My grandmother is perhaps the most brutally honest person I know. She has a grasp neither of current affairs nor of contemporary trends, but the intuitive analysis of her immediate environment and her common sense have never failed to impress. Three years ago, she commented on what she perceived as my worsening grammar when speaking our tribal language, Luo, a western Kenyan tribal dialect. She speculated that my “living abroad” had affected my spoken Luo. I did not respond. Provocatively, she probed further. What kind of medicine was I learning abroad that had taken so long to teach? Why was it that I had not cured her backache yet, and when would my ancestral village see any fruits of my “expensive foreign education?”
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