During the last two weeks of May 2021 I made a tour of the Kenya Coast as well as the Mt. Kenya region visiting research infrastructure projects supported by the National Research Fund (NRF) to universities in the counties of Kilifi, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Chuka and Meru.
This was a useful time to reflect on the institutions, programmes, and projects that I have been involved in through where I have been blessed to have made friends from all over the World.
I disengaged from Medical Training Centre (MTC) in 1979 to proceed with my undergraduate studies in Pune, India which were successfully concluded in 1982. I said my byes to my college mates as well as the `African Theatre Group’ and `Shades’, drama groups that I created and led.
I was privileged to be offered a 3-month cultural scholarship to Murnau, Germany in 1984 where I made and bid bye to a unique blend of friends from the USA, Panama, Australia, Malaysia, etc. I said my byes to close friends at the Government of Kenya’s National Beekeeping Station (1984), Department of Scientific Research (DSIR, New Zealand, 1989), ICIPE (2008), Consortium of National Health Research (CNHR, 2015), Commission of University Education (CUE, 2017), and more recently PwC/FCDO’s East Africa Research Fund (March 2021) and Mater Misericordiae Hospital (April, 2021).
I have been blessed but I have also strived to keep in contact with all those whom I met and who made a difference in one way or another.
Let’s learn that bye-byes should never be an end.
Recall the memorable quote from late Sir Richard Attenborough’s `Gandhi’ the 1981 movie (which I took part in) starring Ben Kingsley (see a picture of a young me crouched before the master):
“There are no goodbyes for us, Charlie. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.”
– Mahatma Gandhi.
PS: My friend Kirumba says “It is said that in our African setting, the word “bye-bye” is a misnomer. That’s why we opt for versions that imply seeing each other again: kwaheri ya kuonana; baadaye, kesho…
In that spirit, tuonane hivi karubuni!