We got to take part in the Kenyan census yesterday, which was an hour-long question and answer session about all the basics and luxuries in Kenyan life. I [Christi] felt particularly lucky, being able to answer positively to many of the questions, knowing there are people all around us who can’t. We were at my parent’s house near Daystar, so some of the answers would have been different if we had been at home. Here were some of my favorites:
Q – Is your husband married to one wife, or is he polygamous?
A – Only me!
Q – Where do you get your water?
A – We were all set to complain about how you never know if city water is actually going to come, or whether it will come from the Daystar campus, or what. But then we realized we had the best of the possible answers–it comes through a pipe (as opposed to carrying it in a bucket from who knows how far away).
Q – Where do you go for your “calls”? (as in: when nature calls)
A – We have a flush toilet and a septic system.
Q – Do you have ACCESS to any of the following electronic devices (not do you own–but does your neighbor have one you could use in an emergency). Radio, TV, cell phone, land line, computer, car?
A – Yes to all. To ALL? Yes. (As opposed to the States, where the survey would have asked how many TVs, how many cars, how many iPods, how many laptops, how many desktops, DVD players, TiVo, etc, etc, and forget about borrowing from a neighbor)
Q – How often do you use the internet, and where do you access it?
A – We answered this question for each family member, and it was shocking to note that our 5- and 8-year-olds know how to use the internet and do so on a weekly basis from home. As opposed to our friends also answering the census with us, whose 13- and 14-year-olds have never used the internet.
Q – How many deaths of your children in the past 12 months?
A – None, thank God! (But so many of my friends can’t answer this question the same way).
Q – How many livestock do you own? Cows, horses, goats, sheep, chickens, etc, etc.
A – None. What?? None? Not even a CHICKEN???
Q – I’m going to ask questions about your last-born, NOT that I’m saying that he is your last-born meaning that you will never have any other children. I’m just saying your last-born until this time. Was your last-born born alive, and is he alive to this day?
A – Yes (and I’m thankful as visions of the time I found him floating in a lake, and the time he drank a whole bottle of children’s Tylenol flashed through my brain.)