19-12-2016 by Freddie del Curatolo
When you say that some countrymen are "institutions" in Malindi, you would not think somebody else than Cleto.
Maybe because since 1979 is stationed on the coast of Kenya, it will be because at least twenty years, or since has retired, you can meet him often around day and night and always has a joke, a smile or even clever invective from starting to use, but Cleto Ancona is one of those people who attended Malindi can not not know.
Roman "de Rome", seventy-five, the Italian Air Force began a life as a nurse and ending as a tireless factotum, with great passion for Italian cuisine and spontaneous verve animator funny evenings, with a guitar in hand or the voice prompt to recover from the drawer of his fervent memory ancient songs or maybe the whole "A' livella" by Totò.
An institution of good humor, always ready to chat and to tell her.
"The Space Luigi Broglio of Ngomeni Center, which is the basis of San Marco - says Cleto - he needed someone to look after the emergency, the first aid in case of accidents or illnesses. In 1979 the Italian technicians who were working at the base were a hundred, and the health situation in Malindi you can well imagine. So the Air Force asked me to relocate to the equator. In 1993 the Air Force ceased cooperation with the base, but for me, a widower and with grown children, Africa had become home. Time to fix things, and I was available as a collaborator. "
The irreplaceable Cleto deals with a little 'around the San Marco, from teaching the cooks how to make bread and fresh pasta, to explain Kenya to newcomers, a perfect guide for the dozens and dozens of technicians who have succeeded in all these years.
"Kenya which I live is the one that enchants you up early with its colors and the smell of the air - explains the lively Roman - is that of open spaces and the daily relationship with nature, the climate is the best medicine against the ailments of age. Here the years fly, it is true, but they do it with a lightness that cancels stress and makes you not to grow old, especially the head. "
That must be why Cletus is still active and doing the peaceful pensioner has just do not want.
He willingly accepted to put his talent at the disposal of Casuarina Club Olimpia, where he invents themed dishes and evenings (required sample his dumplings) and welcomes guests with his proverbial positivity.
"I like the contact with people - admits Cleto - and I love the atmosphere of the restaurants and pubs, I think I have it in the family, my grandfather ran one of the most famous restaurants in Ferrara. Unfortunately Malindi Italians do not have the ability to be a real community, but the Olimpia Club is the only place where you try. We keep the best of Italy, eating drinking, songs and joy, and we mix with the good things of the Kenyan coast: fresh fish, the beaches, the sense of freedom. By the time then acquires the fatalism dose, to take life as it comes, day by day, which is the most bell'insegnamento they gave me Kenyans ".
Undoubtedly Cleto is the image of those in Kenya has found its balance and transmits naturally to those who will find the pleasure of living away from the beautiful country, in a place with so many paradoxes but the warm and sunny late.
"I could never go back to live in Italy, now this is my land and I always look for people to share this emotion - says the" Figaro "Olimpia Club - Sure, today the local population is no longer available, naive and respectful as thirty years ago, but living together is always good. Unfortunately with local complicity exists only when we decide to "africanizzarci", there is no real comparison, a meet in the middle. So too is the case with many mixed couples. But Kenya is still able to enrapture tourists, has this great power despite the institutions do not help those who work in the field and not doing enough to entice people to come here. "
But until we have testimonials and "entertainers" as Cleto, Malindi will always have an ace up his sleeve more to put at ease the countrymen who attend.
An anniversary that can not go unnoticed, not only in Malindi and Kenya but throughout Italy.
On Wednesday, April 26, the fiftieth anniversary of the first launch of an Italian satellite from the San Marco space station of Ngomeni falls.
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by Freddie del Curatolo
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