It was one of my favourite late afternoon pleasures of a lazy weekend, and it was a rare moment of solitude and observational possibilities that I treasured. Though I was too fussy to put my feet in the water, I would more often than not purchase an ice cream from the man with the pedal cart.
She sighed. Her rough hands clasped the jembe, hoe in her hands tightly as a rapid song replaced the sigh. Every swing of the jembe was in sync with the fast beats of her song. Her bare feet found solace in the soft, wet loam soil of Butere in western Kenya.
At that early morning hour before the cock’s crow rents the air, Xana cries. No one sees his tears but when the sun rises, everyone sees the resigned look in his brown eyes. Since the late 90s, he lives in a government resettlement camp on the edge of Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
A few meters from a dusty path that leads towards Kakamega Forest in western Kenya lies a medium sized house whose rusty iron sheet roof glints softly in the late afternoon rain. A stone throw away from the craggy house stands an Elgon Teak tree, regal and replete in its natural splendor. Resting his head on the rugged bark of the tree is mzee Mumia, a seventy-seven year old man who has lived next to the forest for all his life. He is gazing expressionlessly at the African Grey Parrot that can be seen flying gently towards some nearby shrubs.