Fahrt der Freiheit

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Memory is a f*rkd up thing. Intrusive, relentless. A river that brings down all manner of debris at the most unlikely time; all these things just floating by, some truly ugly, others eager to be clutched at and kept off the water. And the river of childhood is the most stubborn of them all. 

What Linet* remembers constantly about her childhood is sitting on a stone waiting for her father. This was Woodley estate before Woodley grew old and somewhat charming and soaked in all the nostalgic burden of colonialism. She’d sit on the stone waiting for her father every weekend for what seemed like many years. Her mother and father had separated. Rather, her mother had kicked her father out. Her mother was the type that didn’t take shit. Her mother’s dad was the first African in the Kenyan parliament, a freedom fighter. [Didn’t benefit us for anything, she sighed]. Her mother was the sassy type that had many bangles on her hand which all shook like a percussion instrument when she spoke. Kicked her father out. Twice. Her father was a real sherehe guy, constantly disappeared from home, never paid for shit, and just loved having a good time; drinking his beers, going off to Wilson to fly his little planes. So he got booted out. Nobody knew where he had gone but as a little girl who didn’t understand marriage and adults and what it took to keep up with a man, she knew he would come back one day. Come back to see her and her siblings; they were three. 

“I would wear my best dresses and these Clark shoes I had with these white socks pulled all the way up, a comb run through my long and well-oiled hair and I would be seated on a stone outside our gate just waiting because I knew my dad would come back and when he did I wanted him to find me looking presentable, looking pretty, you know?” Linet* says. I never met her mother but I can almost see her mother in her. She’s sassy and she speaks fast and she’s expressive and she’s drinking a prosecco at sunset from a flute that she will at some point knock over because she’s using her hands a hell of a lot more than you and I, and the prosecco will all splash on my crotch. Oh and because service at Art Cafe, Raphta Road is truly diabolical and punitive, the prosecco will remain on me for what seems like ages because the staff is somewhere at the back playing strip poker. 

You know what, I won’t tell this story in the third person, let me attempt to write it in the first person. But first, allow me to dry off my crotch in the washroom. 

***

“Of course, my dad never came back. But I remember as a teenager I discovered he was the Head of Transport something-something at Nyayo House so my friends and I would walk to town to his office. We’d ride the old elevator with grave-looking men in suits and then knock on his office door and strain to hear his voice from the back of the door, faint and distant like it was coming from another foreign time, another father. 

I don’t recall any meaningful conversations during those visits: Hi, how are you? How is school? What’s your friend’s name? He had a massive desk, which he always sat behind, never standing up. He always seemed big even while seated. A coat hung from a wooden coat hanger next to his chair. I look exactly like him. Like crazy. I can see his face, something that seemed carved from a block of dark chocolate. He was funny. He had remarried and had other children who I’m not close to. My brother is close to them. 

I went off to boarding school and did everything teenage girls did at that age; which was wanting so much but knowing so little. When I was 19, I flew out to Germany to study Hotel Management. Had a great time and all. I learned the language, did everything there was ever to do in university, and finished my program. Now without proper papers, one would not be able to secure a proper job, all you did was wipe toilets and work in gas stations or kitchens, washing dishes and getting shouted at in German by pink-faced Executive Chefs. I didn’t want that life for myself. I needed to secure papers to get a proper job. I lived in Wiesbaden and was dating some American GI fellow called Applewhite (black, always black berry) at that time. I knew many people who were marrying old white Germans to get their papers. 

Lucky for me I didn’t marry an old white German man, I married a gay man called Micheal. My first husband. 

My boyfriend drove me six hours to Berlin to marry Micheal. To hurry the process we were to cross over to Norway and come back and process the Visa. We took a little dinky boat before sunrise; my boyfriend, Micheal, and his boyfriend. His boyfriend had eyes bluer than the water we were on and the most delicate fingers, they were like dry twigs. They all thought my boyfriend, Applewhite, was oh-so sexy. And I agreed. We clutched at the boat as a wet cold wind lashed at our faces during the short boat trip to a very small island in Norway. It was very cold but we were drinking and laughing over the roar of the boat. The sky was light but pale when we got to the island where we said our vows in a little courthouse featuring impressive pillars. I had on a short black dress which was now wet and cold from the boat ride. My boyfriend acted as a witness, even though we introduced him as my brother because you know, all black people look the same, right? Micheal’s boyfriend was his “brother.” Micheal leaned over and kissed me on the mouth like a proper groom should. 

We had to spend the night in a hotel room with my new husband and take pictures to prove that we had consummated our marriage, you know, to look normal. It was one of those hotels with thick windows that wouldn’t open, overlooking a pier with lonesome boats with dark windows at that hour of the night. We stayed up drinking wine and giggling at the whole thing. In the morning I was woken up, a new wife, by the tooting horn of a passing ship. 

With my sound papers, I was able to get a great job working for the Holiday Inn in Wiesbaden. It’s prestigious, real posh. Well-heeled travelers walked into the foyer in expensive-looking scarves twisted around their necks, removing their leather gloves to count their money at the counter. Only two black people were working in the whole hotel and because I spoke perfect German, I worked in the front office while the other black girl worked at the back. The day I got a call that my dad had died, I was with my sister who had moved abroad before me. She was devastated, completely wrecked by the news. I held her as she cried. I didn’t feel anything. I wanted to feel something but I couldn’t muster remorse. So I pretended that I was crushed too, for her benefit. I never attended his burial.  

Meanwhile, my life in Germany seemed to be growing but my spirit was withering. I was tired of the weather and racism. The winters made everything feel like you were living in a polar bear’s liver. The streets would freeze up and all the leaves would fall off trees, turning them into ghosts with big limbs reaching out to you. Germany made me feel like I was not okay because of how I looked, they made me feel unworthy. I was never accepted. And I felt terrible. I was always defending myself. If someone made a mistake at the hotel they always looked at the black girls. Someone was always telling you, ‘Do you have to wear those braids? Can they look different? Your skirt is too short. You can’t do this. Don’t speak to clients like that, it intimidates them.’ I was always defensive because I felt blamed for everything. I felt like I had to explain my very existence and it diminished me. 

Oh and then I was constantly getting hit on by old wizened German men with hair in their noses. I was merely a fetish to them, a girl with thick woolly hair and thick lips, a box to tick. I was tired of all that shit. Tired of being away from home. Tired of old German men calling me nigga in German and me wanting to strangle them with my bra. All this was turning me into this very bitter person, this nasty person, I was slowly becoming vile and angry and unsure of who I was. 

So I called my mom and told her, Mom, I want to come back home, I can’t bear to be here another day. She was like No, what?! Are you crazy? What are you coming to do back here? There is nothing here. Go to your brother in the US. My older brother lived in the US, in New Jersey. So I packed up my life into one suitcase and a big knapsack and fled to New Jersey. In New Jersey my brother says, Look this place is not for you, it’s too expensive, you need to go South, which is cheaper. There you can start school and support yourself better. I pouted because I wanted to be able to cross over into New York and do New York things like eat ice cream in Central Park or walk on the dirty sidewalks of Brooklyn. Anyway, he sends me to his friend in North Carolina. I start my new life there. It’s certainly better than Germany. I see more black people and less pale white people. It’s warm in Charlotte and it’s cheaper. 

A few weeks old in Charlotte, I’m at the bus stop reading a book as I wait for my bus. I look up and see these three deaf people talking with their hands and laughing. I thought, My God, this is so fascinating, how they can communicate with their hands, this private language that the rest of us can’t understand. That was my eureka moment. I said I will learn this language. So I went to college, Central Piedmont Community College, and registered to study Sign Language and Special Education. Oh, I thrived at it! Boy, did I thrive at it! Let me not be modest because you don’t even know my name; I was excellent. While in Kenya I was a D student, in Charlotte I was suddenly an A student. I had discovered my thing. My mom moved to the US to work and support me through college but then I got a scholarship. I also got a job as a nanny with a nice white couple called The Robertsons. They were doctors with a daughter who had Down Syndrome, nonverbal. Got the job on the strength of the fact that I could also teach her sign language. I lived with them, took their kids to school in the morning, and picked them up after school. Great couple. The money was decent, it helped that I wasn’t paying any bills, not rent, not transport, nothing. I was rolling in the money also because whereas my Kenyan counterparts were working three or four jobs in gas stations and things for minimum wage I was getting paid higher and not having bills to pay. Their home was like my home, my mom would come and visit and stay over, and my boyfriend would come over. 

A year before graduation I realised I was going to face some tough decisions because after graduation my status in the US would change. I needed to plan on how to stay in the US without breaking any laws. I found my solution in a bar called Cosmo one night. It was more like a college bar, somewhat boorish. The type that wipes your memory. I was there with some friends having drinks and shots, some people were dancing or just standing, clinging to their drinks. This guy turns and tells me, “Excuse me, your accent, are you Kenyan?”

I said, Yeah. He was tall and good-looking like a domesticated wolf can be if you dared domesticate one. “Oh, I thought so,” he said, “my father used to work in Kenya, briefly.” He had wide shoulders. He was drinking Jack Daniels and Coke and lots of ice, his large hands circled all around the glass. His name was Danny, he told me, a Liberian American. We started talking and drinking and after an hour I asked him, Say, Danny, were you born here in the US? He nodded. So you have papers? I asked. He said he did. I told him I was graduating in a year and I wanted someone to take care of my papers. He blinked rapidly and said, You want me to help you, like get married? I said, yeah? Can you? I’m proposing here, and I’m not bad-looking. He laughed and looked around as if he expected cameras. He finally asked, “Would this arrangement include sex for me?” I said, “No, no sex, Danny.” He said, “OK then, that will cost you $5,000, $1,000 down payment.” I reached out and shook his hand. It was wet. 

And that was that.

The next day I texted my mom and my brother and told them about it. They were like Oh my God, how many times are you going to do this? You’re not even divorced in Germany! ‘Ha-ha.’ I said, ‘who cares, men can run off and marry many wives and leave them hanging, why can’t I?’

So I saved up my nanny money, like about $800 and my mom topped it up and met him at the same bar and handed over the 1,000 dollars. Danny was a bit of a whore. There is no skirt he wouldn’t chase. He was trying to tune me, he had always tried, and I’m like No, Danny, never going to happen, this is a sexless marriage. Ha-ha. Now we are good friends. 

We had a week to go to the courthouse. In that whole week, he spent the $1000 with me. We ate and drank all that money. By the time he was going to the courthouse, he was like, ‘Linet, I’m broke, I was supposed to buy a new car.’ Each time I paid him an amount, we would just drink it all. Ha-ha. Danny was wild and fun. Anyway, I got my papers got my work permit, and landed a great job working for the state. I worked in a college as an interpreter for the deaf. I also worked for the state as an interpreter where I interpreted for deaf women giving birth, deaf delinquents in court, and underage kids with mental health problems. Pretty good gig, if you ask me. The money was great and I was in demand. After a few years, I divorced Danny and I continued with my life. 

One time I was at the gas station putting gas – because that’s what one does at a gas station – when this guy came over and said hello. He had that Lunje build, very strong, low with a solid center of gravity. He looked Nigerian. I like my men like that; men who look like men. Men who when they swallow you can tell they have swallowed. He said, Hi, I’m Arnold. I was in South Carolina at that time. He was just coming out of the military. 

We started dating and when he proposed  I said, ‘I can’t marry a foreigner, Arnold, because eventually I will want to have children and move back home to Kenya.’ He said I love Kenya. I laughed and said, But you haven’t been. He said, But I’ve met you. He said he’d move to Kenya with me. When we finally came to Kenya together, his mother knelt on the tarmac at JKIA and kissed it. Then she started praying and talking in tongues. She owns a church in the US. She was like she had a vision that one day she would come back to the Motherland, and now the prophecy had come true. People stared. 

We got married and had a three-day wedding at Leisure Lodge. My son was conceived on our wedding night. We then had a daughter and we went back to the US and he left for the Middle East where he was contracting during the war. He would end up being away for so long because of his job, leaving me to raise the children alone. I couldn’t manage, so I brought the kids back here to my mom. It was cheaper and I was working nights sometimes. He finished his contract and came back to the US and said, Now I’m home, we can buy land and build. He had saved up some money. We had been apart for so long that a rift had occurred between us and in its place settled resentment. We tried therapy, but it didn’t work. I had disconnected. Distance will kill your relationship. I wanted a divorce, I told him. He couldn’t believe that I was leaving him when he’d just come back home to be with us. When I told him I was moving back to Kenya, all the gloves came off and it quickly became very nasty and toxic. He said, Go if you want but you aren’t leaving with my children. The custody battles were bruising and exhausting. The police were involved a few times because of the fighting. 

He said, you have two choices; take the kids to Kenya and forfeit the $2000 I’m paying in child support, or stay here and get the $2000. My lawyer said, Leave the kids, he won’t handle it. This is called the Santa Claus-Daddy syndrome where the dad feels he can do everything, he can take care of the kids alone. It fades quickly. He’d never parented before, he couldn’t manage. Sure enough by that summer, it had faded. He called me while I was in Kenya and said, You can have the kids but on the condition that you are withdrawing the child support in court. I took the deal. I understand him now, we talked about that time; he was hurt and disappointed and he wanted to punish me, to hurt me as much as I had hurt him. We’re good friends.

Six years ago – to root my children for their people – I came back with my kids and moved into the same Woodley House I grew up in. The same one I waited for my father to come back home to, the same house my children now live in without their father. Life is a racing track, it comes full circle. 

Once a year I take the kids back to visit him. My son just joined high school, he said he wanted to live with his father, so he’s there. He’s remarried. My youngest will join him next year. 

I’m a special education teacher, I run an organisation called ‘Tuwatunze’, a learning support center. I run it from my garden in my backyard. We work with kids who have learning challenges. The majority are autistic. I work with kids who can’t feed themselves, walk, or make full logical sentences, kids who can’t wave or point with their index finger, or separate colours, or swim. I love to see a parent happy after understanding their child and walking with me and being patient and trusting me and understanding that this child is whole and they are fine, they’re not broken, or weird, that they’re just different-abled, that they are holistically fine. I love being in the classroom with these angels, on the ground, on my knees, drawing and singing and playing outside, swimming, rolling on the grass. I want and love to hear these children laugh. I want them to feel comfortable, to know that they are loved, they’re appreciated. That they’re just like anyone else. These children are four years old, five years, seven. They may never write, they may never talk, but they’re human and they deserve love and laughter and tickles and kisses. I feel a great need to protect them and make the world see their value, that even though they don’t talk or they can’t understand what you are saying, they can read your energy, your body language, they can read your hostility.

Tuwatunze Centre in her garden

There isn’t any money in this. Teachers don’t make money and it’s hard sometimes but it’s all worth it. This is my passion, my calling, to be able to help one kid at a time and change their lives. I’m in my 50s now, I don’t want emptiness; I don’t want empty friendships, I don’t want empty relationships. I want passion and fire. I want to be part of that honest, genuine community of people that are actually in it for the good. 

I just broke off my five and half year relationship with a man named Solomon. I’m in a very interesting space in my life. I’m finding myself. I have never not been attached to a man before, attachment just follows me around. I’m trying not to have attachments because I was raised to believe that intimacy is attachment, that if I sleep with you I have to love you and get into a relationship with you. I was raised to believe that girls who just have sex for the sake of sex are bad. Now I’m learning to give my vagina power again. Pussy power. I’m not in the market, I’m not in Soko, I’m just doing me. 

Someone told me that I was going through a midlife crisis. It felt negative, it felt chaotic. I told them I was going through an awakening, I’m not in a crisis, I’m on a self realisation journey. It’s an awakening because, for much of my life, I felt like I was in robot mode, just doing what was expected of me, being an OK daughter, sister, friend, and a “good”  member of society while inside I was drowning. I was in a relationship with no passion, no fire but I continued to give and love. Give is what I have known because I thought there was where happiness lay, but happiness was in me all this while. I go hiking with strangers, young energetic humans, and I learn so much from new energy. I drink Jaba juice, it makes me feel sensual and sexual. I’m in the phase of sexual awakening; I love to sit in a man’s oversized shirt and watch a black man walk around naked in the house. I have new friends but I do things alone. I have lost some friends, but wounds only heal when scabs fall off. 

I’m a dancer. Oh, I love dancing, Biko. I go out and dance, sometimes twice a week. But before I go out I sit in my garden, I have a very nice vegetable garden, and as the evening light dies, I light a blunt and I smoke it while staring at nothing, thinking of nothing, barefoot. I sit still and I remain in this moment that I find myself in, this beautiful generosity of life. I feel my heart beat like a child bouncing a small ball in an empty room and listen to my body curl and relax and the blades of grass tickle my bare feet. I then call my nduthi guy because I like to sit at the back of the motorbike, feeling the breeze on my face as we ride into the night, bending and curling together in the now deserted roads. This ride is a crucial part of this ritual. It’s the ride of freedom. 

Art and Soul, the club at Ngong Hills Hotel is like a sitting room, so it’s like home. The music is terrific. I get there when my fingertips are tingly and the hairs at the back of my neck are on their tippy toes. I take one shot of tequila, only one, and then I dance. I just sweat out everything. I have never felt more attractive and confident. Later, when I walk out, my Nduthi guy is waiting for me in his worn leather jacket, chewing on a stick of miraa, his left cheek puffed out. 

When I get home I will walk through my house light-footed, like it doesn’t belong to me, like I’m afraid to wake up all the childhood memories that are sleeping on the walls. 

***

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85 Comments
  1. Last week I moved to Nanyuki to what now, after reading Linet’s story, is a self actualisation journey. I have always been the girl woman who had sex because she wanted to, welcome Linet.

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  2. Last week I moved to Nanyuki to what now, after reading Linet’s story, is a self actualisation journey. I have always been the girl woman who had sex because she wanted to, welcome Linet.

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  3. Woodley is a ghostly house (with a nduthi dude outside) and this story ni ya ‘dunia ni mviringo’ – up to the northern hemisphere, across to the West … then you triangulate south … and, slow-ly, you are home again!

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  4. The joy of empty nestering. Glad that the little tots at Tuwatuze get to feel her pure love.

    Alafu huyu jamaa wa nduthi…anyway, wacha tu ninyamaze.

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  5. …and just like that, Art and Soul club will soon have new patrons…hahaha!! Great read as usual Biko, and all the best to Linet in her reawakening journey!

  6. I terribly envy the freedom this beautiful lady is enjoying. To live for self…to rid oneself of the unnecessary attachments…to intimately know yourself, to enjoy You!…beautiful rich solitude..love it! Thanks as always Biko:-)

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  7. The gay guy in Germany: did the divorce ever happen?
    Who among us here, if not Biko, will kindly explore this emerging lifestyle where the fairer sex choose to live alone? Why have relationships become so tenuous?

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  8. I absolutely love this story! Love love love it. also helps that I know Linet personally. a dear sister and friend. Keep winning Linet!

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  9. Sometimes I read stories like this – stories about people who’ve lived in many countries, and tried many things, and met many people, and who have started then started afresh – and I feel such envy. My life feels so small and unadventurous. I’ve never lived anywhere but in this country of my birth. My stolid career is what I studied, I have never begun anything else. Anyway. I’m in awe of this brave woman and her compassion for differently abled babies.

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  10. One of those articles that ground you, that remind you that your opinion of what you do with your life is eventually the most important and maybe you should start valuing it early.

  11. My dear sistah. You are a gifted storyteller. I thoroughly enjoyed a looking through the small window into your life. May your journey continue to unfold in ways that please you. Much love and undying support

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  12. My boyfriend drove me six hours to Berlin to marry Micheal (a gay man)

    Fellow Kenyans I’ve seen it all now. Tufunge na maombi hapo Nyayo stadium

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  13. As a mum of two autistic children, her passio warms my heart. My eldest [now 7] was non verbal till 5 years old and the 4 year old is still basically non-verbal. We were fortunate to find communities and schools that were compassionate enough to see past their inabilities to the gems that they are. The eldest is a little math wiz now and is teaching himself how to play the piano. The 2nd might be a creative [dancer, gymnast, musician, still exploring]. I am grateful to people that take the time to really see these children/people.

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    1. Agreed. Brilliant kids yours are. I hope they find community that loves and cherishes them for the rest of their lives and I wish you all the best!

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    1. Should women stay in marriages with no intimacy,just for the sake of the children?

      That’s why many marriages fail,the father is busy with entertaining himself that he rarely makes time for his wife who eventually drifts emotionally and opts for a single life.However,the man can catch up with the children by being part of their lives.

  14. I already love her outgoing personality,as many mature adults would rather drink or sleep than dance .

    I believe that she is a genuine person who loves relationships that are lovely but also lively.She is honest , that’s why she divorced from the father of her children,she didn’t want to tolerate a lonely marriage.

    She desires quality relationships, that’s why she failed to attend her father’s funeral.He was more of a stranger ,than a parent.I however wished that the dad tried forming a relationship with her,but it might be his work and new marriage consumed his time and efforts.

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  15. Long distance marriages, rarely work,as many marriages especially in the foundation stage require presence .With each and every passing day,their is an emotional drift .

    Her marriage ,might have worked if the man worked within the country.However,she is a lover of passionate relationships,one with a touch of life in it.However, her awakening might be due to skipping a stage in her younger years or it might be a new stage in her life.

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  16. She is honest,barely sugarcoating her parents marital affairs.I believe her father was the outgoing type,who had good money and felt that it should be spent away from home.Furthermore,he felt domesticated by marriage and going for sherehe’s made him feel lively,the problem is that he partied a lot for a married man.I would say that he used his outgoing nature to be away from his wife whom he no longer loved .

    Her marriage would have worked had they been working in the same zone or country.Long distance marriages bring emotional drift especially, if one party finds their other half, in their working station .At the moment,she opt to enjoy her awakening.

  17. ‘The winters made everything feel like you were living in a polar bear’s liver. ‘
    another amazing piece of prose Biko. asante

  18. The greatest fear in a child is, one of their parent leaving and never coming back, and when this actually happens, it breaks their trust and they never fully commit to anyone for subconsciously, they fear being hurt or abandoned again.
    it’s lovely that she is on a journey of healing and self discovery.

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  19. I once read somewhere that women unconsciously look for men like their fathers. If the father was non-existent, she would never settle with a present man. This is why the “how was your relationship with your parents like while growing up” question is important while dating.

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    1. And many women barely knew their father.They knew the father who provides,or who does 1,2,3, but not the father who hits on young ladies or the father who trades in illegal drugs.

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  20. What a story this has been. So inspiring and refreshing. I love the part where she is re-discovering herself and realizing that every interaction does not have to be a relationship. That part of loving me and doing me. Ditto!
    Another brilliant read from Biko!

  21. This story is wild…surreal…
    I’m not sure if its a good or bad story.
    Fastofal, I don’t understand the title… wth is fahrt der freiheit??
    Then how did we move from sitting on a stone at woodly to knocking offices at nyayo house to germany to new jersy to charlotte then back to a backyard at woodly? all this after marrying 3 men? now we are alone enjoying nduthi rides after finding freedom in sex.
    No…..
    We can’t live like this.
    We need therapy.

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  22. She’s having a ride of freedom. I love this story, in her fifties and so free and not sorry. And her love is oozing in torrents. Nampenda.

  23. Let me tell you… this is interesting…it’s like having sex with a priest and you know it’s wrong…but you love how he just allows you be in the moment and then you attend vespers together and then again you sitting in for mass knowing well you had the best night of your lives… Gays are human beings and trust me they love real… Good hearts… A ride of freedom… I’m visiting the place to offer my services free … it’s beautiful to let happiness live in you… the Nduthi guy surely part… I do that all the time… thanks Biko… I saw you somewhere and … fuck be easy….

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  24. life is perfectly imperfect.One day one is at a good place another day one is wrestling with unplanned events.

    I appreciate the ladys’ honesty,she hates empty relationships and friendships .A relationship which lacks passion and a spark isn’t one to be ensured.

  25. The lady rarely talks about her mother in depth ; was she talkative,was she controlling or did she talk negatively about her father. A missing factor is did the mother get another companion or a boyfriend,as her father moved on.

    However,the lady is quite lucky,she found her passion in talk care of if special children ,she didn’t shy from it.Few in life find their purpose and calling.

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  26. I too, Biko, I’m in the process of self discovery…a little younger, than our good lady; well maybe alot younger (32), but still…feels great, to unravel myself.

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  27. Wow. Such a great read. I am tearing up. This one is living her life on her terms.
    The condition that she withdraws child support if she wanted the kids with her in Kenya made me sad. Don’t kids need their dad’s support regardless of who they are living with and where? but I am glad that the man is still in the picture and now living with the older child.

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  28. Took me down memory lane as I grew up in woodley. Lovely piece to read. Go girl. Self discovery is yours all the way …

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  29. Lovely! The awekening moment always comes to every woman who’s ever been in some sort of trauma. That sounds so familiar, me now at 40. Live your life and enjoy it without giving a shit about what society thinks.

  30. ”There isn’t any money in this. Teachers don’t make money and it’s hard sometimes but it’s all worth it. This is my passion, my calling, to be able to help one kid at a time and change their lives.”- ring very true of the teacher in me. This is the 8th month and counting and no dime hitting the account but still teaching…..it’s tough being a full-time part-timer but Viva teachers at heart!