Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Kenya connection; the do-gooder's comeuppance

Hey, Obama isn't the only one with a Kenya connection...

So there was this guy I've known since I was eleven or twelve years old. Friend of the family who eventually married into the family.

Nice guy in every way. Artist.

Years after he married into the family he and his bride became the CIDA reps in Kenya. That got them a grand house in Nairobi, servants galore, the whole colonial enchilada.

Given that they were humble Christian folk all that grandeur, while pleasant, disturbed them at some level. They decided to make amends, with their own consciences if not with the arc of history, by sponsoring as many of their Kenyan staff to emigrate to Canada as they possibly could.

One of their Kenyan proteges decided to open a restaurant in Ottawa. A little slice of exotica right there in Canada's capital. He needed a few hundred thousands in start-up capital.

Being the trusting sort of folks they were, the artist and his bride sunk their life savings into the restaurant venture of their Kenyan protege.

The restaurant opened to decent reviews and decent traffic. There was, however, a fly in the ointment.

Unbeknownst to them, their Kenyan protege had for many years been hearing an inner voice telling him that his true calling was to be a professional bicycle racer on the European pro circuit.

As all of us who are fortunate enough to hear such an inner voice must eventually do, he finally heeded the voice.

Goodbye restaurant.

Hello Rund um Koln.

From the relatives who follow his career I am given to understand that he specializes in the DNF.

As for the folks who sunk their life savings into his restaurant, they are now specializing in working 90 hours a week and learning the finer points of Kenyan cuisine in a desperate attempt to salvage their retirement funds.

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