fun and fit, like this and that, from A to Z, walk and talk, bike and hike, travel too, go north, south, east and west, romance and rest, come meet me and you can see, and now a story:
A Little Kenyan Girl And A Flower
In 2007 I flew into the airport in Nairobi and the next day met my Kenyan contact in the lobby of the hotel. His name was Matthew and soon we linked up with fellow Kenyans George and Eddah and we embarked in George's land vehicle for our destination in the Central Highlands District, Ngatha Children's Learning Centre in a rural and remote area several hours drive. On the way to Ngatha, a boarding school for young children who lost their parents, Eddah, the school administrator, told me to look to my left and behold the vast beauty of The Great Rift Valley where perhaps mankind had its origins. I looked and saw an endless landscape of terrain which put me in wonderful awe. As we traveled further we came upon the Equator line where rivers run in opposite direction on either side. I knew I was in a land of history and antiquity. Off the paved road we turned upon a long dirt, hole filled and bumpy road and came upon elderly Kenyan gentlemen each wearing a worn and ragged sport coat and young teenagers guiding a few cattle or goats or sheep with their long skinny sticks. Soon we turned off that road and onto a grassy area where in the short distance I could see 30 or so young children waiting for our arrival and clapping their hands and singing in happy chant. It was a sight to behold for it was the children of Ngatha and some teachers. I had volunteered to help the teachers with some of the subjects like science and outdoor recreational activities and English as a second language. The children wanted to help me learn Swahili and I them English. The official languages of Kenya are Swahili and English and in addition there are about 42 indigenous tribal languages. The grounds of Ngatha were beautiful with flowering trees here and there and occupied by song birds. A flowing river about 100 meters away supplied water for cooking, washing and bathing. There was no electricity or clean running water. The school consisted of 4 barn like side by side structures with 2 student wooden desks made from nearby trees by the villagers. Each classroom featured a large chalkboard and outside separate pit latrines for the students. The floors of the classrooms were bumpy with a reddish dirt. The students just about ate the same food everyday, a porridge dish. They were happy children. At night the sky was filled with many thousands of stars dancing in still silence. One day as I was walking on the school grounds I saw one of the orphan students, a little girl of about 6 or 7 years who was nursed back to health after having an enlarged stomach. I saw her standing by a flowering bush and I said hello and picked a flower from the bush for her and she bowed her head in shy acceptance. I then laid the flower on the bush and said goodbye and then later on in the day and from a distance I again saw the same little girl by the same flowering bush and I saw her pick another flower and place it next to the flower I picked and placed for her earlier.