Yesterday, I had a unique experience with a Kenyan. I had gone to a local mall to purchase a power cord for my computer – we had a major power surge at our house last week that ruined all the power cords in the house that were plugged into outlets. Thankfully, that was the worst of the damage. As I was spending way too much money for a power cord (you’d be surprised how expensive electronics are in Kenya), I was also having a conversation with the employees there about the recent attack in Garissa. We all shook our heads in disbelief and disgust at the tragic events that resulted in the loss of 147 young, bright Kenyans. But, what surprised me was the next comment one of the salesmen made. He said, “but things are getting better.” This man exhibited hope in his country and fellow Kenyans.
Now, Kenyans have a tendency to be down on their government (for some good reasons), and they like to share conspiracy theories and complain about the corruption. This man did none of that. This man highlighted the fact that the military response team arrived faster than after the Westgate attack and immediately defused the situation. “It’s getting better” he said.
I think this man’s comments are a better representation of Kenya than what the world may currently believe. In my opinion, Kenya is changing. Kenya is progressing. And, when it comes to fighting terrorists, the leaders are responding and, better yet, they are being proactive. The people of Kenya are coming together and supporting one another. Kenyans are taking a stand against the terrorists, and they are putting pressure on their government to make the country more secure. Do they still have a long way to go? Absolutely. My point is that I am seeing hope in the Kenyan people and positive change in the government.
I want to point you to an article that I’ve read recently that also articulates the positive changes and hope that Kenyans have for their future.
Personally, I feel safe. I want to encourage people from around the world to come to Kenya. Visit. Come see the beauty of this country. From the plains of Masai Mara to the heights of Mt Kenya and the beaches along the Indian Ocean, Kenya is beautiful. The people are bright, hard-working and friendly. Also, pray. Pray for the leaders, pray for the Kenyan people and pray for those who lost their loved ones last week.
Terrorists can attack anywhere. Standing in the US Capitol just 4 miles away, I was closer to the Pentagon when it was hit by a jetliner in 2001 than I was to Garissa last week. And, I will do today what I did then. Stay. Live my life.