Music is rhythm, and Bruce Hornsby sings “Somethings will never change”. Almost like clockwork, the local dogs start barking at 8 pm right before we divide up our evening fix of chocolate, the last mosque call to worship is usually at 9 pm. Those are constant. Then throughout the night, if the rains are not torrential, and the thunder does not rattle us out of bed, the dogs will bark, sometimes quietly about 2 am, but sometimes they decide to unite as a poorly tuned heavy metal rock band and serenade us with loud ear piercing misery until 3 am. Just as we begin to fall back asleep, the first mosque call to prayer is heard at 4 am, and then, at 4:45 am, the man next door sweeps his walkway in the complete darkness of the night. Those are constant. We live about 15 km from the equator, and like clockwork, sunrise and sunset is approximately 6:30. That is a constant. And like the movie, it is ’Groundhog Day’ every day in Kisumu. The mosquitoes are a constant, the ants at night are a constant, the often smoky foul and fetid air is often a constant. (Not ‘a constant’ would be this randomly inserted sentence: We are 7 time zones ahead of the east coast of the US and I love my Indiglo Pathfinder watch, it is solar powered; it receives a radio signal from a satellite 2x a day to synchronize it to the world’s clock as it registers local time as well as the time back in the Philadelphia area so I know when I can safely contact family at home without risking waking them at odd hours. When I awake (or I am awakened) at odd times through the night, a slight bending of the wrist enables the watch to ‘glo’ so I can mentally record the time of the morning disturbance.) The sights and sounds of Kisumu are quite constant that if I actually needed to, I could set the time on my already accurate watch to the consistency of the rhythms of the city. It is close to 6 am, the rooster announces that morning has arrived, time to get ready for my morning obstacle run, a constant involving the avoidance of the bumps, ruts, holes, random rocks jutting out of the ground, tuk tuks, bikes, motorcycles without lights, and the crowds of students making their morning commute to their respective schools. I’ll shower, have my breakfast and hot tea, report to work about 8 am, return to the apartment after high Noon for lunch, another constant consisting of yogurt with a sliced apple, banana, topped with granola, with a side dish of a carrot or two. ‘Some things will never change’. Ah Kisumu, I can feel the ‘constant’ rhythm of your PULSE within me. Ya know what, to be different today, I might just go plant a tree.
I apologize for being late in my blog additions. But, I would be remiss not to use this forum to share my sympathies for all of the families who have lost loved and dear ones on Malaysian Air Flight 17. And I extend my most heartfelt sympathy and tears of compassion, and confusion, to my manager, Stan Martens and his family, who are dealing with the constant reminder of their personal loss of family members from this most heinous act of terrorism. You are constantly in our thoughts.