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   Tim Mathews


Tim Mathews

House: Clive
Year: 1970-1973
Just stumbled upon the web site (4th March 2003). Some of Nairobi School life is coming back to me: I hated those cold showers we were given in the middle of the night as punishment. Can't remember what kinds of things we were punished for. That was Junior House. Didn't they used to lock us in at night?? What a fire trap. I remember the guy (his name is just beyond the haze of my memory) who always used to say "sharp shooters please"....or something like that. It was always after lights out. Can't remember if he was talking in his sleep or just talking....and there was always someone saying "...eh, nani ame shootah?"....... Remember how the coconut bristles used to poke out of our bed mattresses?? What a pain in the butt. It's a wonder we ever got any sleep....maybe we didn't....although we all seemed to have adjusted alright!

I recall the French teacher (was it Mr. Keon?) being a bit of a terror. Bonjour Messiere Tebour, Commaeu tale vous, Jevaianne bien, merci......I can recite that stuff like yesterday. Why?? Because we used to sit in the dark, watch those stupid slides and repeat by rote memory those damn words....hoping we got it right so as not to incur his wrath. Did he hit us or did he just shout at us? You IDIOT!! You CREATURES!!!.....I can hear him now. The best part of the class was when the light came on and we could get the heck out of there.

Oh yeah, God help you if you got caught with food in one hand and your cup of tea in the other. Don't you EVER eat and drink simultaneously. I used to hate being at the end of the table when, once in a flippin blue moon, we would have steamed pudding. We'd eye the pudding disappearing as it made it's way to the end of the table and shake out the crumbs when it got to us. That was in the Clive House dining hall. "For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful.....bang...." What an original prayer!! We heard it three times a day.....for years. You know, come to think of it, Nairobi School was the best training ground I could have had to prepare me for my 25 years in the Marine Corps.

I remember the sports. Good fun. Remember David Isherwood - man, he was a fish. What a great swimmer. Football was great fun. Of course "football" to American heathens means American Football....so what if the rest of the whole world means soccer when they say "football." Sometimes I feel the best part of the Kenya experience was the ability it gave me to view the U.S. and Americans and our behaviour from an outsider's perpsective. Sometimes, we as a people, are totally clueless regarding how the rest of the world perceives us.

Left the School in 1973 when my family moved back to the USA. I finished high school in Michigan. It was funny (in retrospect) trying to integrate back into the US school system. The school administration didn't know where to put me on account of my "strange" schooling in Kenya. I did a year of college, then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. in 1976. I retired from the Marine Corps just last year, on 7 June 2002. The most interesting experiences while a Marine included a winter up on the Korean DMZ, the Persian Gulf War (1991/2) and Operations in Mogadishu, Somalia (in 1992/3). Mogadishu has been the closest I have gotten to returing to Kenya. We were just starting to get some of the junior men down to Mombasa and Nairobi for R&R when we completed our part of the operation and returned to Camp Pendleton, California.

Barb and I married in June 1982. We met when I was first stationed in Hawaii. We have no kids, but lots of pets. I currently work as a Federal civilian on the U.S. Pacific Command Hqs staff, in the Intelligence Systems and Architecture Division. Barb and I live on Oahu, the most populated island in the Hawaiian Island chain. We really love it here.

(Registered - 6th March 2003)

If anyone wishes to contact Tim, please e-mail webmaster@oldcambrians.com to obtain his contact details