Monday, February 22, 2010

Life in Nairobi's Slums


This Daily Nation article provides an illuminating and sobering glimpse at life in Nairobi's slums. Particularly haunting was the quote that it is "not uncommon for a lively child in her class to go home with a drunk father, only to return home the next morning 'like a torn and tormented ghost, who never smiles in the same way again.'"

Yet, as residents or even one-time visitors can attest, depravity is not the only face of the slums. I frequently speak of the palpable joy that effuses from the people who suffer as this article describes. The Nairobi slum dwellers I know are heroic, forever shining their bright spirits. Notwithstanding the atrocities of their daily lives, their cultural gratitude is immense.

Before I traveled to the Kawangware slum of Nairobi, I had never seen such spiritual wealth - even in my own country, the United States of America, where we have many collective blessings to celebrate.

Spiritual riches aside, those in the slums need help. I continually ask myself, "What more can I do to keep their felicity bulbs burning?"

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