After a 30-minute bumpy ride, we reach what I am told is a police station. There are already 30 local Kenyans sitting outside, disheartened. We’re told they’ve been waiting for hours.
But since we’re foreigners, we get the special treatment. This includes special instructions by a jovial officer – imagine Idi Amin, but sillier. We gather around him.
“Go buy an envelope.” He points to a woman standing behind what looks like a candy stand. We all come back dutifully, envelope in hand.
“Now put your papers in the envelope, like this.” Piece by piece, he shows us how to place paper in an envelope. Surprisingly, the Chinese have a big problem with this.
And 15 more minutes of my life go by.
We then wait. The students ahead of us enter a door, but strangely I never see anybody leave. Even stranger, I never hear the sound of a car start, or see any students drive away in a vehicle. But who cares, we’re getting closer, graduating from dirt patch to bench.
At around 5 p.m., a woman comes and greets us. “Now, take your papers out of your envelopes. Like this.” She shows us how piece by piece to take our papers out of our envelopes, just as diligently as the officer, but in reverse.
Then things pick up. Another officer gestures me to come, shouting something incomprehensible to me. I then realize he’s trying to impress me with his Chinese. I let him, as I follow him into the office.