I had come to terms that, i will be eating one meal a day and that was lunch. In the morning and dinner i took strong tea and that strange bread, at lunch time i was given little food not to get full ,just to keep me going, nobody could eat the same table with me, i only ate before them or after them, I felt more like an animal than a human being. No matter how hungry i felt i was not allowed to eat anything without permission from madam, But for them,they never got full, their favorite room was kitchen and the fridge. A part from lunch which they used to take at 3 pm they didn’t have specific time to eat, they spend their entire night eating. I could sleep leaving the sink empty only to wake up finding it full of used plates.
On Sunday, i wake up it was my off day,there was no much to do, i waited for them to wake up, so we can go to church as they promised me, but to my surprise when they wake up, i was told to change to good clothese we are going to their grandmother’s place!! So we are not going to church !! I wondered. Anyway, still i was happy. At least i was getting out of that prison , at least i will remove those over size uniforms that made me look lost and confused. I changed to good clothes that madam gave me, the day i came. I put on a black tight jeans and a white top, now i was good to go. I liked the grandmother’s place it looked nothing like her daughter’s place, the house was big with is own compound, it was surrounded with a beautiful garden. Teddy and i, played different games on that day, the place was big enough to play football , we took pictures, i was having fun and for a moment i shifted my mind from missing Kenya to enjoying my stay in Lebanon. But my happiness didn’t last for long, i was called to help grandmother who was cooking,i didn’t mind helping her, where i come from is a taboo for a old woman to work while I’m playing. little did i know i will be washing plates and cooking pots from morning to 5.30 pm, it took a lot of time, a lot of cooking pots, a lot of plates and a lot of spoons to cook the food of those people . These people can really use plates, one person can use up to six plates, three cups , several folks and spoons. They were about ten people so you can imagine. I was doing cleaning while they were eating, i felt hungry, my hunger could’nt wait, but i had nothing to do about it, i had to wait for them to finnish eating so that i can eat out of their mercy!! Remember the last meal i ate was yesterday at 3 pm, it was now around 4 pm and the only thing i had that day was strong tea and that strange bread!! Just like daughter like mother when they finnished eating, she packed all the remaining food and kept them, then she gave me eggplant which was packed in the fridge from when i don’t know. I never ate eggplant before , it tasted bad, looking at packed chicken , pizza , salad and different meals while im eating bad tasting eggplant !! I just wanted to cry.
We left grandmother’s place around six pm, on arriving home i was told not to change we are going to church!!! Church at night!! I wondered. The church was only five minutes walking , but walking in that country during winter can result sickness due the cold weather,so we used a car. The church was built well just like Catholics churches in Kenya, the church looked like Catholic but it was called orthodox church, it had similarity with catholic. I saw some people throw pieces of cigarettes before entering the church and this was new to me!!! The service was conducted in arabic so i didn’t hear anything but i was happy being in the house of the lord. The service lasted for only one hour.
That country was strange. Their food was strange,their bread was strange,going to church at night was strange , finishing smoking in front of the church was strange , kids sending grown ups was strange, That country was full of strange things to me.
On the following week Saturday, madam informed me, that we were going to her friend’s house who had a Kenyan girl called Cate. I dressed up and we left to see Cate. It was one hour driving to Cate place and i was dying to meet her. Upon arriving we were welcomed by her . Cate was so beautiful even inside her over size uniforms. I learned that she had finished her contract the previous day, I felt so happy for her, I just wished it was me. Only for her, to tell me, she added another one year!!! Another year!!! in this jail??? I wanted to slap her. But Cate told me she was happy there and they treated her like family and to support her statement she showed me the gifts that they bought
her, during her birthdays.i asked her ,if she was given enough food, she told me , she was free to eat anything at any time,that most of the time she ate with the kids. Even though she was not allowed to have a phone her life was much better and i wished we could exechange houses, i really wanted to be Cate. Me and her missed Kenya for different reasons, she wanted to go to Kenya because she missed family and her boyfriend. Not beaucose she was mistreated. As for me, i just wanted to wake up and never to see my bosses again, I just wanted to wake up somewhere in Africa, in specific Kenya i told her. I was so happy talking Swahili, being with Cate for a moment felt like i was in Kenya. But my happiness was cut short, we had over stayed our welcome and it was our time to leave. I hugged her tight, she gave me her house phone number, i promised to call her anytime I’m alone, using home telephone. I felt pain of separation when i said goodbye to her.
In that house there were three Televisions but i was only allowed to watch one and that was if they were not at home, so i rarely watched TV, because they rarely left home at once. There was no much work ,so after work i could stay in kitchen doing nothing,
, no TV, no phone no one to talk to and i was not allowed
to stay in my room during day time. That is when i realized that no difficult job like not having a job to do. I only felt happy when the day ended , I could close my door and cry myself to sleep. I slept hoping to wake up in Kenya , I felt like crying every time i wake up in that country ,in that house to be specific.
The woman was not that bad, she was only mean when it comes to food. But the man and the first born son those people were sent straight from hell. I have never seen a man shouting and arguing with a maid all the time , he made me hate my name,for he was likely to call me, without any reason, just to shout at me. I really hoped, one day I’ll wake up and never to see them again.
I had option of changing the house. But changing the house meant i had to renew the contract, renewing the contract meant more days of staying in a country that i didn’t like.
I hated that country so much ,that i didn’t want to extend even a day after my contract. I hated the food of that country, I hated the way i was dressed, I hated the cultures and the people of that country . I really hated everything of that country except the nature of that country, i have to admit it, Lebanon is very beautiful and the people are beautiful too. But they have ugly hearts .
I was not allowed to have a phone, i used to beg Teddy, to use his iPad to go to facebook.i had mastered the password so I still used it in his absence when no one was at home, one time madam caught me using it and that marked the end of using that ipad. They changed the password and Teddy was told never to give me the iPad again. But madam told me when I’m free i can be using her phone for at least one hour to go to facebook.
No second passed without my knowledge, for i knew as the time went, my days of suffering was coming to an end.Through facebook i learned that my cousin Tom has passed away and few days later i learned two of my friends, Christine and Daddy have passed away too!!! The news saddened my heart, I did hope to meet them again , I had longed to come to Kenya to meet them, especially Christine who was my best friend, oh no! I cried.
Imagine they had laptops, iPad and phones to keep them entertained but they still won’t let me watch TV or even have a phone !!! Were they humans??? If they were humans was i animal?? I wondered!!! One morning i felt enough was enough, I told her i want a phone, of which she strongly refused, you can’t have a phone she shouted. I told her, is either she let me have a phone or i go back to my country Kenya…to continue
Come back for part four.
I WANT TO WAKE UP IN KENYA PART FOUR
I came with my own phone from Kenya but those people
are eveil , I wake up to find my phone dead!! You can’t go to Kenya ,she opposed, if you go to Kenya you have to refund me the money i used to bring you here, she added. With my permission they had not paid me ,for six months, and if i wanted to go back to Kenya, according to her statement, I was likely to loose all the money, giving it a second thought i wanted to drop the phone issue and finnish the contract. But the the feeling, the missing and the desire of having a phone had demanded to be felt, so i wanted it so badly. For crying out loud I’m human being too, living in a modern world, was asking to have phone too much?? Why human being are so mean and heartless ?? is being poor a crime?? I silently asked myself, tears running down on my innocent cheeks.
I wake up in the morning ,my demands still on. So they had to take me back to the office , where they got me from. I met a Kenyan lady on that office, who did her part to convince me to stay, after listening to her, i dropped my phone issues. As painful as it was, i had to work without a phone until I’m done with my contract!!!!
Since Lebanon was neighbors with Israel, Sometimes looked at them and wondered how on earth did God find mary and Joseph among these people!!!how did Mary, Joseph and Jesus managed to live among these people!!! sometimes i looked at the priest preaching to these people and i wondered what he thought them !!! please tell them maids also need enough food, tell them we need phones or TV to entertain us too, please tell them we are humans too, I just wanted to shout .
Abdi. the second born was my favorite followed by Teddy the last born.my best days was the days I remained home with them we used to play a lot and watch some movies. The worst days was the days I remained home with mr or shaddy the first born,which was so often,those people could make me pretend to cut onions just to cry. No matter how hard i tried to forget home these people made sure, i made not such mistake, they used every chance they got to tell me inderect, you are a slave and this is not your country.
They used to lock me inside whanever they left, the only time i got out of that house on my own, was the time i was taking garbage out But still, the boss will watch me, from the balcony. It was a crime to great anybody, if i did, i had tough times explaining what exactly we were talking about. One day i took garbage out i saw a black girl , I knew my boss was watching,
but i was so curious to know her, so i risked, to explain later . I learned that she was a kenyan from western, and she had only four months in Lebanon, she was working in a Muslim family. To my surprise, she had a phone !!! I felt like crying when she asked my phone number so that we can chat later. I told her, I dint have a phone, but i gave her my facebook name, so we can chat later. After we finished i faced hard times of explaining myself to my boss what exactly i was talking to her. The story of that lady made me change my mind from the way i used to judge people based on their religion, for she was living better life than any girl i met in Lebanon and all of them lived miserable life despite the fact that they were working in christian families.out of six Kenyans that i met in Lebanon only Cate and this girl from western seemed to enjoy their work in Lebanon. I came to realize that religion got nothing to do with the hearts of humans, if the person is born with evil heart religion wont change them.
Days turned to years and my time of going home was close. The madam started to pretend to be sick , she asked me if i can add one more year ,which i strongly refused. But i told her, i will pray for her, by the time i’m going home she will be okay . The day came when I was going home, they painful said goodbye to me, I felt bad saying goodbye to them, not because i was going to miss them, but because it was hard to say goodbye to people knowing well that unless miracle happens, you will never meet again.
I left with Mr who drove me to the airport, on my way to the airport he told me, oh the plane you were supposed to use it got a problem , you will have to go back to the house!!! I had hopes of waking up and never to see him again,i had hopes of waking up in kenya sitting next to my people, the people who sees me as human, I had hopes of owning a phone, it as been long since i owned one.oh no!!!! I cried. i Just wanted to get home by any means. I told him,i’m not going back. If you don’t want to go home i can rent you
a hotel you spend a night, he suggested . I rather stay in a hotel than going back to that house , so i asked him how much is the hotel?? To my shock he told me, the hotel was four fifty dollars!! Four fifty dollars!! I cried. He pulled out his hands waiting for me entrust my hard worked money to him!!! As much as i didn’t want to go back to that house, i wasn’t ready to hand him my hard worked money. I felt like kissing him, when he told me, he was just kidding, Im going to my family.
Mr Hassan was the first
And the last person i saw in that family. Don’t step on kidero glass you will get arrested my cousin remarked. I rather be in Kenyan prison than to be free in that country, I replied.
Middle East or middle hell????