Mary Lekoshere Illustrated

Sketches of Kenya
September 15, 2010, 10:36 am
Filed under: Art for Africa

My coffee pot started making me coffee at 6 AM. It’s nice like that. My husband and I are starting to get up early–he’s got the pressure of studies over his head and I want time to be in the Word and other reading.  I only have a half day of work today–which is the only day in this week. So I’m hopeful of getting Dorothy in pencil. Maybe maybe I’ll have something to show by the end of today.

I will be posting parts of my sketchbook from Kenya. The slim, blue sketchbook arrived in time for my trip. The thin, transparent pages are a challenge, and If I had book binding skills, I might fill it with my own paper.

Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project

The left-hand side shows part of my in-law’s house. They live in part of the mission station, a path leading directly from their property down the hill to the clinic. A steady stream of people came traipsing to the door the brief time we were there. Esther and Daktari are always an attraction, but throw Sawaya in and more come along. This old mama came along (pictured right) and I sat down by her. She didn’t speak English and I took the opportunity to learn a little Samburu. Kara ngitok e lekoshere e Sawaya. My sister in law, Josephine, translated to her that I needed to repeat it often in order to learn it, which Mama Karina took seriously, happily saying it again and again. I practiced the phrase, thinking I was saying “I am the wife of Sawaya.” Sawaya later told me that what she, a true Samburu woman, taught me translated as I am the first wife of Sawaya. Sawaya is explaining to me that this is never a way you introduce yourself. They would ask what family I am with, and I would tell them. Then they would ask what “class” I am married to. (the males in the family are grouped according to initiation… contrary to our culture, circumcision is a big part of their lives:)  So that narrows it down to Joseph and Sawaya. to me, this seems too many words. Why can’t I just say. I’m Sawaya’s wife. Or, I’m Mrs. Sawaya Lekoshere. Which is also never used. They are fond of titles. I am, a word I can’t remember, “the new wife.” When I have a child I will be called mama–insert child’s name. So in naming my first child, I am essentially naming myself. :)

Esther and Daktari's house...Mama Karina


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