This 17th day of May, 2017, as we prepare our breakfast with Br Evans, our laughter shrieks through to the sitting room where Br Kamrata is seated. It is obvious that Kamrata is concerned because, according to him, Evans is a little reserved. So, what could he be laughing about? That is exactly the puzzle I have been seeking to solve with Evans. This life has taught most of us that our view of life is highly shaped by our passions. Take for instance, when a pilot is looking at a cow (ng’ombe), it is true he sees a cow with four legs, a wagging tail and so forth. But, if he is truly passionate about his flying job, he might find himself looking at the cow in relation to his passion; probably wondering why cows don’t fly like eagles or like his airplanes. Hence, Evans is passionate about various things but mostly animals.
One time, as I flipped through the Tuesday’s newspaper (full of animals and farming stuff), Evans peeped and asked if we could talk a little. Of course we could talk because I was actually reading the newspaper out of sheer boredom. I, like many government employees shamelessly admit, the best way to look busy in the office is by carrying with them a newspaper around as if it is the book of eternal life. The talk with Evans hence surpassed that of the newspaper significantly. The talk was about his journey as a Capuchin Friar. It was very interesting, or is it how he narrated it that made it interesting? Anyway, I have forgotten most of the things he said, but there is one account I would be an imbecile if I forgot.
Apparently, some year back, his father said ‘to hell with the taxman’ and boycotted the taxman's rule of staying alive. So, the formattor called Evans and informed him that he would need to travel to kisii. Unfortunately, the formattor did not entirely disclose the purpose of his travel and that he was actually going to bid his father goodbye. Thus, as usual, we say that when you hear Kisii, your head has no option but to go “bananas”. That is exactly what happened (it went “bananas” for the sake of natural inclination to self-preservation). According to his very interesting narration, he put aside the fear of the office of the formattor. He demanded to know why he was being sent away without a just cause. Even more he left me in stitches when he told me that all the while the formattor spoke (mentioned) about “some” problem back at home his mind raced and was flooded with strange idea of his/their priceless cows back at home. His spirit wreathed in anger and disappointment, and he thought furiously, “acha kunidanganya bwana, unataka tu kunifukuza, unaniambia niende nyumbani juu kuna shida, ni shida gani hiyo iko nyumbani, kwani ng’ombe wetu aliibiwa?” For the love of the animals, what other more problem can there be other than the safety of animals? So he wondered.
Hardly have I met a man half-passionate about animals as Evans.