Geography studies strove to stimulate the mind with facts about the mercurial cosmos. The changing moons that created tides, prettified horizons until poems were wrung out from hearts of men. The not-planet, Pluto – don’t even pretend to know why that is. Or the plain old rocks. These were in a whole different ballpark. They boiled in the earth’s guts and because God knows life should spill out in one grandiose modus, they spurted out in glorious reproduction-like fashion. Think volcanism, think geysers, think cumming, think springs – it is the way of bringing forth life, folks.
Then the rocks hit the ground running, slothfully covering their ancestors and setting new foundation for life. Ergo moss, grass, then Kibo Safari Camp. It feels like a home for Adam.
I was Eve.
I sat outside my tent, no 23, on an opium chaise-bed facing the almighty Kilimanjaro. I was here with a squad from tour firms who were now chattering on the pool deck. The pathway that led out there was stacked with rocks alongside each other to make a pathway to the pool. Rocks so brown they looked like Waithera. I get why the ancestors ate up the whole creation from soil gist.
My new page turner Americanah by Chimamanda lay on my thigh beseeching me to go back to falling for Obinze. See, Chima is worth all the hype. Don’t take her at face value, which by the way, is very high. By design, the afro-centric are meant to gobble her work with more relish but wait and see how she reels you in. She writes with feet of clay and you’ll identify with her then fall for her mind, hard. Even you Asiimwe. The word enchant comes to mind.
All around me, the adolescent earth birthed grass with avowed intent like a teenage boy does armpit hair. The grass was literally everywhere, cloaked in a thin layer of dust. The wind as if on cue every so often breezed by, bathing the grass and sanitizing the air. Kibo safari camp nestles in the big old Amboseli National Park like the navel is in the belly. I hope you see it in your head. The waist is the main Emali-Olitokitok road and the abdomen cavity is the park.
Kibo Safari Camp defines afro-centric. It’s so damn sexy African you can tell it’s a dark short haired lass with an ample bottom, nude. Like Chidimna of the Kedike hype. It looks like it scrubs with sand, honey and all that natural stuff ladies in Kurlly diaries use. It only dons tiny Ankara and dashiki bras and skirts. It carries a pot of something on its head. Or pot grows somewhere here, unburdened with notions of what it should be other than a plant. I remember desperately clinging to my well suited Ogake bags for fear that even I would need lessons in being African. Never mind that if I’d laid on the earthy ground or leaned against the massive dark brown tables nude, I’d have vanished.
After a feast for lunch, I went for a swim as the rest of the lot went for a game drive. The pool is small but intimate. It hangs on the very edge of the camp. From time to time, zebras passed by, their behinds larger than the pool which now swallowed me and threatened my fro. Not moved by lodges or tourists, they roam gracefully and nonchalantly very much differently from what was happening with me in the pool. See, getting the hair wet goes against every grain of being an African woman. So I was trying to enjoy the full essence of the cool pool, without getting my head immersed and I was looking like a frog. The zebras stared. I think I saw two of them shake their heads and I, afraid of judgment, let it all sink. Let me help you understand – where I come from, Wambui means Zebra. I had to save face.
I am going to rush through the rest of the stay since we have a few bones to pick. See how a Subaru accelerates? Pay attention because this is how I’m going to take you through this. Tally ho.
It’s 5:45 am and I am sharing my tent with my sister. I am being nice since she had been moody prior and since I didn’t want her to move to Kilgoris ama somewhere far, I had to oil her. The lights are not on yet. (They use Solar here and I was beginning to think they were being showy about just how earthy one can get). Ergo, they have a lighting system in the tents; Lights go out at 11;30 and you have listen to warthogs mate until 6. Carry a reading light. If it perks your interest, use it to peep at the warthogs. Thing is, being an environmentalist, I am borderline hipster about some things. It’s easy to disappoint me with wasteful superfluities. I was impressed by Kibo, kosher.
So we left for the game drive to catch monkeys that don’t wake up with blue balls, unlike those at Nairobi Park. Elephants took our passports and ID’s and checked us in. They were everywhere. Amboseli is jumbo central. They roam, the waltz, they lima each other, they graze, they drink and they snooze all in plain sight. After the drive, I went for a massage and since we are on this topic, allow me to ask. How many of you frequent massage parlors? Have any of your masseuses leaned so hard on your butt cheeks they literally fell off after you woke up from the massage table? They got so in sync with your gluteus muscles they turned to rubber or red? And when you tried walking after and you felt like a baboon because you wanted to show them off? No body? Me neither. But I’ll say this; on the drive back I was floating on rubber muscle.
And now, folks of the WordedVeil, let’s talk. Are we cool? It’s been a few months and I really thought about packing up, giving up the writing ghost and selling my pens on OLX. It’s this life and its brouhaha. But while away, BAKE nominated us to sit with men. Then Biko mentioned me just once and droves of loyal and hard-to-please readers showed up. Natabona, Bosslady, Oyaro Edwin, Nancy, Kimtai, Clive, Maina and the rest of you Karibuni. Find a chair and settle down then text a friend. We have to vote.
WordPress does not suffice too for these guys so we are moving in a month after the BAKE carry-ons. I see Benzer Bett roll his eyes and a loud smirk from Solomon (welcome to WordedVeil by the way). Since we aim to please, we will create a better home. We have grown up, we have relinquished whimsical thoughts, heady ideas and unchecked fantasies. We have understood the un-bowing winds that you must follow in order to align yourself with life’s little graces, the dominoes that must fall into place in the quantum physics of the universe, the unmoved cycles that touch all aspects of life, bees, ants, rotting barks, sulphur, nitrogen, money, traffic jams, clouds and eventually me.
I’ll not bull shit you with apologies and such. I’ll be the lover you take back because it’s alright if we revel in the quiet enigma of the unknown. In the end, when you read, I’m whetted with desire to write just a little more.
The BAKE nomination was a cataclysm cum carnival, especially because I was nominated on the same platform as these writing honchos. Crazy Nairobian is that guy who’ll tell us “Mtashinda, true of God”. He’s just being nice. Unless we employ Sakaja, and get Biko’s flock, this might turn moot. Thanks for bowing out Biko, it was very gallant. But I won’t be surprised if you still win this. It’s not Kanu days but your fimbo is still stiff and your flock shakes with it. My Dear Doris and Magunga are those guys in the bar that sit on the counter stool and laugh boisterously, drink in hand, chic on another. Those cool peeps that have stories about the time they went to Lamu and convinced Fatuma to return with them into their room only for Fatuma to say as she nuzzles her behind closer, ah ah, siwezi mimi huwa na kifafa.”