Part 1 is here
Yes. the Carmelite sisters taught me all I know about discipline, hard work, rebellion and self respect. They also opened all our letters, read them, censored them with a marking pen and then handed them over. I was a small thin girl with short hair. So sister Paula called me to the “letter reader’s office” [there really was a letter reader!] and she said “Linnie, if you weren’t so small and innocent I would think this is a boy disguised in a girl’s name. But I am happy to think that it will take a while before boys notice you at all! You have no breasts!!?” She looked me over, smiled and handed the letter to me. She then shooed me out of the office.
Encouraging. Very encouraging. I have a lot to thank the sisters for. Although puberty and discipline (rules) were at odds with each other for the four years they shared a compound.
For many years, I thought the two verses were the whole song. Until I moved to Sweden 10 years ago and looked it up because I wanted to send the CD/LP to Sessa back in Nairobi. I then found the whole.
In mid November 2002, the end of my 2nd year in high school, I received another letter from Sessa. Nothing special with that, I received a letter from Sessa bi-weekly. If the nuns didn’t keep it too long, then I received two letters at once. Which was fine with me.
Dearest, dearest, good things are happening!! the letter began
Hope you are ok and hope the nuns are treating you as Christians should treat each other. She was, and still is cheeky when she sets her mind to changing status quo
Are you really a good street child in the play? I know you can act but you are so proud! A street child has to be dirty, humble and broken. That is what you have to be good at.Taking care of the garden in the mornings sounds like fun. I would have liked to do that with you. But mass in the morning feels exaggerated. Do you really think the priest would be having a relationship with sister Paula or are you just mean? Is it because she reads your letters?
thank you for the book about Anna Frank. Mom said you are keeping my head in the sky so I am hiding all new books at the Salon. The ladies like it. They say it fools the customers that we are classy ladies. Sessa had been training/working at the Rwandan owned salon outside our court, musaponi court, in Komarock, Nairobi. She was learning to be a hairdresser.
Be kind, be nice, be strong, be happy.
Chari has been to visit and yesterday, she informed me that I could find a job at a tourist restaurant at the coast. A place called Watamu. It sounds tamu tamu (sweet sweet) already. I plan to go and see. But I won’t leave until you have come home for Christmas holidays. When will we see each other if I leave without seeing you in December? Only God knows. I am now earning a little more at the salon so I am saving a little money for you so you can come with me and see where I will live. We need to move to a bigger place so Tensa & I can have a room. If I move to the coast, then at least Tensa can have the room to herself. It is no longer comfortable to sleep in the living room. Some privacy is needed since you know what… [referring to puberty, breasts and menstruation] Hopefully I will earn some more in Watamu.
I am happy that I did not rush to marry Timo. When I move and work far from here, I may be able to wait so we can marry at the same time!! Nobody will bother with me then and I can just wait. [If you become a sister, I will also become a sister.] I thought she did that to please the nuns
Number 52 fought all night last night again. And she is pregnant again. Remember last time we wondered if you can get pregnant from fighting??!! But I will tell you more when you come home.
I don’t know, do you think it is a waste that I am better at hairdressing now and then I am going to work at a restaurant?
Lots of love from Sessa Sessa.
We both knew my parents would never allow me to come with Sessa. And we also knew that I would come with her anyways. But we never spoke about permission or the lack of permission. We just planned our lives and went about it.
Where mother felt Sessa was holding me back, a bad influence with no prospects; Sessa’s mother felt I was keeping Sessa fed on a dream that would never come true. A dream of independence, freedom, own income.
Schools opened during the 2nd week of January. We would have plenty of time.