20 January, 2014
One of my masters students told me in class today that ‘time does not exist in Kenya.’ When he said it, the entire class laughed and shook their heads ‘Yes.’ Kenya has been teaching me about time, even though it does not exist. As a proud and successful finisher, someone who prides himself on ‘getting things done’, I witness stories all around me every day with no beginning, middle, or end in Kenya. Time does not exist.
Attending class is not a given. When my class with 71 students began last week, 10 students were in attendance. My heart was pounding. By the end of class, 19 were in attendance. I was completely unsettled. Arriving to class with 5 minutes left until the end is not uncommon. I must re-define. I must be in ‘what is’, and not ‘what should be’. I cannot change a culture, but I can be in a culture.
Learning to let go of my pride of finishing while I am here will be my toughest challenge, but something I need. In Kenya I am disoriented and dependent. In Kenya, finishers don’t win. So why play that game, Richard? What are you missing?
Time to go get some lunch and take a walk.