This is a *guest post.
“Not too long ago, I was doing my usual Sunday shopping at the Lavington Mall in Nairobi, buying various baking ingredients since Sundays are the days I love making special treats for my kids.
Now, in that kind of leafy suburb, we often tend to assume that everyone there is ‘OK’ and doing quite well. As in, if they can afford to live in that neighborhood, then life must be doing them all kinds of good. You can see it in the cars they drive, their hairstyles, their outfits, the lingering scents of their colognes and perfumes, and the chubby cheeks of their children.
So after I’d finished my shopping, loaded it into my car and was ready to drive off, I looked up and saw a girl aged about 14 years standing alone by one parking bays.
But that’s not what caught my eyes.
I noticed she was unsuccessfully trying to hide the tears that were streaming down her face. Fearing she could be in trouble, I decided to go and ask after her.
The moment I said to her: “my dear, what’s wrong?”, she started sobbing uncontrollably on my shoulder.
As she did so, she told me that while her dad was around, he would be leaving them shortly… He would be leaving – again – in just two hours’ time yet he’d only been around for a week. She wasn’t going to see him again for another year.
She explained that her dad works outside the country. Her father regularly reminds she and her siblings that it is his job that affords them the good lifestyle they enjoy, that’s why he has to be away often.
I comforted her, assuring her that it was okay to cry.
She went on to tell me that her mom also travels outside the country quite a lot and with no parent around, she and her siblings are regularly left under the care of one of the housekeepers.
She said that thankfully, the main housekeeper is a kind woman who takes good care of them. She has been working in their home for the last seven years.
But still, she’s not their parent.
“I can’t tell you the million times I’ve wished that we were poor because then, my parents would be home with us all the time. They wouldn’t be always outside the country working.”
I felt sad. Really really sad.
I nevertheless told her to make the best of the remaining hours she had with her dad, creating pleasant memories with him.
I then watched as she walked away towards her dad who had by then arrived, got into their very classy car and drove off…”-END
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