The last night of the Eid festival we went with a family from our neighborhood. It was great to hang out with them for the night. After grabbing some festival food (read here more meat on a stick) and hanging out on our mat they wanted to look for toys at the numerous vendors (as a side note there is no Kiswahili word for toys, they just say “things of play”). Walking through row after row of plastic junk strung from wooden stakes we finally spotted him, in a pile of used toys on a table, barely visible to the untrained eye; Woody! Annikah had just watched Toy Story for the first time a few weeks back because it was on one of the bootleg “40 movies on one DVD” that we brought when we were in Nairobi and she loved it!!! Seriously, she never has really sat through any movie before but she loved Toy Story, she laughed out loud at the toys and their crazy antics and she teared up a bit when Woody and Buzz could not get home to Andy and the mama. It was hilarious and although we do not let her watch many movies I was secretly stoked because if I ever really need a “electronic babysitter” I now know I can call on Buzz and Woody to save the day, at least while it lasts (hey judge all you want). Ok, back to the story of Woody.
Jason was the first to spot him and soon after he did Miss Annikah started pointing and gleefully declaring “Woody, papa, that is Woody.” He even had his hat, a marvel of used toy shopping as if you paid me 100 dollars I still could not find all the pieces to the various toys strewn about our house. We took a look at him and upon first glance in the dark he seemed to be a bit dirty, a little war torn but overall in good shape including the string that you pull in great working order and the best part was they only wanted 2,000 shillings for him (about $1.70). Annikah did not whine or fuss at all about getting him but only said “please papa” (do not think our girl does not have her moments but we have been working a lot on how we ask for things and understanding that sometimes the answer is no before the question even leaves her lips so we were glad she had such a great attitude). We could not pass it up and happily made Annikah’s day by taking Woody home. On the car ride home Annikah said to me “Mama, hamna (none in Kiswahili) hand, oh no, Papa need to fix that” and once I took a detailed look I realized that Woody was indeed handless on one arm and missing four of his fingers on the other hand. So much for our keen observation skills! We explained that we could not fix it but that Woody was still fun to play with and Anni agreed after telling Woody “pole sana Woody (sorry for you Woody).” Upon arriving home I scrubbed Woody from head to toe and Papa fixed a slight problem with his batteries (he would not shut up).
Annikah and Woody have been inseparable for about a week now. She even got to watch Toy Story 2 with him this week and since the movie was about Woody’s arm ripping we thought it was quite fitting that Annikah sat watching the story unfold clutching her battered but much loved Woody.