Erika and I had a scary experience today. Erika wrote about it.
About 45 minutes after this episode we were in an amazing center called Comfort the Children, listening to about 8 handicapped children sing to us with all their might. It was amazing and beautiful...
It is like there is amazing beauty, love, touching courage and strength...and what seems to be a very thin veneer over great tension and potential violence.
From Comfort the Children we went to a nearby IDP camp...Camps that were built by the UN 3 years ago after post election violence here in Kenya. Tribal groups broke out with violent acts against each other and people moved back to areas where their tribal group is dominant. This caused homelessness all over the country because many of these people had not lived in the areas they moved to for generations. The UN put up tent camps, and many people still live in these same tents. 3 years of wind, rain, sun...you can imagine the tents. Habitat for Humanity has built many houses as replacement living structures, but then there is the issue of sustainability. Having a house doesn't mean you have the ability to make a living.
Most of these camps are just women and children. They have no idea what happened to their men...killed? ran off? Seems like he would have found them by now if he was alive and looking for them? Some of them have many, many children. They have formed co-ops and are raising chickens, renting land and growing small crops...But it isn't enough. One of the HS age girls was around today. We asked her why she wasn't at school. She had been sent home because she was behind on her school fees.
Some people wonder why they don't go back to the places where they had been living. You know, seems like life is settled down, back to normal...But who could go back to a place where you have learned that your neighbor is capable of killing you if stressed, not personally threatened by you, but persuaded that your "group" is to blame for something?
And as we learned today....considering the reality that all is not as it seems is part of surviving here. This is Africa.