I don’t want to start writing by complaining about something. I am a little tired today with all the grumbling associated with this country and what is NOT happening that should.
So, I will instead focus on a very important lesson that I learnt, and have pondered, this weekend.
I went to Sagana on a white water rafting expedition with about 11 other friends and the relaxation and physical stress that I had hoped to encounter took on a bit of a different dimension. One I was not sure I welcomed.
After a cosy dinner on Saturday night, we were told we were about to play a game where we would be required to conquer our fears. It didn’t sound like a big deal and I was even excited that we were about to be challenged in a new way.
I did not expect to be afraid, but I was scared when I clutched onto that rope in the dark, in the woods and followed it into this strange dark, bushy and rocky place to wherever it led. There was no light whatsoever apart from the ‘lovely’ stars in the sky.
I had to go slowly in order not to trip on the rocks and that forced me – to feel my fear. Did I mention that it was dark and I didn’t know the area? Well in no time, the hairs on my arms and neck were tingling and I was struggling to maintain calm. We did it one by one, so there was no one immediately before or behind me. After those 12 minutes or so I was ready for a stiff drink!
Challenge Two: I am scared of natural waters. In Mombasa, I usually prefer watching other people walking knee high in the ocean, but after the ‘dark rope’ challenge I knew I had to go rafting. I knew I was still not on top of my fears. I reckoned I’d be fine as long as I kept in the inflatable raft and out of the water. More so because of the odd hippo and croc that we were told to watch out for!
Well, as it happened I fell into the water, severally. Our raft capsized about three times and we had to jump into the water, swirl around a little bit, try not to get sucked into the whirl-pool and swim against the current to get to the boat. I did all these tasks, bravely, quietly and they were some of the hardest things I had to do.
But such is life. And I learnt that since we keep doing the same things we don’t know how to handle the new. We do not believe in our abilities as people, Kenyans, great minds… So how do we expect things to change?