#WorldEnvironmentalDay #IamYouthWithNature #ConnectingPeopleWithNature
First day at home. My alarm goes off at 5:00A.M. With closed eyes I reach out for the buzzing phone under the pillow. I slide my fingers on the screen and turn it off…
Today, I’m not going anywhere. I just need to be alerted that it is already morning. It is also a strategy to interrupt a bad dream and also cut short those deceptive dreams that never come true. Sleeping in the morning is out of line but it makes me feel important and rich like those people in American movies. This morning, I am sleeping beauty and my prince will come and save me from this sleeping disease… Or I’ll just infect him and then we will sleep until 11.00a.m.
I no longer have classes to worry about and on these few days, all I have to do is become a good servant girl and watch movies. This is the good life. I have been saving myself for this, and I have a feeling similar to the one on the “The perfect wedding night”. It is a guilt-free day. Five years in campus is not a joke. And as I justify myself in an inner monologue, sleep comes in and takes me the dream world, where all things are possible.
A few minutes later, an extremely loud and startling noise pierces through the air,
In a split of a second, I bounce out of bed and hide under it. Under there, I am poked by a pair of heels and I grab them with the intention of using them as weapons. What the hell is that noise? Everything is all fuzzy and it happens too fast. In approximately 8 seconds, I am panting, sneezing because of the dust down there and resolving to throw a rag under the bed in the course of the day. Clearly nobody thought to clean under this bed when I was away. As I try to peer through the bed cover, my hair gets stuck on a nail under the bed. I try to pull out but it’s in there really good. I wonder when my headscarf fell off my head. Then…
The noise comes back and interrupts my confused mind… instantly, my mind wakes up and registers with the environment. I am now at home, and my room is next to the chicken house. That rooster must be on steroids. My ears are already aching. It is 5.09a.m. As I painfully free my hair from the torturous nail, and crawl out to look for an antihistamine for my dust allergy, it dawns on me that life outside here is different. By this time, Sleep, the fake friend, has abandoned me.
Life out here is hard. I have a feeling that I’ve just seen the tip on the ice berg. In school, you go hard or go home. Here at home, you go hard or go bananas.
At school I was taught that WHAT’S RIGHT IS RIGHT. Well, that’s not from school. It’s a mantra I heard being ridiculed in a movie whose title I’d like to share but cannot remember. (Just flow with it and don’t ask questions until the end. There is a moral of the story somewhere.)
Being brought up, most of us are taught to see things in a certain perspective and within those confined walls, everyone adheres to a certain way of life. But out here, something sinister and despicable can be understood and accepted literally depending on your geographical position. That is how I have learnt not just to be neutral, but have a third side known as MY SIDE. This is a side where I can assess the situation on a clear mind and objectively draw conclusions based on the evidence. A side that wants to find the best solution, all options considered.
I am now on the verge of joining a workforce of people who go unheard. Okay, I know that you are unheard too, but this is not a competition and it is not about you right now. Environmentalists are always making noise. We do it more than teachers. We have many troubles, but let me brief you on three things that have burst my enthusiastic bubble and put me in a massive dilemma in the past few days.
First, Trump pulls out the USA out of the Paris climate agreement. Why? Fears that it will derail the country’s economic growth. Is he right? PROBABLY. On the other hand, Is USA a major emitter of greenhouse gases in the world? YES. Are the fumes affecting other countries ? YES. Please help us, who knows Trump’s mother? Maybe she can talk to him?
Secondly, Kenya launches the SGR despite heavy criticism from environmentalists as it passes through National parks. The main justification is that it is a state project, and part of a strategy to raise Kenya to a middle income country as per the Vision 2030. The environmentalists are not against the SGR, they just want to protect the wildlife. Aki gava, si we burnt ivory together? We thought our relationship was growing stronger. The wildlife that brings billions to Kenya’s GDP. What happens when wildlife is gone and the tourists do not want to see a park without animals? Won’t we need to dig deeper into the tax payers’ pockets to sustain the economy?
Lastly, the ban on plastic papers has been applauded by environmentalists but met with criticism by the local people. Plastic bags are indisputably bad news ,we all know that. However, thousands of jobs are generated and supported by these these industries. This is where Trump’s reasoning comes in. Families are depending on these jobs to bring food to their tables. Is it easy to find a job? Maybe in Mars. Every year there is a higher demand for jobs. Even university graduates are tarmacking for years before finding a job. As a developing nation, are we at a position to gamble with other people’s jobs? Where is the economic safety net to counter the effects of this ban? Has there been money given to compensate for this people who will have lost jobs? Or even a promise to fix them in other industries?
I have a personal view that neither supports the government nor the environmentalists. If anyone has an issue, come find me. After writing this article, I will go feed the chickens and then go to the posho mill.
My fellow ENVIRONMENTALISTS,
First of all, nobody understands what we are saying. Unlike you, people have not gone to school to study exclusively on conservation. How would you feel if engineering nerds started picketing, bickering and quoting engineering frameworks at your face? Terminologies come easy for you because you have been to school. Please use simple language that your grandmother would understand.
Here is the big secret, and don’t tell anyone. Business people are taught how to trick you into buying stuff you don’t want or need. Reverends and bishops are taught how to convince you that Jesus loves you even if you know that you are unlovable. Nurses are taught how to be mean and not laugh at well-crafted jokes. A journalist’s work can be done by any woman who gossips . An environmentalist, however, is taught how to conserve, and to save lives by conserving the environment.
You are smart people. If making noise has not worked all this time, why not try different approaches. Being annoying, which seems to be a conventional method will not get us anywhere. Let’s try charm, hot models and even visual seduction just as the biscuit wrappers do. Circle the next sentence after this. We need to consider smarter ways to advocate and convince people to embrace and integrate our beliefs and practices into theirs.
To you GOVERNMENT BODIES,
Our feelings for you are complicated. Nobody likes you. We need you but we don’t want you. You may have people’s interest at heart and you want to push the country forward before each term is over. We get it. However, you need to understand that there are other systems working in this country and we need to consult each other.
You work for us. We chose you. Before you bring up those manifestos , please just ask what we want. Please know our priorities. And we might not like you, but we know your job ain’t easy. But we can always reason together.
Underline the words in the next paragraph.
You need to listen to us environmentalists, because we went to school. We are the doctors of our environment, and just in case you forgot, the simplest definition of the environment is everything that surrounds you. If we tell you that something is bad for the environment, we mean that it is bad for you. We hope you remember that we have future generations to think about. We need to secure the future. This is not just about us. Sometimes you need to listen, compromise and reroute your initial plans. Otherwise the free education you give means nothing if you do not listen to the ‘educated’.
HAPPY WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL DAY .