Where I Am From



I am from equatorial highlands drenched in morning fog and Kilimanjaro rising out of the horizon on a crystal clear day, from rolling hills blanketed in a green sea of Lipton tea fields, plains of Dole pineapple plantations, coffee grown on “a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills” and Tusker. 
    I am from remnants of British Colonialism… afternoon tea, football, proper speech, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, shillings, fish and chips, colour, and knowing which fork to use first.
I am from the shadeless branches of the upside-down Baobab, the Jacaranda that paves my steps in purple royalty, wild Poinsettia too majestic for tacky gold foiled wrapped holiday d├ęcor, Bottlebrush, Frangipani, Flame Tree and the mighty Muna.
    I am from Sunday night pancake suppers, cookie baking wars, chameleon collecting and December 25th morning readings of Luke 2:1-20. I am from 'My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean' and 'Sam’s Song' and 'Jim Dandy.' Lyrics optional.
I am the place of the winds, a president’s cornerstone, spaghetti casserole on metal dining trays, curfews, crater hikes, sports tournaments, ugali & sukuma wiki from the duka, quarry runs, digging stumps for detention and 101 ways to sneak out of a dorm.
    From “Stay out of the sun from 12 until 2!” and “Here, read this book. See where it takes you.”
I am from faith deeply fostered on rough hewn wooden benches during three hours of celebration in a building with mud walls… or no walls… or in the dirt under the flat umbrella of the Acacia. A place where testimonies are shouted proudly with joyous abandon, music is the soul of worship, sermons come in three languages, sugar cane & eggs a good offering make and honored guests eat what they are served without question… lest they offend.
    I'm from a Texas American-Mutt birth with a lot of German Shepherd, a bit of Scottish Terrier, plenty of English Bulldog and a dash of French Poodle thrown in just for flavor. I am chicken curry, sauerkraut with dumplings, southern-style biscuits & gravy and warm Coke in glass bottles.
From overnight Tsavo train rides sans rogue lions, filling up crab holes in the sands of the Indian Ocean and racing from reef to shore at the turn of the tide, I am the explorer under the waves.
    I am animal print photo boxes, scrapbook supplies spread to and fro on table and floor, framed wall collages, painted portraits, missionary slide sentimentality and memories imbedded in a multi-continental consciousness.
This is me.

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