|My bad jembe that can't dig a proper hole.|
Must be my jembe? I smiled.
I had heard about this cultural difference, but had not seen it on such vivid display yet. Here in Kenya, personal responsibility is often not assigned to someone when something goes wrong. In America, if a friend is at your house and drops a plate and it shatters to pieces, we know they did it and it is their fault, but we try to make them feel better by saying something like:
“Don’t worry about breaking the plate. That plate had a chip in it anyway and I was going to throw it out.”
Here you would not say such a thing because your friend did not break the plate - the floor did.
So there I was on the mountainside with 10 RVA students and a local pastor planting trees. When Pastor John saw the hole I had just dug, he thought there should have been more loose dirt in the bottom of the hole. He asked for a different jembe and did a bit more digging while saying:
“It is OK. It must be your jembe.”