There are some things about home that i find comforting because they are as familiar as the palm on my hand.These are quirky occurrences that prove we are rarely stuck for survival solutions and they have really helped me appreciate our unique identity as Kenyans.
I am talking about the ice cream vendors who dot our suburbs. Thanks to the, people with tight budgets or busy schedule can have an affordable creamy snack on a hot day.
Alternatively, a sudden craving by anyone -walker or motorist -for this delicacy (honey or coloured cream) can be fulfilled without much fuss.The ice cream vendors have recently been joined by sugarcane vendors who will ‘expertly’ chop the sweet stalk into manageable bites using a moderately hygienic method and at a very modest price.
Alongside these speciality snack operators are the ‘mama pimas‘. Women who appear as if by magic whenever there is a new building coming up. They make it their business literally -to ensure that the builders don’t go far to get food.
Luckily,this menu is not restricted to builders so anyone especially the common mwananchi with the right amount of money can partake of porridge,tea and mandazi in the morning or ugali/chapo, beans and greens at lunchtime.
The customer service (s) offered by these vendors beats anything you can find in the plushet hotel. Another hallmark of home sweet home, although it’s been awhile since i travelled to my country side is the “scarecrow “technique .
This is a means used by farmers in my home town to keep away birds and other predators from spoiling crops in the farm.In a homestead you’ll find an ‘ugly -looking ‘kind of structure .Some even got caps and rugged clothing, and needle like fingers standing right in the kids of a farm(big and small).
When i was a kid,i remember throwing stones at one particular scarecrow and when it seemed not to react, i screamed my lungs out and ran away for help,to God knows where.
Sometimes ago i remember visiting my grandparents.I wanted to unwind and at least have a tot of fresh air,away from the bustle and hustle of the city.While walking and chatting with my young cousin (Martin),i noticed that most homes had shambas’with millet and i knew probably they were in season.
We continued with our journey to the community borehole that was a few metres from the church where my granny was a Canon.I heard strange sounds coming from this particular shamba and as the wind blew harder,the noise became unbearable and so i ran away, little did i know that it was an old thread that had been mounted to this particular scarecrow that made the noise.
Since my cousin couldn’t catch up with my kipchoge pace he decided to stop and look around.I was still panting and my knees we’re quite weak from the running. He came towards my direction laughing though by then i couldn’t figure out anything funny.I got angry and asked him why he was laughing at me.
Thank God he stopped and held my hand consoling me.Later on he told me that the noise came from this particular scarecrow we had passed from at a certain shamba. Oh, Lord! How could this be possible? Being young and intelligent he explained everything clearly and i was convinced to continue with the journey but with a different route.
We reached the borehole and found a small group of people. Being used to tap water,i was a bit fascinated by it and i decided to give it a try.
I pumped water and filled my water bottle, it was cold and i gave some to Martin as well. It was great seeing my old buddies and i was given some wild fruits to eat on my way home. And now that is the beauty of country side.