Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Diwali and Other Celebrations

Luminaria line the streets of nearby Kisumu, marking the five-day "Festival of Lights," or Hindu New Year. Kenya is a multi-ethnic country; although the Hindu population is a minority, it is well-represented in the business community here. Rich traditions reflect Kenya's 42 tribes, and a fragile peace has returned to this beautiful land.

Although controversy reigns around implementation of the Waki Report and corruption scandals are reported regularly in the local press, all headlines now focus on the upcoming U.S. presidential race. I asked a matatu driver in Nairobi last week, "Will it invite more conflict between Luos and Kikuyus if Barack Obama wins?" His answer was swift and incisive: "Obama is an American." But here in Western Province, the local populace is reading the news as avidly as the expats.

While the world awaits the outcome of the elections, my grandchildren are getting excited about Hallowe'en at home, and I am grateful to receive the Eucharist at St. Philip's. It is a lovely early-morning walk across the equator to chapel services.

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