right people. time to get back to basics.none of this rambling blahdeeblah deeblah nostalgic blah.
back to The Pink House On The Hill. covered in dust. still flipping waiting for rain. there is nothing. absolutely nothing. even the aloes are wilting. just bare brown earth. and a relentless wind. everyday the hill is covered in herds from the bald valley below. there is no grazing left down there. the land lies brown and ploughed and baked. the wind hurls dust around - her lost desert djinns dancing wildly, ....your eyes are scratchy from the moment you wake up. i feel angry and ill tempered most of the time. every night the stars are too large and magnified. too obvious.
i want lightening, rain and thunder. and i want it now.
today i kidnapped a goat. there were forty goats on the shamba. i have spoken to the herders. little kids in rags. they clearly understood that they mustn't come onto the shamba.
" we know that is the horses grass," they solemnly declared a few days ago. as i marched out there like The Wild Woman Of The Hill. janelli. a tribe unto herself.
this is My Grass. these are my brown brittle stalks, if you could call that grass.
and today. there they were. goats. like ants. eating everything. all the baby trees i had planted on what was a ploughed field. the last of the grass. eating anything that was edible like locusts.
so i kidnapped one. a fat blotchy bleating goat. suddenly an older boy arrived. wanting the goat back. saying the children were so small. that's why they had let the goats through. i said, "shauri yako bwana, siyo shida yangu." and said that next time the goats came onto the shamba i would catch one again, but this time it would end up in our pot. ignoring gabby (third born) wailing mournfully in the corner.
what on earth are you crying for, for godsake? her mother demanded
it's killing nature, she wailed, while her wild out of control brothers, newly returned from morogoro, all smelly and full of wild tales of witchdoctors and crocodiles, sniggered in the corner.
harsh eh? yes. harsh. well. president obama's grandfather did it in kogelo.
here a little story told to president obama by his aunt:
"... One day a man came to the edge of the compound with a goat on a leash (sic. a LEASH!? mine were multiple and free range. ). He wanted to pass through our land, because he lived on the other side, and he didn't want to walk around. So your grandfather told this man, "When you are alone, you are always free to pass through my land. But today you cannot pass, because your goat will eat my plants". Well. This man would not listen. He argued for a long time with your grandfather, saying that he would be careful and that the goat would do no harm. This man talked so much your grandfather finally called me over and said " Go and bring me Alego." That's what he called his panga, you see-"
"Yes, his machete. He had two that he kept very, very sharp... And now your grandfather tells this man," See here. I have already told you that you should not pass, but you are too stubborn to listen. So now I will make a bargain with you. You can pass with your goat. But if even one leaf is harmed - if even one half of one leaf of my plants is harmed - then I will cut down your goat also."
"Well, even though I was very young at the time, I knew that this man must be so stupid, because he accepted my father's offer. We began to walk, the man and the goat in front, me and the old man following close behind. We had walked about twenty steps when the goat stuck out its neck and started nibbling at a leaf. Then - WHOOSH! My dad cut one side of the goat's head clean through. The owner was shocked and started to cry out "Aalieey! Aaiieey! What have you done now, Hussein Onyango" And your grandfather just wiped off his panga and said
" If I say I will do something, I must do it. Otherwise how will people know my word is true?"
from Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama pg. 370 - 371
the elders were persuaded.
i hope like hell the goats don't come again....because, well, i might not be so lucky.
the skies are empty.
and the clouds are pathetic.
the heat is relentless.
and frankly am fed up with it all.
the house needs a paint.
the house needs water. a truck will come tomorrow.
to fill the tanks.
our showers are short lived.
in out basi.
life on the hill with no frills or memories.
Kitchen Board: Monday 16 March 2009.
Contributors: now, let' see....yes. veronica. gabby and yes niamh too.
Comments: no, we don't eat dog meat but we might be eating goat meat any day soon.