I and my husband, along with some other friends, returned from Nairobi one week ago. We were only a few hundred yards away from the bomb blast that took 257 lives. I can't begin to explain the horror and devastation that we felt as we saw people all around us with open wounds and blood-soaked clothing trying to make their way through a virtually paralyzed traffic system, attempting to get to the hospital for the help they needed.
We had stopped at a lodge just outside of our camp to repair a tire on our vehicle. I decided to take a walk and contemplate once again what we had experienced. As I walked, I saw a young woman about 24 who worked there. She, as all Kenyans do, greeted me with a smile and "Jambo" . I returned the greeting and we began to talk. She told me the sad story of her cousin who had just been killed in the bombing. This lady had just lost her husband two years previous to the bombing, and now the family was trying to decide what to do with their young, orphaned children.I held the young woman as we both cried over this enormous and unnecessary tragedy. I never sensed from her, or any other of the many Kenyans that we met, one ounce of resentment toward me or any American for the terrible losses they had sustained. Before I left my new friend, she asked that when I returned to the United States that I tell all the people that Kenya is a peaceful country and that they love Americans. Kenya is a small, very poor country, and its primary source of income is tourism.
I am already feeling the need and desire to go back to this wonderful country and its innocent and untouched people.
Oh, we as Americans are so spoiled and so blessed. I met a lovely Catholic nun on the way over on the plane who said to me, "Every person in the world needs to visit a Third World country at least once in their life." I can now understand what she meant and agree completely. I am convinced that it is our responsibility to protect our freedoms here in America but also to help other countries obtain what we have.