Ok, I should have introduced this post. The writing’s from Dr. Awori a Kenyan Cardiothoracic surgeon based here in the US whom in my opinion’s (and that of many of his friends) a great writer. We’ve all been pushing him to write a book, probably short story format. What I have posted here are some of his random facebook posts. I did this for a different friend of mine who’s in publishing to see whether they would be interested in publishing him….
Short Story 1:
“She was 79 so I said ‘no’ without hesitation. She had never travelled to Africa and to select a trip to rural Kenya in the aftermath of post electoral violence was certainly not a risk I was willing to take for her or our fledgling group. No matter how genuine her intentions. What if she got sick in Kenya…..or worse? Not a chance.
It was about a week later, however, that I received her letter. It read like an excerpt from “The meaning of Life”. A profound essay on the interdependence of humanity…the rarity of actualization of true self and the discovery of authentic self identity against all odds, barriers, distraction – without prejudice. She voiced her desire to participate in an act of service, no matter how trivial or menial in this articulate gentle, earnest plea without a trace of manipulation. She talked of ‘special gifts’ given to ‘us all’ that ought to be ‘paid back.’ I immediately recognized the Judeo-Christian slant but it was only until halfway through that I realized what I was reading was a bucket list. HER bucket list and agenda item #6 was to travel to provide community service in a less privileged setting, remarkably deeming the recipients of the providence as the more deserving. I acquiesced and took her on that trip – still with profound fear. No longer, however, that something might happen to this precious matriarch but no – instead that I might not provide the experience that would live up to her expectations.
Two years later, I hear she has died in her sleep and in a letter penned the same week she described a peace found from specific moments in her life. She named three. Item #2 was one trip to Eldoret, Kenya two years previously. The family ‘felt I should know.’
I felt simultaneously sad, relieved, ecstatic and embarrassed.”
Short Story 2:
“Tried hard not to eavesdrop but could not ignore the conversation. Quickening pulse. Temples blazing fire. The expressed sentiments, too casual. Nonchalant, I thought. They were talking about -hunting. Then it came…hope of traveling to “Africa” to hunt ‘big game.’ What? All ears now. I waited but no reference to culling. Just a brazen intent to utilize a fully automatic weapon from within the confines and refuge of a military- grade vehicle to shoot to kill an endangered pride. Beyond incensed. I noted the gleeful recognition of my ancestry as they now turned their attention to me. Unhesitatingly, I answered long before the question was completely verbalized. ….”No. In Kenya, shooting a lion is viewed with the same enthusiasm as walking into Nordstrom and opening fire with an AK-47 on a teacup poodle sitting strapped in a Prada bag.”
I think they understood what I was trying to say.”
Short Story 3:
“Last night, I dissected out the lungs of a dead man. I placed them in a new “box”, hooked them up and gently raised them to body temperature. No ice storage. I then ventilated and perfused them in that box just like they were in a human body. I put them in an ambulance and drove to a different hospital to implant them in a live patient who was waiting, asleep. Sometimes I catch myself smiling because if my poor grandmother, in the heart of rural Kenya, only knew what I did for a living she would absolutely believe her grandson practiced witchcraft.”
Short Story 4: