The Kids Liked to Pull Tom's Hair

One day shortly after arriving in Nairobi, Jim took Tom and I along to meet some friends that lived in a suburb outside of the city.  Jim had visited the family a couple of times before.  It was obvious, however, that most of the little kids had not had much experience with a mazungu (white man) visiting their neighborhood.  Jim told us he thought he was the first white person some of the kids had ever seen.  We were objects of much interest and discussion as they swarmed around us, obstructing our pathway to the house we were trying to reach.  The funniest thing to me in all this was watching as some of the kids reached out and pulled the hair on Tom's arms and legs.  

It actually happened to Tom a lot while we lived in Nairobi.  The kids thought is was the coolest thing that he had so much hair.  Tom said that often when he walked into Kibera the kids would surround him like he was a unique species they had never seen before.  He laughed as he recalled them all tugging and pulling at his arms and legs.  They pulled hard enough that it hurt sometimes, though they meant no harm.  He was just a real curiosity to them.  Tom is a gentle soul and since he didn't yell or get mad at them, they felt comfortable to explore the strange phenomenon walking through their territory. 

We have such a variety of memories from living in Nairobi.  They range from super challenging and difficult times to silly little things like this.  I'm glad we had such an array of experiences.  While I might have predicted we would have some challenges moving to a foreign country, I would never have imagined that some child would be tugging on the hair of my husband's legs.   The thought of it still makes me giggle.
Lori ZieglerComment