Lamu, Kenya by Loucas
Lamu, Kenya is one of my favorite places on earth.
Here is a little story that I wrote in an English class one time, I’ve taken out some parts about another story that I compared and contrasted with and was not really interesting.
When I was 25 I lived in Lamu, Kenya with an outcast group of artists – painters, singers, musicians, sculptors and carvers. They scooped me up, housed me, fed me and celebrated with me. The mainstream people of Lamu turned their heads when the artists were around and wouldn’t acknowledge their existence; as if turning your head would make something disappear. It felt as though they would turn their heads as a silent acceptance and disapproval of these artists life.
Lamu is known as a tourist Island. The artists are the ones that greet you on your arrival. You step off the boat to artists lining the waterfront making their living. You are immediately surrounded by paintings, sketches, bracelets, clothes, scarves, anything that can keep your attention, time and money. Only when you’ve spent a little time there you see that a few blocks in is the town square, the Mecca of the mainstream; the upstanding Muslim population who hang out together in the town square, leaving their wives at home tending to the needs of the home and children. If you spend a little time there you see that the artists are an integral part of this society and without them Lamu’s attraction would be a museum, a market and two-thousand donkeys; not enough to attract tourists.
The Muslim community could not survive without the local artists. The beating-heart of the community is the artists and makes it all the worthwhile to experience the island. By them taking me into their home I got to see how both sides, the mainstream and the artists, lived hand-in-hand. The Muslims were the ones with the lumber shops, market booths, boat yards and the fabric shops and the artists were the draw of the tourists off the boat selling their crafts.over 4 years ago