Monday 29 March 2010

A Jewish Night in Nairobi....

Sometimes you just have to blog...

Tonight is Seder night. Jewish I found the synagogue and headed off in the rain.

Imagine two diminutive red haired beared Rabbis from Brooklyn - tweedle dum and tweedle dee.

In the middle of Nairobi. I felt like I was Alice in the Looking Glass.

Old Jewish men with Kenyan glamorous wives looking decidely uncomfortable over the matzo balls.

Glitzy Jewish mamams, a bunch of rowdy Israelis and too much Kiddush wine.

Plenty of Hebrew songs, the small dwarfish Rabbis on the tables swaying and chanting -the Africans humming along and wondering when they could eat.

Me - in a stupor and laughing as all the food came out. Kfelte fish, chopped liver, chicken soup, salads, five hot dishes - enough to feed a small Jewish African army.

So I joined in, read the English, ate like a hog, marvelled at the old photos post 2nd world war on the synagogue door -the pioneers of old and thought, "tradition"..sometimes you can't beat it.


Saturday 13 March 2010

A few things

I haven't been feeling much like writing but there are a few touching and funny moments.

Every single day I see the same schoolboy - say around 14 years old - selling nuts for the equivalent of about 10 pence. Sometimes, well, usually, I give him money and through my car window we've struck up a relationship borne of habit.

The other day he grinned "Madame, madame...I have my grades - I had exams." He proceeded to go into a long explanation of which I understood nothing of his school system except he had come 5th out of 32 students.

I was inexplicably proud of him - a poor tall boy in schoolboy shorts selling nuts until 9 or 10 at night in the dark in a main road and he manages to succeed. That's courage.