Leaving with fear

October 12, 2013 - Mombasa, Kenya

The last week in Mombasa was hectic. I rushed round to wish everyone well and to take some last pictures from special places. Because I knew this was going to be my last long-stay in Mombasa.

I went on top of a big building to get an “aerial view” of Mombasa. It is a store. Surprisingly, they have a small Mosque on top, so that the staff can go for prayers.

My first host-family was very sad, especially the kids. They gave me a sweet present. I’m going to miss them, although I’ve been through some weird stuff with them.

Saying goodbye in the school was the most touching part of that week. The whole assembly sang for me and most of the classes had presents for me.

After Assembly I walked through every classroom and some classes went crazy. They cried, they danced, they sang, they hugged me and tried to reach me so they can kiss me. I had a whole class hugging me at the same time. This is the best thank you they could have given me. I feel the work I have done there was worth a lot and it is appreciated. I feel sad leaving them. I wish I could take the school to Wundanyi.

I’m sure in the news over at your place they also covered the tragic attack on the Westgate City Mall in Nairobi. It shocked everyone. People stayed indoors and didn’t know what is going on. The news was not very transparent. It was not clear who did it and what was going on inside there. They just broadcasted the whole thing as a live-picture and didn’t talk much. Sometimes I had the impression that it is more of a tragic soap-opera. It was a lot of repetition in the coverage.

The result is of course more security. Another volunteer got arrested on her way from Nairobi because her Visa didn’t seem to be legal. We know that our Visa is not proper – but getting into prison for it is not funny.

Just as people started getting on with their normal lives, a blackout started new rumors. Suddenly the whole city of Mombasa went black. No power for a whole day. The next day people said that some Muslim preacher had been killed and there is a chance of riots. The same thing happened early last year. They said that Kenya Power is connected to the government and doesn’t want us to see the news or to be able to communicate (charging the phone without electricity is impossible). I don’t want to name those preachers but it’s easy to track them. On that day schools closed early and shops closed. Even the clients (the drug addicts) from Reachout Centre told me to go home it’s not safe for me as a white girl. I was scared!

Later on they said that a power station exploded. Okay, it’s an explanation for the blackout but not for the rumors. Something must be going on – why should people just come up with such stories?

To wish me well some of my friends took me to the cinema. For the first time since I’m in Kenya. I was scared enough to say I don’t want to enter this building. But they convinced me to do so. The movie was boring but it’s an experience itself to go into a Kenyan cinema. Before the movie started we had to stand up for the National Anthem. People are never able to forget where they are. I don’t understand this pride to be honest. Because talking to the individual, there are so many prejudices against each other. It happens often that the first question is “which tribe is he?” and between the religions it’s the same…

Finally I said goodbye to my third family and left Mombasa for good. I’m happy about it and looking forward to a new experience in a peaceful environment.


1 Comment

Sonja:
October 12, 2013
Hey
Unfortunately, part of the rumors became true. Four Muslim Preachers have been killed on 4th of this Month.
I'm happy to be safe in Taita County.
Another thing: I cannot upload pictures. The connection is too slowly.
Enjoy reading!
Sonja
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