Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lorngosua, Part 2: They call me MISTER Mzungu!

Just as they were in Inyonyorri, the kids in Lorngosua were suckers for sweets and digital cameras. I had a posse of about eight kids (probably 8-years-old and under) that would follow me around after school. They liked the Indigo light on my watch, so they would push it and then my hand would suddenly come "alive" and tickle them. I also would pick them up and throw them around a bit (until my back gave out). I taught them how to write my name, which was really cute. We didn't have any paper, but we had a pen, so they would write my name on my hands or on their arms. There were many variations: BIJJ, BIIL, BLLL, and others where the B was reversed or rotated. I taught them my name because I was tired of being called "mzungu." It's not an offensive term, but being called "white person" all the time gets a little old... I'm more than that!

At one point, Wilson (Anthony's son) was calling me "Camera" with a thick Maasai accent. It was at that point that I decided to leave my camera behind and just be. Having a camera is great, and it definitely cheers people up (especially children) when I ask to take their picture and then show it to them. But having a camera can be a crutch in a way because it prevents me from being fully present. So on my lasR Mzungu!t day in Lorngosua, I left my camera with my other stuff, and by that point I had run out of sweets, so I had NOTHING to offer anyone. But the kids still swarmed around me after school, and I had some nice conversations with a few adults. It was nice.

(I would post pictures of the kids because they were super cute, but I'm not going to waste my time waiting on the internet connection here. So they will be coming some time in the future...)

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