I love the first week in campus. Of course there is no learning, but focused people like yours truly have already checked out the library and borrowed the relevant books, registered for units and copied the timetable. Meanwhile, I’ve been watching movies and series, jogging in the field in the evenings, surfing in the afternoon now that there is free wireless internet (when it decides to behave) and lying in bed reading novels.
Evenings can find you restless, now that you’ve done nothing constructive the whole day. That’s how after supper on a Wednesday night, I accompanied my friend for mass. It’s been long since I was in a Catholic church, and I had forgotten that you stand for 80% of the time. I recited the prayers automatically, my memory serving me well.
The following night was also a church function, and I attended it with the promise of ‘refreshments’ at the end of the function. Refreshments here usually mean a plastic tumbler of juice with 5 Brittania biscuits on a warm night, or a plastic tumbler of coffee on cold nights. It was interesting though, but it stretched too long. I could not believe I was in attendance in a church function, which I usually give a wide berth. Perhaps this semester will be different.
So Friday night is here, and as usual there is a cacophony of noise in the campus. Most people have gone home or out and as we walk back to the hostel, we meet enough drunk students to ensure EABL will stay afloat through these tough economic times. I cannot remember the last time I had any alcohol in my system, so when a pal calls, I decide to show up despite my plans of an early night since I wanted to attend church on Saturday. Yes, I was raised a Seventh Day Adventist.
Electricity is unreliable in Juja, and sometime in the night as we watch season four of Prison Break (The plot has been stretched to the limiting point, hope this is their last season) over cocktails and cigarettes (I don’t smoke, but my friends do), the lights go off. We had decided to stay awake till six in the morning so we went to the shops and got some candles. Getting back, the conversation took a religious turn. Have you ever noticed how coherent you can be when under the influence?
Saturday morning and it’s already nine when I remember my promise to attend church. One and a half hours later, am fresh and ready for church. Am one of those people who rarely gets hangovers, and when I do, it’s minus the headaches. I used to be a regular attendee in my first year, a sporadic one in my second…and third? Well, it’s just began. Am not going to go into details of the sermon, or how sexual immorality and alcoholism are usually condemned.
As we leave for lunch, there is the usual greetings and how-was-your-holidays just outside. I must admit that in this campus, SDAs are not so many so everyone knows everyone else. Many people are telling me how lost I have been, they are glad am back and they hope I’ll stay. Well, I knew it was coming so I smile and say, of course I’ll stay. This is not the first time am having such conversations.
I skip lunch to sleep off the effects of alcohol that are catching up with me. The afternoon session in church is something I have to attend since everyone will notice my absence, but that is not the main reason. I attend it because I want to. Later, there will be a nature walk. Am not planning to go but this guy tells me he wants to ‘have a word’ with me during the walk. He’s a leader in the church. So as people file out to the farm, we walk a little behind.
He asks me some questions, nothing specific really. And come to think of it, there really isn’t much that he is saying, and I get the feeling that he does not have anything specific to tell me. Of course I nod and hmm in the right time and have the attentive look on my face. It occurs to me then that this guy could be ‘katiaring me’. Mental slap Savvy, pay attention to what he is saying. Anything suggestive? No, just an intuition.
The conversation switches from religion to normal small talk. We catch up with the others in the field, form a circle, sing some choruses, laugh some and a final prayer. It’s seven o’clock and Sabbath is over. Am walking away when the guy who was talking to me earlier says he still has more stuff he wants to talk to me about and could I take his number? Well, I knew it! Room number too, and anytime am in his Hall, could I pass by? Hmm…
It’s been quite a week. Classes will probably begin on Monday. Better get ready for the week ahead.
Part of the circle in the field at the end of the nature walk..am not saying if am in the pic or not.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 8 Comments »