Things that are hard to explain to a Kenyan teenager

You may have read this list elsewhere. However, this is an edited version with new! exciting! items. OK?

Some things are hard to explain to Kenyan teenagers.

  • Skyscrapers
  • The subway
  • A dog as a pet versus one who herds cows, goats and sheep
  • A dog wearing a coat made for a dog

dog in a coat

  • Snow (which is how I ended up showing them the picture above in the first place)
  • Why I have pictures of food in my phone
  • Being child-less and husband-less
  • Not living with my parents (which is where Kenyan singles live)
  • Being an only child – polygamy is the norm, as are large families
  • Same-sex marriage

Still,Ā I tried.

They couldn’t fathom that I was the age of their parents (sometimes even older) but hadn’t done the things considered standard in their culture like get married, have children and build my own dung hut. I let them know that in the United States, there are many paths one can take. I assured them that I lead a very full, happy life. They seemed satisfied with my answer, for the most part.

The kids were also curious about my fellow volunteers, several of whom were gay but apparently Maasai kids don’t have gaydar.

“Does ___ have a wife?”

“No, ____ has a husband.”

<blank stares>

“Why did I open this can of worms?” I thought, before saying aloud “let’s move on.”

<more blank stares>

And then I initiated another game of Duck, Duck, Goose.


4 thoughts on “Things that are hard to explain to a Kenyan teenager

  1. Paul

    Whew, you went there with some high hopes, eh? Explain a dog coat to a Kenyan Teenager. Ha! I have a hard time understanding that myself and I live here. Ha! this is so cool – some of the things you mentioned I take for granted and never thought about how to explain. Neat post OC.


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