Last weekend Nairobi experienced a terrorist attack that horrifically continues a week later. The attack happened the same place my husband and I had our first date, a place we often shopped for groceries, the cinema where we watched movies and the shops where we bought English books. I have spent the week communicating with friends to make sure everyone is OK. My friends are supporting those they know that have been affected by this tragic event.
After contacting friends, I emailed my family, knowing my mom would have an immense feeling of relief that we no longer live in Kenya. But our conversation ended with my realization that this happens in America multiple times a year. Kenya has not had this kind of attack since 1998 when the US embassy was bombed, but America has shootings in small towns, big cities, schools and cinemas far too often. People watch the news about Kenya this week and think, "Oh that's Africa. That kind of stuff happens there all the time." Wrong. Not in Kenya. Nairobi has its carjackings and house break-ins, but people don't go into schools and malls and kill people. It doesn't happen. And an attack, like last weekend, hasn't happened for 15 years. Whereas America... How many shootings and attacks have occurred in the last year alone?
At this point in history, I have to say that I would feel safer living in Nairobi than I would an American city. If I had children, I think this feeling would be even stronger. America, what has happened that the land of the free and home of the brave makes a small-town American girl feel this way?
Nairobi, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hearts around the world are with you.
More info about Nairobi this week...
Nairobi Westgate Mall Terror Attack, And the Folly of 'Otherness' - What Al-Shabaab Revealed About Us
Kenya Standoff - The Victims