Kenny Rogers, Kenya's VP and Me

The Scene:
Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Central Bank of Kenya, Nairobi
Candle Lit Dinner by the Pool

At the Table:
Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President of Kenya
Njuguna S. Ndung'u, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya
Professor Kim Wilson, The Fletcher School
Your Humble Blogger

Professor Wilson, turning to the VP: "Your Excellency. I'm doing some work on the effect of gambling on poverty in Haiti. Is gambling amongst the poor a big problem in Kenya?"

VP: "Do you know Kenny Rogers?"

Professor Wilson: "Yes, I do."

VP: "As Bwana Rogers says, 'You've got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, know when to run.."

Me: "Your Excellency, it turns out I sang that very song at a karaoke bar in your country only two nights ago."

VP looks me, pauses, : " never count your money, when you're sitting at the table, there will be time enough for counting, when the dealings done.

Timidly at first, then with rising cadence, the I join the VP in song: "Every gambler knows, the secret to survival, is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep, because every hands a winner and every hands a loser, and the best you can hope for is to die in your sleep."

Later in the evening, in his public remarks broadcast on national television, the VP remarked on the intelligent conversation he had had with a young American and his professor.



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