Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 25: Making History

This morning I sit glued to my t.v. as a new dawn rises in Kenya. Outside the final clouds of our coldest season blanket our city while throngs gather at Uhuru Park for the promulgation of the new constitution. Dressed in all manner of regalia, entertained by dancers from around the country, Kenya’s leadership oversees this day. They sit with solemn faces, breaking occasionally into smile as the celebration peaks in song or dance or the simple joy of hope. For them, changes loom large. Positions will change, voting should have more meaning, progress should be harder to stall in the name of special interests. And yet, somehow, it passed. The country unified with a resounding “yes” – its original dictator doing great service to the yes camp by being so strongly in the no camp.

Now I am watching as my friend Caroline Nderitu (a member of my Rotary Club and a former Poet Laureate of Kenya) shares a poem she has written for this day:

“…For we have come, where we have been going,

the platform for transformation.

It is time for a new brand of a brand new Kenya.

It is time.”

A gospel singer follows Caroline. One man in the rows of dignitaries stands amidst his more solemn counterparts, waving his hands with the rhythm, echoing the scores of the common people more willing to give in to the joy of this occasion.

They are all standing now. I am crying now. This is a day bigger than I can understand but even I know it is a beginning.

Tonight the sun sets on Kenya’s second republic.

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