Why I need to learn some Spanish, urgently!


News that a colleague in Bungoma conquered the heart of a Cuban doctor was music to my ears. So after all, the smiles Lisandra and I have been exchanging could mature into something more serious!

Lisandra is one of the two Cuban doctors posted to our county. Lisandra and I had exchanged smiles twice. First, when we MCAs were being introduced to the medics by His Popularity the Governor. The name Lisandra stuck in my mind, just like the bewitching smile she flashed at me as we shook hands.

The second time was when we met in the corridors of the county headquarters. She gave me a smashing smile and I counter-smiled. Since then, I had longed for an opportunity to know her better, but one thing stood on my way: the fear of rejection. Could a Cuban lady — a doctor at that— really fall for a Kenyan man? Supposing Lisandra’s smile was just out of politeness?

Now that my confidence had been boosted by the heroic act of the Bungoma MCA, I decided to make a bold move. After all, these Cubans were just flesh and blood like us, only that they spoke Spanish.

It was exciting to think of the benefits of Lisandra and I becoming an item. These would include cementing further the relations between Cuba and our country. I was not sure what Mama Hiro, daughter of my mum-in-law, would think about this liaison, but that was a bridge to be crossed later.

Having decided that a man’s got to do what a man must do, I made my way to the County hospital where the object of my desire could be found. I had no trouble locating her working room. Soon, I was face to face with Lisandra herself. I unleashed a killer smile but this time she responded with a grin and said something to the translator.

“Please have a seat,” the translator told me. I obeyed. I then requested for some privacy. I was convinced that I would deal with the language barrier, somehow.

As soon as the translator left, I tried my best to let Lisandra know that I was not ill, and that I had come just to see her. To make her understand what I was saying, I nodded ‘no’ while pointing at my eyes and then at her. She immediately reached out for a spotlight, held my head at an angle and shone a bright light into each of my eyes.

“Eyes, good good!” she said.

“I came to see you,” I said using the clearest gestures I could think of. From the look she gave me, I could tell she neither understood nor remembered me. I decided it was time to reveal my position

“I am an MCA.” I said.

“MCA?” she asked—perhaps bewildered what illness that was– and handed me a piece of paper on which I wrote the letters ‘MCA’.

She took the paper, snatched open the door, called in the translator and showed him the paper. I had to think fast to avoid embarrassment

“I wanted her to check me for meningitis, cancer and arthritis – MCA,” I blurted out before the translator could open his mouth. He conveyed the message to the doctor who scribbled on a piece of paper.

“Go for lab tests,” said the translator handing me the piece of paper. Having failed in my mission, I walked out of the doctor’s room, dejected. I have vowed to learn Spanish in less than a month. I must be able to open my heart to Lisandra, liwe liwalo.

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