Wednesday, October 26, 2011

APOLOGIES

Today was a special day. It was special because I had the chance to attend a meeting of various stakeholders in Kasarani. I have previously shared my experience at Kariobangi where I do my community service duties. It's a community based organization that deals with HIV/Aids in teenagers (13-18years old).
This stakeholders meeting I was attending was to bring together various representatives from organizations in Kasarani that are fighting HIV/Aids.
So, I made my way there and reported to the DC's camp by 9:50am. The meeting was scheduled for 10:00am. I had this stupid look on my face, more of a smirk than a smile because I had made it there on time. So, first of all the camp had so many people, with police officers marching in and out and vehicles storming about the place. I got to meet the Constituency Aids Coordinator who let me have a seat as we waited for quorum!  Now, having been to many meetings before-there is nothing I dread most, if not the word 'quorum.' It always means that we have to wait-for whichever time so people can stroll in. I looked at the man and pulled out my latest read: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (http://www.khaledhosseini.com)
I sat there reading for one hour, ten minutes and two seconds before being ushered to the hall. I cannot recall the last time I sat on wooden benches during a meeting, but this was the first timeOpen-mouth smile. I loved sitting there because it brought back my Sunday school memories, where we sang how many sons Father Abraham had!
I picked two things during that meeting pertaining HIV/Aids. First, this year's World Aids Day Theme is: "Getting to Zero- Zero HIV infection, Zero discrimination, Zero HIV related deaths."
The second was that there are so many ordinary people who are doing their best for others. There are many people, I met some of them during that meeting who take care of orphans, widows, men and even the unborn children-they are constantly thinking of the welfare of others. I also got to drink Stoney-and figured how much it burns the throat as it goes down! Whatever happened to real soda? It's just sugar and gas, and sugar and gas....but all the same soda!
So, here comes the moment that got me blowing steam while hard pressed on a wooden bench listening to the agenda of the meeting. The chair-lady strolls into the meeting, two hours late and says "my apologies for the short delay."
Short delay?????????
The woman was late by two hours and some seconds and she called it a 'short delay?'
See, most of my friends know me as a patient and very forgiving person-but on the other hand, my mom and sister know that it's always a struggle with my temper. I always have to keep my cool, and I found out that this has led to me being so calm, at times I look stupid.
So, there I was calm and with this smile on my face counting the hours and asking myself what next? Time management is still a major issue in Kenya. For, I wonder where we grew so lazy because our grandfathers and their forefathers were never late yet they had no watches. They would tell their people to expect them by dusk and sure to that they would be there. A journey that lasts long, was always started before the cock crew. Why are people nowadays so keen on being late? Isn't it awful that when you show up two hours later-you have denied yourself the opportunity to have learned of what was said earlier?
The meeting was good, it ended at 1:10pm, and I made my way to campus and I am glad to say that I am enjoying Khaled Hosseini's book very much-will share with you the life and beauty of a character whom I have adored in the book, called Hassan.