Five o’clock in the morning. No conversations going boring. Just your head laid back on the left backseat headrest in a vehicle where in more than one occasion, the driver assigned is the only adult with the exception of one or two parent figures.
The convoy snakes its way into the Eastern Bypass, and you steal a quick glance at the three young ones to your right, whose eyes are now wide open, quietly beholding the sights to be beheld, contrary to the beginning of the journey, when their oral cavities seemed to know no rest as they bombarded you with questions which not even the normal ‘lies’ you respond with to children could suffice. As they weighed your ‘lie’ amongst themselves, you got the chance to renew your strength for the conversations they would strike with you upon reaching the famous stopover, Kenol, whose full engagement in ensured a gain of trust to be their help when no more maandazis would fit in their tiny stomachs.
En route Murang’a. After holding on to dear life (anything firmly fixed and graspable in the vehicle you were aboard) as the vehicle maneuvered the steep roads to the desired destination with the aid of the skilled driver, you are welcomed with warm faces (mostly strange) and you have to feign extreme joy on meeting even the famous household mongrel.
The women begin the ascent to the homestead located atop a hill with melodious tunes rolling out of their mouths, bearing tokens on their backs, heads or hands, dressed to kill and heavily adorned. A tune along the lines of hodi gùkù fills the air and calculated gyrations with forward steps are the required motions, definitely way different from the vigorous moves you are accustomed to applying whenever Rema’s Calm Down comes full on in MDCCCXXIV. Somehow, you survive the ordeal and the event begins.
‘Connections’ land you a place in the living room, where entertaining the young ones is the only chore upon your head, with an added advantage of consuming the chapatis the little ones proudly walk in with after mumbling something along the lines of hii ni moto…wacha nikupoeshee to a one who seemed rather uninterested in matters chapati, opting in stead for some delicious cakes which were ndani ya handbag ya mum (and yes, delicious, not delicious-looking…be my jury).
Later on, the wamama join you after all the kitchen preparations and you get to enjoy the work of their hands, courtesy of favour from shosho, who perceived your interest in partaking of the food right after you served the wamama present a biting, before they set the feast for all the guests (which you also partook of bila jasho).
As the bridegroom-to-be takes a guess of the bride-to-be from an array of khanga-veiled ladies, a voice sounds in your mind, “This could have been us, Maina, but you played, mister.” Quickly dismissing the voice, you realise that ‘Ah, that was an accident,’ for the umpteenth time. Nevertheless, a muttering of ‘it is what it is’ jolts you back into reality.
By and by, goodbyes are bidden and no sooner have you reached Mlolongo than a Saturday evening traffic jam decides the location of your rest for the night. Goodnight in beep beep!