Wednesday, March 23, 2011

African Windows and Doors

Ensconced in the warm and cozy homes we take for granted in our North American lifestyle, it is easy to forget that neither safety nor comfort are a given for a vast majority of the world’s citizens.
Nairobi



Nowhere has the line between the haves and have-nots been so clearly drawn for me as it was on a trip to Kenya several years ago.  Our safari tour found us lodged each night in beautiful surroundings, with turquoise pools to splash in, and so sumptuous a dinner buffet laid out that we could scarcely make a dent in it.
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On route to the next lodge in the mornings, we watched schoolchildren and adults emerge from their small houses, impeccably dressed for the day in uniforms and bright shirts. A steady stream of people made their way along each side of the road, often walking long distances to work or class.


Their daily struggle to get by requires ingenuity and tenacity.



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Outside the city, youngsters carried home jars of kerosene for use in the family cooking pots. Adults set up their sewing machines and shops outdoors…others led donkeys to aid in bringing home precious water...

and at every corner, groups of men gathered together...clear indication of a fractured economy that does not guarantee a job for everyone.
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I came home with renewed appreciation for what I have, and a desire to share some of that goodness with those who must make do with so little.
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I will return to Africa, this I know, but not to take...next time it will be my turn to give.
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I am linking this post to Mary T’s ‘Window Views…and Doors Too.’ Drop by her wonderful page to see more…


http://windowviews2.blogspot.com/
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15 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Thanks for these photos of Kenya. Through a Canadian charity, I pay the high school fees of a teenaged girl there. Your photos give me a greater insight into her world.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh what a marvellous post, so full of the sad inequities of this world. One of my readers, living in Kenya, responded to my post about water saying they wash their babies with a "mouthful" of water. I, too, would so love to go to Africa, to help. The very minimum, a well for each village, would help so much!!!! The other huge dichotomy between Africa and North America, is the depth of joy and spirit in the African people, who have so little, and the amount of discontent in North America of those who have so much. I so admire their joy!

Pat said...

We do, indeed, take our way of life for granted, until we see real poverty. Our youngest son and his wife returned last July from two years in Niger as Peace Corps Volunteers, and the poverty there is even lower than in Kenya. Buildings there are of mud bricks. Water is turned off by the government during the hot season (our springtime), except between the hours of 2 AM and 5 AM, so they cannot easily keep themselves clean during that hot season.

Upon return to the US, my son and daughter-in-law have adopted a somewhat simpler lifestyle than their peers--e.g., only one car, not two--not a huge change, but it's a start.

adrielleroyale said...

Very true, we take too much for granted here...

Pat Tillett said...

A great and thought provoking post. I feel so very fortunate to have what I do. I certainly worked to get where I am, but at least I had the opportunity to do so...

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

What an amazing experience this must have been - thank you for sharing it with us!

I read this and realize how much in one day we take for granted. Our lives are so easy, yet we complain and yearn for more.

I came away from this writing with profound gratitude. Thank you for that.

joo said...

Very touching post Lynette! I agree that we tend to forget how much we have comparing to the places like that you show us here. Great post!

ewok1993 said...

I love hanging laundry in the windows.

Hilary said...

So touching. These photos, with all their raw beauty say so much.

Linnea said...

Your shots are colorful, genuine, and full of life!

Lew said...

You have opened a window to another world with these images! And what is seen is not always a pretty picture. What a contrast to your green hills of Ireland!

George said...

Thank you for a very thoughtful and thought-provoking post. Your pictures are wonderful and beautifully captured daily life in Kenya.
I encountered much the same thing on my trips to China. We have so much in North America which we take for granted.

EG Wow said...

Thank you. This reminds us...or SHOULD remind us... of how lucky we are to live in North America!

My windows here:
http://moreofme24.blogspot.com/2011/02/main-street-window-views.html

Katy Cameron said...

Love this post. It was my pleasure, when living in South Africa, to use a week's subsistence pay each month to buy essentials for a children's creche in a slum in Soweto. Taking these ladies shopping to buy the things that no visitor ever thinks of donating - soap, medicines, towels, toilet paper, nappies, school supplies, educational toys and decor - was, I hoped, an investment in their survival beyond that of the odd furry toy that was donated. I was also able to introduce them to a friend that was a trained nursery teacher, who was able to share a lot of training materials. Find a project, and put your all into it, both time and money are a wonderful investment :o)

Andy said...

These pictures do indeed tell a sad story. We in the privileged part of the world take so much for granted. Thank you for showing these.