We have been planning for this day for a long time. We being the country, school community, and our family. Presidential elections in Kenya. In 2007 at the time of the presidential elections there was a lot of violence. Everyone is praying for peace this time around, yet needing to prepare for the possibility of violence.
It is taxing, this waiting. I am tired and anxious. Many organizations have sent their families out of the country for the week of elections. In my 4th grade class of 20 students, 6 families have left, four for the week of elections, one for two weeks, and one for six weeks. We have stocked up on various food supplies in case they are scarce in stores, we topped off our petrol supply in our vehicle, we made lots of school plans to assist students who needed to leave the country during this time, we made sure to have some good reading material on hand since it may be unwise to drive around for a while, and we have prayed.
Asia and Karen were both involved in the middle and high school music concert this past Thursday night. Karen played the saxophone and Anisa was in the choir. Both did well. Sporting events ended the week before. All school related events needed to be finished by this weekend because of elections.
Our school has sponsored a music concert here this past Friday night. It was thought of and planned by high school students and school staff. The idea was to give the students a voice even though they can’t vote and to promote peace. Many area school students were
invited to attend and participate. It was the culminating activity for the end of the MUN (Model United Nations) week. Some local celebrities participated as well. It was a night of loud thumping music, yet well organized fun. Students in grades 8-12 were invited, so Anisa chose to go and said afterward that she loved it. I am glad it went so well. The title of the event was Students for Safe Elections.
Yesterday morning around 10 am some sort of loud demonstration went down the street near our compound. I could hear the loud yelling and drum playing. I was told later that there were lots of people walking down the street with large banners making all the noise. Basically blocking traffic as they walked down the street shouting and drumming. It was all about the elections, although I don’t know what they were saying.
This past month I saw many cars and trucks on the road with large speakers and megaphones strapped on to the top of the car. They were spreading certain views held by people trying to get voted in for various types of offices during this upcoming election. Sometimes it was loud talking, other times it was loud music. Always loud. Sometimes it was a car and a large flatbed truck filled with people spreading this information. They would often go more slowly than a normal vehicle on the road and slow down traffic. Sometimes they would just stop and park in places along the road until their message was done.
No school this week for three days because of elections. Elections are Monday and we go back to school on Thursday, as long as things stay safe.
So, we are planning on staying on campus or just close by the next few days. In fact, tomorrow night many families are getting together for a potluck and then watch two outdoor movies on campus. Most likely shown on a bed sheet or something. Kind of have our own time of fun as we wait for the situation around us in the surrounding community to pan out.
Lord, let there be peace.