When I last saw Patrick…

During the previous week before Patrick was taken to Nairobi for hospital care, he had visited me twice in the evenings, following his day at Kianginga Primary school, to where he had transferred just in January this year, from Kivuria School. The first time, he brought a colleague, Mbogo, who had been his deputy at Mufu Primary School twenty years ago. “Imagine,” he said,” things have turned full circle! When I started, he was my deputy, and now he is mine again as I finish my last few terms in teaching!”

We also met with another young teacher as Patrick was in a hurry to start a School at our site for those who did not complete formal education due to lack of school fees. It was one of his burning desires to help those who had missed out on life’s chances.  He had talked to several colleagues, some already retired, to offer their services. He also talked to the Education Dept and they had told him to register, as it was such a good idea. The following evening, he discussed some future plans for Peacemakers to extend our current Bible Study classes to being a Bible School as soon as possible. In his inimitable way, he also wanted to see a two storey accommodation built where we grow a few humble vegetables at the moment. I allowed him the enthusiasm and vision for the future but also reminded him about the gaping hole and the tumbling walls in the house where we sat. “All in God’s time and planning.”

The following day, I drove him to Runyenjes to have a blood test as he was feeling a bit un-well. Then we dropped to Embu. He sat in the back of the car talking politics with Peter Tum all the way, each of them becoming louder and more excitable as they agreed and debated current affairs. That was the last time I saw him as he was taken to Runyenjes hospital the day after, then transferred to Embu, then Nairobi; all so fast that the news of his ensuing death has shocked the whole community. I still feel he will come around the corner shouting, “Hodi! (Swahili for “is anyone home?”), is there a cup of chai (tea) there?”

In loving memory of Patrick, Chrissie.


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