28 July 2014

My Saturday

On saturday, at Blue Lake Regional Park in Fairview Oregon, I attended an annual  barbecue party the local Kenyans have here. It's a really big deal where all the Kenyans, other Africans and friends of other races in Portland and the State of Washington get together to fellowship and eat and play summer games. I'm glad to be invited every year. It's one of a few times each year when I don't feel like a fish on dry land.

Every year I am invited by my two closest Kenyans friends and  at least 10 additional friends I had met from past years who called me individually, insisting on transporting me if I don't have a ride. It's a great feeling to not wonder if I am liked, if my presence is appreciated. I had a great time.

There were about 150 people in attendance this year.The elder male there prayed over the food before we ate. I loved that they were Christian. There were no thugs, no pants sagging, no cussing, no drugs, no cigarettes, no ratchedness of any kind, that I saw or heard. the kids were well mannered.  It was lots of laughter, and lots of food. Every one I met were Engineers, Nurses, Accountants or in some Graduate program, etc., everyone I met had something going for themselves, old and young. The young kids called me sir. I liked it. I was very impressed.
I was surprised to see a neighbor and his wife and kids show up. He's from Malawi. He and I have a mutual friend there. So I have a new friend. I got to hear great converations about the similaries in the Kenyan food versus Malawian good, stories about their journeys from Africa to Oregon, and the reactions of people in their work environment. I was able to draw on our similarities. I thought it was amazing that a friend from Kenya actually attended the same university I attended; Lincoln Memorial University- a small  tennessee college near cumberland gap. This world is getting smaller and smaller.There were a few very attractive women there that I chatted with there. I didn't make a love connection, but I still had a good time. They'll be friends. I need friends. I'm looking forward to going to the coast next weekend with two of my friends from Kenya. We go there annually for some volleyball tournament.
What touched me the most was the feeling of belonging.

We had to introduce ourselves and state the country or Kenyan tribe of whom we were a part, and I  gave my name and stated I don't know what country my people were from, and a few said loudly that my people were obviously originally from Africa so I'm their brother.

That made me feel good. I belonged.

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