I will miss Kenyatta University. What I will miss about my long walks around the campus of Kenyatta University are the unexpected details. This is not what I know. My awareness is heightened because I am aware that everything is new.
I will miss walking down the long walkways that criss-cross campus, edged with variegated shrubs, light green, dark green, light green, dark green, a maze of choices that first confused, but now comfort me. What a gift it has been to be able to live where I can walk to work. The last four months have felt like living in an African park. The bushes grow quickly and about once a month they have been trimmed by armies of machete wielding workers. I will miss seeing that.
I will miss Harambee Hall, the frustrating, noisy, alive, crazy home for most classes and performances for the Department of Theatre Arts and Film Technology. I will miss the creativity and chaos of the place I spent most of my time working on campus.
I will miss the steel desks, their noise, their oppressive presence, their ability to always be somewhere new. I still think they are alive and have the ability to move at night in the dark wherever they want.
I will miss the formal front gate to Kenyatta Univeristy. Elimu ni Nguvu. Education is Power. Like the entrance to Oz, Kenyatta University is guarded and gated, and the big blue front gates are manually opened and closed every time a car enters or exits. All of my journeys in Kenya have been about leaving the hallowed grounds of the University, about walking from the peaceful grounds into the unknowns, and the feeling of peace as I return through the gates to my now familiar peace.
I will miss my ranch house on the dead end street in the back corner of campus at Kenyatta University and the community I interact with every day in this specific place, our corner of the world. I will miss 4 Malawi Close and the lizards and the never ending surprises.
I will miss seeing African birds and hearing African birds. I sometimes feel like I live in a personal aviary on campus, with each species of bird selected for my pleasure. I love noticing and listening to the birds.
I will miss open windows every single day, with no screens, with no air conditioning and no heat but just air. Fresh air. African air.
I will miss Africa. I will miss Kenya. I will miss Nairobi. I will miss Kenyatta University. I will miss Malawi Close.
I will miss the people.