brain to come up with more and more material.

            The Kenya chapter may read like a, “what I did on my summer vacation” type paper that I remember I had to write every school year, but make no mistake that the five pages that plays host to this chapter are sacred in my life and without that story the rest of the story would never have been written.

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