Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mzungu = White Person

By: Christy Stutsman
March 10, 2009


“Mzungu! Mzungu” you yell out to me,
your eyes brightly shining, your face lit with glee.

“Ciao! Ciao!” the toddlers chorus,
a greeting of the missioners who came here before us.

“America! America!” Lauren and I shout in reply,
we’re not European, we say “hi” or “good-bye.”

Warm greetings are common, a nod or a wave,
more often a handshake, it’s their absolute fave.

Wet hands, sticky hands, hands dripping nasal goo,
oh yes, what a pleasure, it’s nice to see you too.

We part and move on, striding down a dirt path,
by the lake there are children enjoying a bath.

No matter where we go, the landscape doesn’t change,
deep brown to vivid green spans the full color range.

Cows, donkeys, goats, dogs, and pigs,
a multitude of creatures wandering about on four legs.

African animals are harder to spot,
well…except for the hippo that Lauren just fought!

Both knees are gashed, left arm is achy,
but I’m the one who knows her story’s a fakey.

She was running with me when she tripped on a rock,
the blood began to drip in a jagged line to her sock.

Kenyans had to gawk, on Doc Balient’s door we did knock,
he gave a tetanus booster so her jaw would not lock.

We joked about ways to get out of here,
we were doubting survival in Karungu for a year.


But, our perspective is now brightening,
it no longer seems as frightening,

we’ll make it in this place
with just a little bit of grace.

1 comment:

celeste said...

awesome poem girls!!! miss your Kenyan cooking and hospitality. hope all is well :o)