A week in the life of Captain Awesome

Habari, my old friend, Weekend!  So happy to finally see you.  It's been a long but good week.  Last weekend extended into Monday as I watched (sleepily and only 2 quarters or so) the Superbowl live at a friends house.  I quickly discovered the commercials were cut and it was all infomercials specific to the Armed Forces station.  I mean that's half the fun, why deprive our service men and women (and their friends) the joy of a mini-Darth Vader or Joan Rivers?  As the game ended around 6 am Kenyan time and there were already traffic jams I ended up going straight to work sleep deprived.  That's the ultimate walk of shame, turning up at work from a long night in the same clothes as the night before, isn't it?  Or is it just called being a trooper?

Mimi ninasoma Kiswahili!  Flashbacks to 6th grade French class have ensued.  While I have picked up a few words and phrases along the way thanks to friends and colleagues, I am determined to leave hapa conversational in a foreign language and we all know that my French skills are lacking (sorry, Bernice and Cynthia).  So if you're unfortunate enough kuishi in Nairobi be ready for painful attempts at conversation over the coming weeks.

Last night a group of us went to town to see a Kenyan adaptation of Romeo and Juliet by the Phoenix Players.  The play was performed in Old English for the most part with a few Kenyan references and Swahili slang thrown in as well.  It was a modernized version that incorporated cell phones, Twitter references, and a gay character.  Considering we were watching this in East Africa, the fact that Mercutio was portrayed as a flamboyant homosexual was quite progressive.  There was a discussion amongst our group about whether this interpretation was a positive or negative.  In my opinion, any time a gay character can be embodied on stage in an environment that is not typically accepting of that lifestyle, it is a good thing.  And while there wasn't anything particularly negative about their interpretation, others felt that he was just portrayed as a laughing point and that should not be the only time a gay character should be seen.  However, compared to other adaptations I have seen I don't think that the character was changed.  He spoke the same words (slightly Kenyanized), with a different intonation, but I didn't find him any more or less funny than when thinking of other characters who have portrayed him as a straight, pompous, douche in other adaptations.  There are many parts of Africa that the production would  not have been allowed (I'm looking at you, Uganda) without considerable outrage.  As a whole, the show was quite enjoyable, however I was a bit disconcerted when an audience member started taking pictures of us watching the play and applauding.  I'm choosing to believe he was somehow affiliated with the show.

Let the weekend commence!

Swahili 101:
Habari- Hello
Mimi ninasoma Kiswahili!- I am learning/studying Swahili
hapa- here
kuishi- to stay/live

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