After a two weeks training on the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, an opportunity to visit the Kenyan North came. We did not hesitate to jump and squeeze into the only means of transport available, which was a police vehicle. The size of the vehicle was overlooked as a result of the warm reception given by our team leader who holds a high ranking in the Administration Police Department. As soon as we packaged ourselves like crates of soda into the backside of the vehicle, we left for Marsabit. The beginning of the journey was smooth as some of us dozed off while others decided to pick on other road user.
Our demise came when the unexpected started unfolding page after page. The end of the tarmac road pushed everyone to put on their alert face for the dust did not care if we were already in agony. At this point in time, we were left with two options to either cover up and die from the heat or suffer the wrath of having a thick layer of dust coat our bodies. Most chose the latter by simply covering the nose with a hand scarf.
The dried rivers that left soft playing grounds for throngs of mischievous boys were a sign that we were trending on new soils. Marsabit county, and in general Northern Kenya, is an area that is well known for its persistent dry spells; this has however not slowed down the glowing dark and light skinned women from looking elegant with their long necks endowed with beaded necklaces, beautifully shaped shaved heads and slim waists making it an ultimate Victoria secret’s den. For your information Ajuma one of Kenya’s top players in the modelling industry who has rocked every high fashion runway came from this part of the country, which explains a lot. The men on the other hand played their roles in ensuring the community was engaged in merry making with songs that had no twerk and booty contamination, levelling grounds for the old and the young; women were seen as equals at this time, which left one praying that the merriment did not come to an end. The lit up eyes of the men women and children did not spark any negative thoughts about them in me, contrary to word on the streets of ignorance.
The climate of the land did not allow for growth of a variety of vegetation and every now and then I would find myself explaining why the land was formed in a particular way and how other animals survived the climate. This trip to an environmental scientist was a blessing in disguise, being covered in dust was seen as a sign of hope [good soils] not despair. The landscape left mouths ajar as stones, which complicated the terrain, sent everyone flying in the lorry - our means of transport on arrival and commencement of the sole purpose as to why we were there. We moved from area to area singing and dancing to songs of freedom and peace; understanding different cultures with smiles hiding how sore our bodies really were.
Throughout our journey within Marsabit County, and in the different communities we stopped by, we came across different practices that the people identified with and were not shy to explain to strangers who showed interested. There is a time, a prayer that sent us into panic mode was said when the people of the community suddenly went into foetal position one after the other as if ducking a stone thrown by an enemy. The prayers would become so musical since it was the obligation of the rest of the community members to murmur a word in response to the leader’s commands. Young ladies and men would take this opportunity to giggle and throw glances at the visiting counterparts of the opposite sex. I remember spotting a few good looking young men myself and with no hesitation asking them to pose for a photo with me [shaking my head].
We arrived back in Nairobi safely having completed our 6 day mission that the peace caravan was intended for. A little burned but tomatoes are a good remedy for this and a little dusty that water works on very easily. Until we meet again the land of landscapes...Add to Favorites