I always loved going to the upcountry whenever I had a chance. But this became unbearable when it come to swimming which was mostly done in the river. By the age of ten.. I knew how to swim but not in a river but in a swimming pool. So the holidays came and I went to see my grandma.. Funniest bit is I really don’t know how we survived because she is practically illiterate and I didn’t know my mother tongue that much then.. I used to reply to her inaudible rumblings with simple Swahili like
“Sawa ,nimeelewa Ama ntafanya”
Which actually mean okay, I have understood you or I will do what you want.
This earned me sneers because she actually thought that I was abusing her. My native cousins would laugh hard at me for the misunderstanding between grandma and me..though it made me feel lesser I just had to hope that one day we would actually communicate. So, a day came and I was invited for a swim by my cousins and their friends.. Happy atleast they knew about swimming but a rude shock on the site of swimming… A river… Actually a high speed flowing river.. I chickened out but their jeers had me in my underwear and getting some solid ground on what point to go for..
Soon I was in the river but with my hand on the surface and a panicked me gasping for air. I couldn’t comprehend what exactly took place but I woke up at the bank with a newly established phobia for swimming pool.I went back to the homestead and snuggled at my grandmas side as she roasted yams for the evening meal.
At least she understood my body language and actually made the fire bigger and later told stories that I didn’t have a clue what they were about