Changing Colour in Kenya

It can be pretty hot running around under the Kenyan sun.

One day, straight after my daily jog around the streets of Nairobi, I had to hurry for a meeting with our Street Children Centre’s staff. I arrived flustered, but on time. The feeling of pride that I made it was soon squashed by their silence and wide-eyed stares. I couldn’t work out what was wrong. I was fully clothed. I’d washed and done my hair. What faux pas had I committed now? Finally, it hit me. “Don’t worry guys. Yes, I’m normally white”. Then I pointed to my face that all and sundry’s eyes were fixated on. “But today I’ve opted to be red”.

To them, even the most huffed and puffed Kenyan athlete always remained a constantly delicious chocolate shade. This was the first time that they had seen the chameleon-esque effects on a white person turning red when faced with a blood-boiling, energy-sapped combination of exercise and sun. I made a mental note to never go running before any meetings ever again. Meet, then run – definitely the best policy when working in warmer weather.

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