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  • Writer's pictureBrooke

On living slowly

So there are 2 words that I could easily describe my time In Kenya with and those words are "Pole pole." The word pole means sorry but the word pole pole means slowly. And SLOW is how Kenya feels to me most of the time.

In America, people are so rushed. Schedules are jam packed with ideas for productivity.

But here in the Masai Mara, the people put relationships above work every day.

In fact you don't dare talk about business or even ask a person what's wrong with them physically before you greet them.

You shake hands, introduce yourself and ask how their day is going. And then and then only can you proceed. Even in the clinic someone may be bleeding out, but they want to shake your hand. They want to be kind and courteous to you first. People value people-- not goals, dreams, money. People value people most because that's what they have.

At the clinic, work is slow. Patient's trickle in one at a time and to be seen by the doctor. When a laboring women comes in for me it seems like FOREVER before she delivers. Laboring is a slow and painful process (literally). Unlike in America when doctors are frequently augmenting labor by giving oxytocin, here we wait... We wait hours sometimes even days.

Sometimes I get so frustrated or impatient. I have told the workers at clinic a few times that I was bored. They tell me "Oh Brooke you get bored so easily." They love just sitting around and chatting, drinking some tea. And I can do it for an hour.. two hours.. three hours. But on days that clinic is so slow I start to get so mad. I'm like no I need to do something just anything.

So I make myself walk or ride my motorcycle or try to talk to people back at home because I'm not used to doing nothing. I'm not used to just "being".

And then I wonder what would life be like if I wasn't used to living so fast. If I was better at slowing down. What if I loved talking to people. What if I cared more about others then my schedule and what I have accomplished? What if I lived slowly?

Sometimes on slow days I draw pictures on the little kids in clinic's hands, my friend chases me around trying to tickle me, I watch the whole sunset because I have nothing else to do. I'm not used to it and sometimes I don't like it, but maybe pole pole I'm learning how to slow down.

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