It was actually a bright and sunny day in Kakamega. But rain would’ve been a simpler reason to explain to my 3 year old son why Daddy had changed our plans for the day.
It was Sunday morning, Jan 2014, and the night before E and I had decided we would take the kids into town to go swimming for fun. E was in Kenya for 10 days between his shift work in Canada and we wanted to make as much of the time together as we could before he flew back to Canada for another 20 day shift. Well I wanted to at least.
So when we all woke up that morning our son Little E was so excited to be going into town. He loved riding the piki piki’s! And swimming. With Daddy too? Could it get any better than this?
E decided that he was going to make a quick visit to his parents house before we went to town. He left early morning to walk to their place … and when he left, as far as I knew everything was fine.
But about 3 hours later when he got back our lives changed forever.
He announced abruptly that we were no longer going swimming. We weren’t leaving the house. Everyone had to stay. I tried asking him what happened, why’d he change his mind, did something occur at his parents, was everything OK? I reminded him that he was only here for a few days and he should spend some time with the kids. But he was having none of it. With no further explanation he walked out of the house in a huff.
Little E was so sad. He had already packed his Thomas the Train backpack with his swim suit and towel and had been walking around with it on for the last hour with a huge smile. He ran after E calling out for Daddy but E ignored him. I picked up little E and explained that Daddy had some other things to do and I would take him and his baby sister Z swimming another time.
I was sitting on the edge of our bed, holding little E, with our daughter Z (5 months old) laying behind us near the pillows, when E stormed back into the house.
He was silent this whole time, suddenly grabbing me by the arm and yanking me off the bed. I struggled to quickly put Little E down and tried to walk out of the room away from the kids, when E started hitting me and pulling at my clothes.
Please bare with me as it all happened so fast yet it felt like it went on forever…
I was doing my best to defend myself against his massive hands that kept swinging towards me and for some reason ripping off my clothes. I kept looking for Little E and telling him to go outside or back in the bedroom. I called for help since we had a farm boy that I knew was just outside, but no one came to help.
It was just myself against E… with Little E peeking from behind the bedroom door.
E punched me in the side of the head a few times and knocked me over and than began kicking me, I remember seeing my head-sized hole in our concrete floor. He’s now successfully ripped off my dress and underwear between punches and I’m left with just a torn bra, and I don’t even care. I’m just trying to make sure I’m left with my life, and that my kids are safe.
I’m fighting back but at the same time I’m trying to calm him down and protect myself. I know that I’ll never be able to over power him. E is literally the strongest man I’ve seen in person physically. Mentally… not so much.
Either way I’m trying to deflect swinging fists and grabbing hands, while calling for help and trying to ask him what’s wrong/please stop, AND trying to maintain all his attention so he doesn’t notice little E standing off in the doorway.
When all of a sudden he stops and walks away. Just like that. I jumped up and grabbed Little E and went to our room and shut the door.
I look out the window and see him coming back. I managed to frantically grab another dress and throw it on and shove my phone in my bra. E had gone out and gotten the farm boy who was hiding in the kitchen. I don’t blame him at all. Our farm boy was about 16 and maybe 120 lbs. Not much of a match for E.
E instructed the boy to pack all my things and the children’s things into 3 suitcases. Apparently E had decided to kick us out of the house.
I was told to sit on the bed and stay there while E and the farm boy shoved a few of our things into bags, informing me that anything that didn’t fit he was going to burn. Then after E left again without a word, and our farm boy helped me carry the luggage to a neighbors house as instructed by E.
Me? I was relieved to be leaving the house alive.
My neighbor was having a bible study, so I literally hid in the kitchen ( I should explain the kitchen is a separate building) while I called a friend I had met maybe 2 months before in town (while swimming with the kids no less). She was a missionary from the States, and as another white woman in Kakamega, we had bonded. I called her and in a surprisingly calm matter told her that E had beaten me up, and kicked us out of the house, so could the kids and I please come stay with her and her family for now until I figured something out.
She was all over that. She talked to her husband and they said they would be right there to get us.
Unfortunately “right there” was about an hour away since they lived in town and I was out in the village. So while I waited in the neighbors kitchen, word spread around the village. Probably thanks to my farm boy. But people came to stay with me. Kids kept watch out for E. I was given a cool cloth for my swelling eyes, and older children played with my kids.
Finally, my friend arrived. Our bags were put into her van by the neighbor boys and the vehicle was surrounded by people. “Mama E, are you ok? Mama E are you coming back? Mama E, please stay”
But I couldn’t, I had to leave. Now. I just needed to get out to feel safe.
So then, as we were pulling away… E’s mom showed up. Someone had gotten word to E’s parents and my mother in law came. But she didn’t come to make sure I was ok. She was there to protect her son and her families reputation. She stood in the way of my friends van saying I shouldn’t go to the police, it was a mistake, stay at the farm, forgive him etc. My friend politely explained that it had been E who packed my bags, and that I would be gone for now, at the request of E himself. Anything else could be discussed on the phone. And then started driving. Slowly, but it was a move or get run over type thing. I was so thankful for her in that moment because I was so shaken up I could barely speak, let alone defend any action on my part to bring myself and the kids to safety.
People finally moved. Kids ran after the van tapping on the windows for so long. They didn’t want to see myself and the kids leave. We had become family to them.
But when push came to shove… they would protect blood over us.
And the shove had most definitely come.
-Maroon 5/Sunday Morning-