The fourth of March is just dawning in Kenya, and with it comes election day. Kenyans vote for a new president amid much praying, hoping, breath-holding.
Five years ago, the contested (and likely stolen) presidential election was followed with conflict, killings, thousands being displaced from their home.
How we pray and hope that this week will not hold the same.
Today’s New York Times has better summaries of the political issues and maneuvering and corruption than I could write here. (See “Running on Amnesia” and “On Eve of Vote, Fragile Valley in Kenya Faces New Divisions“) But what I can write – and what I do know – is that these are not unknown people in a violent and faraway place. These are my friends, my colleagues, my family, in my second home. These are the children whose hands I hold and for whom I bend all my energy toward trying to keep them healthy and strong. These are the very human inhabitants of a country that is, to quote Michaela Wrong, “East Africa’s most vibrant economy, a strategic gateway to the mineral resources of the Great Lakes region and — potentially — the oil riches of South Sudan. It has an aspirational middle class, a ballooning pool of potential workers and a relentless entrepreneurial spirit.”
And so, I head into this new week with all of my thoughts and prayers and hopes turned towards peace across the ocean. I would be grateful if you would join me.