Thursday, February 12, 2009

THIS VALENTINE IN KENYA....REACH OUT TO OTHERS

Valentine day, a day to show love to your loved one’s, is normally like a normal day to me, because I believe that people can express their love anytime they feel like and it doesn’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day. However those who regard this day highly, have lots of reasons to lot look forward to the day and celebrate it as they wish.

Celebrating valentine’s day in Kenya this year, will not be easy for many due to harsh economic times, there is food shortage due to famine and maize scandal, causing a hike in food prices. Price of maize flour (our staple food) was lowered then it went up again, and basically everything from rent, cooking gas, paraffin, transport etc… all are priced highly. Many couples would not even think of going on holiday, romantic dinners or buying flowers (which is do not form part of the food on the tables). The other reason many will not celebrate is the fire tragedies that hit the country recently. Many are still in hospitals and others are mourning.

However there are other interesting things in Kenya, a good example is the tourism sector, booming with visitors from US coming to see the country of their President’s father. Tourism Minister Hon Najib Balala visited US and encouraged US citizens to visit Kenya. This is will bring some good revenue to the country and to Nyang’oma Kogelo village when some will go all the way to Siaya district to visit President Obama’s grandmother Sarah. I believe they will enjoy the beautiful scenes in Kenya, the Hotels and the Kenyan coast Mombasa, consequently have a wonderful Valentine. If you are one of the people affected by the current hardships and tragedies, you may consider visiting the Kogelo village. It may be cheaper but equally satisfying.

Though I don’t fancy Valentine’s Day, I always enjoy watching lovers carrying roses, dressed in red outfits (this is common with older women in Kenya compared to the young), those who are very keen and have the money will drive red cars and buy their loved ones red cars. This Valentine being a Saturday, a day many prefer having their weddings, I believe there are weddings all over the country, I imagine red will be a main color in the color scheme. I also look forward to an invitation to “merry go round”/chama party (mainly women’s social groups were they visit one another in turns, mostly on monthly basis and give a fixed amount to the host who prepares meals and drinks depending of the type or class of the group), this Saturday. I imagine many will come in red and driving in red cars even if they would have to borrow to achieve that goal.

Lastly, whichever way we decide to celebrate this Valentine, lets remember the many Kenyans sleeping on empty stomach due the famine that has hit the country and to send our donations to the various kitty’s/organizations supporting the hungry. Furthermore valentine is about love and love is about giving and giving is to those we love and those who are lacking.
What are you plans this Saturday? Do these plan fits in the definition of the day?

Happy Valentine’s!

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