Friday, June 17, 2011

E-Mails from Kenya

I don’t check the e-mail that comes to this blog all that often anymore. Mostly because I don’t write on this blog all that often anymore. For a while, I was responding to every e-mail I got (albeit sometimes several months late). I was even responding to every comment. Now? Well, I’m just kind of lazy. I’m not going to lie to you. But now and then I log on in to my e-mail account and give a quick scroll down the list. My goal this summer is to actually do some catching up and try to respond. So if you sent me an e-mail last June and didn’t get a response, hang tight. It’s coming. Probably.

All that being said, I do enjoy the occasional e-mail. Some more than others. A while back I received an e-mail from Kenya. I do not know anyone in Kenya. I have a couple of friends who have done field-work in Kenya. I have other friends who have visited. I’ve spoken to people from Kenya, but I know no one living in the country. Which is why e-mails from Kenya are confusing. I’ve included it below (replacing the original name with a pseudonym) because it made me smile. And I hope it makes you smile too.

“How are you there in AWESOMELY BOLD from Kenya and i saw you work through internet.keep up.the purpose of writing this email is requesting whether you can offer me small grant to help me uplift my living conditions because here in Kenya poverty levels are very high and no jobs for us the a little help will move me far and i will appreciate so much.please consider my my send through western union money transfer.THANK YOU.”

I’m not even really sure where to begin with this. This is not your classic Nigerian Prince scheme; it is just a straight out request for money. I quite appreciate the ballsy-ness (I might have just made that word up, but you get the idea). I quite appreciate the brief explanation, or grant application if you will. The assumed generosity on my part. The politeness.

What AWESOMLY BOLD failed to take into account is that I am a student again. And according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the money I pull in every month for being a teaching assistant puts me just under the poverty line. Awesome. Please consider this my own grant application. If any of you have money to burn, feel free to uplift my living conditions. Hell, I’ll even accept credit cards.

Now a quick note. I’ve been sitting on this e-mail for quite a while. Mostly because I didn’t really feel comfortable putting an e-mail someone sent me out on this blog. Some sort of trust or privacy thing maybe. Maybe because I am a smartass and knew I would crack a joke about me being poor, when “poor” is really relative. Maybe because despite it all, I am damn well aware what being unemployed is like and what it can do to you. I don’t really know. I don’t want people worrying about what they write to me, mostly because I don’t worry about what I write to them. In the end though I couldn’t resist. Every time I re-read this, I shake my head and smile.

I kid, I kid, may I suggest instead donating to some of the following organizations
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
American Cancer Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
United Way

Or if you really were convinced by AWESOMELY BOLD’s grant application, let me know. I’m sure we can figure something out.

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  1. Someone came to our door the other night just asking for donations for him to go to college! Wow! I guess someone must fall for it or they wouldn't do it right?

  2. Unfortunately the ones who are skilled or bold enough to ask for money, are not usually the ones most in need or worthy. It's a funny email, but probably from a crook- someone who's making a LOT more then you, using this scam- it takes guts to go back to school, not just because of the hard work, but the lifestyle sacrifice. I applaud your efforts!

  3. It makes me feel very old and cynical - but how did he get to use a computer? They are not exactly cheap to use over there. It would suggest employment of some sort.

  4. Was this the precursor to kickstarter?