My Son Shows His Kenyan Heritage

(from Eric)

It is a simple statement of fact that my son Benjamin Kenneth Kipruto (foremost in the picture below) is an "African-American", having been born in Kenya, and thus having acquired citizenship at birth in two countries (though we have yet to get him a Kenyan passport).  He is white, but so it is with a considerable number of Africans whose families have been in Africa for generations.

In a few weeks, we will return to Tenwek.  Ben was 6 months old when he left, so he of course has no memories of Kenya.  But the other day, something happened that typified his Kenyan personality.

Maggie has been enjoying the The Jesus Storybook Bible, which, both because it's a book of Bible stories as well as just a great book, causes us great delight.  Last Sunday, she was sitting on the floor showing Ben some pictures from the story, and explaining them to Ben, who was listening well.

She got to this page. It's Jesus welcoming the little children.  She explained to him:  "Ben, this is Jesus."  Ben, whose vocabulary is growing day by day, replied:  "No.  Daddy."

I could tell you that this was the first time that he has done this.

That would be lying.

And this is, as you know if you've been reading this blog for awhile, a very intrinsically Kenyan thing to do, and you can click here or here to read a story or two, but in reality, most of those stories are undocumented.  The upshot is that (from my experience), if you're Kenyan, like my son, you are extremely likely to think that I look like Jesus.  Or, as a missionary colleague once said, "Maybe Jesus after he had fasted for 40 days in the desert!"

1 comment:

tscarlet said...

I love this. The fact that Ben is African-American provided for great discussion with Eika and Henry. I love that my kids will have a frame of reference other than typical American portrayal of race and nationality because of their friends spread all over the world!