Friday, November 25, 2011

Back in Kenya

After a 3 year hiatus, I have now returned to the blogosphere.

Quite a bit has happened since I last logged in: "ICYIZERE:hope" was officially completed in 2010, and I have had the honor of being invited to many colleges and universities across the United States to share the film and to talk about its message o
f forgiveness as a means of healing from trauma. I always end with practical things that people in the audience can do to apply the principles within the film to their own lives, and there have been many that have approached me after my screenings to thank me for sharing what I did with them.

I also started a facebook page for my work:

Feel free to visit, like, suggest to a friend, etc

So I spent the day and evening of Monday November 14th doing laundry (thanks wifey-love!) and packing for my trip. I had many things to take care of, and was pre-occupied with the up-coming trip. Also, since I have been fortunate to travel to share my work, I have been away from my family quite a bit, and was preparing to leave for another month. The tug of working on this very important documentary and missing my beautiful family was very strong, and I felt torn. Thank God for friends who listen without judgement, mirroring, validating and empathizing with you, allowing you to meet and inquire into your thoughts.
The following day, I said goodbye to Jezreel (14), Wambui (9) and Ananda (7) as they left for school. Theodora (my ageless beauty), Josiah (5, and out sick for the day) and Isabel (2) took me to the airport.

Here's a picture I took on the way to the airport. Josiah wasn't feeling it, as you can see:

The flight was scheduled to leave at noon and I was there by 10 a.m. I was so proud of myself. "What a good traveller!," said I to myself. I showed up at the American Airlines counter and proceeded to tell the lady behind the counter my flight destination and last name. She looked in the computer, furrowed her brow, and asked me to spell my last name again. I did. She typed it again, furrowed her brow, and asked for my ID.

"Are you sure it's the noon flight?"

"Yes," I said, as a sense of dread crept up my spine. I even have the printed itinerary.

I handed it to her, and she took one look at it and smiled.

"You on the noon flight, alright. Tomorrow's noon flight."

Her co-workers stopped what they were doing, slowly looked up at me, then at each other, smirking.

"You're definitely a "first," she (name withheld) said. I don't think she meant it as a compliment.

I, on the other hand, was ECSTATIC!

"That's one more day with my family, and I'm already packed!!"

This, I feel, was my Higher Power's reminder to be present. Pay attention to now, and don't live in this uncertain realm called the future. As one friend puts it: "If you have one foot in the past and one in the future, you're pissing on the present."

So I got to go home with Theodora and the kids, hung out, and my love and I even maintained our Tuesday night tradition of watching "Parenthood" on NBC. Not too shabby.

Travel time to Kenya was a total of 29 hours, with a 7-hour wait in Chicago and a 2 -hour wait in Istanbul. Thanks to a friend's suggestion, I decided to set my biological clock to Kenya time (9 hours ahead) as soon as I left Springfield, MO. That meant that I was to try to sleep during my 7-hour wait in Chicago (got 2 hours), stay awake during the 10 hour flight from Chicago to Istanbul (made it thanks to in-flight entertainment) and sleep on the 6-hour Istanbul-Nairobi flight (got 2 hours at most). I arrived in kenya @ 2:30 a.m., and was greeted at the airport my my parents. Home by 3:30, slept from 5 to noon, stayed up till midnight, slept till 5 a.m. and will be up for the rest of the day.

All this to say that this sleep-deprivation-in-order-to-adjust-to-the-time-difference technique might just work.

Today I meet with Thomas Kyalo, my cameraman. For those of you who have watched ICYIZERE, there is a shot of the Nairobi skyline when Solange talks of her experience fleeing to Kenya during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. That magnificent shot was taken by Mr. Kyalo. While I respect his work, this is the first time that I'm trusting someone else with the cinematographer position, and this letting go of what is familiar, no matter how beneficial, can be difficult.

So far there are 3 screenings planned:

*Monday, Nov 28th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. @ the University of Nairobi
*Wednesday Nov 30th @ Aga Khan University Hospital from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Wednesday Nov 30th @ the National Cohesion and Integration Commission from 3 to 5 p.m.

I am waiting to hear back from the Kenya Human Rights Commission, Strathmore University and the Nairobi Peace Initiative. I'll post more info as I receive it.

I am SO very happy to be back in the land of my birth, and happy that y'all have taken the time to read my ramblings. Please leave a comment so that I know you exist.

Peace, Patrick


Jeni Mbogo said...

Welcome home! I will definitely attend a screening. Blessings and love to the fam. Ciru mbogo

Patrina said...

Glad to know that you made it safely Patrick. There is something to be said about being surrounded with love and loved ones. You left the one that gave birth for you to return to the one that gave birth to you...that is the real circle of life. In addition, you are resuscitating life into what may seem like a dead situation for so many. I will not ask God to bless your works, because it is. I won't ask for protection, because Angels are all around you, physically and spiritually.I won't pray for direction, because your steps are ordered. However, I will ask that you remain open, open to receive, to feel,, to see, to hear and accept all that is stored up for you and only you! Peace and Blessings...

lordvinie said...

hingivedWelcome home bro and bravo for the eye opening works you're doing. Blessings.

Patrick Mureithi said...

Thanks guys!
I appreciate you all.

iambrooke said...

I am so glad you made it safetly and what a great example of what it takes to be present. Just when we think we got this thing figured out, we show up a day too soon (or sometimes a day too late!) I look forward to more updates about your experiences. You and your family are in my prayers.

Patrina said...

Your message is coming to theaters in Dec...

it is a bio-pic revolving around the lives of survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.