Fish Bowl and Tightrope

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       I am a fish without my fish bowl and without my maji. The bowl is the world I have been contained in for 23 years and the water is what I learned to swim in…both gone…or rather my fish bowl is now in the shape of the country of Kenya and who knows what I am immersed in, but whatever it is- the ways I learned to swim don’t work the same here.

            Beginning a sustainable group of artists was a knew thing in the first place, but then throwing myself into a new culture changes the rules that I know, makes me uncertain, adds communication confusion, ect. On the flip side, though, although you may think it is me doing this work in Kenya, I am afraid you are all mistaken… there are so many people that are behind just the Art from Below network of artists in Kibera that I cannot possibly be the face that represents the work that is snowballing here. Because of so much uncertainty, each day I step carefully on a tightrope of wisdom, prayers (yours and mine), and much counsel, many meetings with the artists in Kibera. I am completely dependent on my Kenyan brothers and sisters surrounding me, supporting me, encouraging me every day- they are truly the face of what is happening here, and are holding my every step. I think I can take full credit for the screw-ups but they deserve full credit for the successes… because it’s really them that are doing this.

      I cannot encapsulate everything that is brewing, but each day this last week, more and more- pole pole- fell into place. Tuesday’s leadership meeting involved much more talking from the other leaders rather than myself, and at the end of the meeting duties were divided between all five of us who have accepted this responsibility.

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