Friday, September 10, 2010


Perhaps one of my favorite things to do in Africa is to travel across the Kenyan countryside and take pictures of the land and its people. Most of the pictures you will see in this blog are shot from the van windows. Not all of them turn out but the ones that do give a real feeling of what rural life looks like here in Kenya. I wanted you to visualize a little of what we see driving across this beautiful country.  It will be minus the smells and speed bumps along the way but I think you’ll touch the magic.

Taking our ladies to work in the Kenya Relief Clinic in Magore gave me ample opportunity to capture some of Kenya’s breathtaking landscapes. It’s a thirteen to fifteen hour drive from Nakuru to Magore and back again. We have made it twice now in five days. I am sure that Amma, Joy and Amy have already brought everyone up to date on their wonderful time at the Brittany House of Grace and the Kenya Relief Clinic. They worked very hard assisting the doctors and were somewhat exhausted when we picked them up at Brittany House of Grace. Driving to Magore and back again we were able to see a lot of the beautiful Kenyan countryside and its lovely people.

One of the first things that you’ll notice about the Kenyan landscape is that you can see for miles and miles in any direction. The sky seems unusually enormous. The lack of smog and large industrial parks allows the sky to reveal its true colors.  The blue is constantly changing hues and the sun is free to tint the clouds or to let them be their own true snowy white selves. The patterns formed by small farms and huts nestled among the trees and scattered among the rolling hills and valleys are unbelievably enchanting. The whole countryside looks like a Hobbit shire from Lord of the Rings.

I have always been fascinated by the social interaction of market place societies. Everywhere you look people are talking to and interacting with each other. Life in rural Kenya demands cooperation. It seems to always be filled with people laughing, arguing, fussing and filling the air with the sounds of life. It’s so unlike our own country with its self sufficient way of life. But here in Kenya, amid third world country conditions, people seem happy to need and enjoy one another.

Everywhere you look people are coming to and from the marketplace. On one side of the road there are ladies gracefully carrying their burdens atop their head (notice the woman carrying the bricks). The other side is filled with laughing, chatting children in groups of ten or twenty walking to school. And everywhere in between men pushing or (if they're lucky) driving little donkey carts laden with ponderous loads.

The area surrounding Magore is covered with sugar cane and is home to George’s tribe the Luos. Almost everyone you come across is chewing on small stalks of sugar cane. I tried some and found out why so many do so. We stopped on the way home from picking up the ladies and bought some of this very popular treat. It’s absolutely delicious when you get the hang of extracting the sweet juice. Of course when you stop to buy the sugar cane you automatically run the risk of being overrun by a small army of people carrying a whole grocery store up to the car for you to purchase.
We bought a few sections of sugar cane from a very delightful elderly lady who upon seeing we were Mzungus (white people), quickly stripped the pulpy green outer layer with a few whacks of her incredibly sharp machete. The next step was taking a bite, sucking all the sweet stuff out and spitting the remaining fiber out the window. It took a little while to get the hang of it but it was well worth the trouble.

Another of the beautiful sights to see while traveling to or from Magore is the huge tea plantations. These tea fields cover miles and miles of fertile Kenyan farmland. They date back to the British colonial period of Kenya’s history. The rows of slave quarters now serve as housing for the thousands of workers who pick the bright green tea leaves. The fields look like a well manicured lawn as the small new tea leaves are harvested constantly. Kenyan tea is some of the best in the world. Half way home we stopped at a very old and famous “tea house” in Kericho. Amma and I took a walk around the place while waiting for our food and snapped a few pictures of the local flora and fauna. The lady in the center of the picture is Teresa. She is a missionary we met in Nakuru that wanted to hang out with us.

Many of the highways in Kenya are relatively new and the men who drive the massive two trailer combos are not used to the increase in speed limits. As a result, on any trip you will probably see overturned trucks. The one below had just flipped and lost its cargo of logs. If a truck is over turned and the fuel is leaking out, word spreads quickly that free fuel is available. This results in large crowds with buckets and cups trying to scoop up the puddles of gas or diesel. Two years ago a fuel truck flipped and a large crowd surrounded the overturned tanker in hopes of obtaining free fuel. Tragedy occurred minutes later when sparks from the truck’s battery ignited the fuel. The resulting explosion left scores of people dead and many more terribly burned.

It is not hard to believe that humanity had its beginning here. The unbelievable beauty of the countryside touching the immense and breath taking sky is reminiscent of the pictures of the Garden of Eden. Driving down the highway to our home in Nakuru we became lost in wonder at the beauty of land and sky.

The more we looked the more we began to long for the heart of our Father to be revealed in this earth. What might this world have been if we would have just listened and trusted His Word? Surely the whole world would have been much like what we witnessed today. Bwana Asi Fiwi
David Noah

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