Saturday, November 18, 2017

WHY I AM GOING TO KENYA (16)

After a couple of days staying quiet in Nairobi to try and get my inner clock working with the local time, I was off to Kisii in the far western part of Kenya. If you look at your map of Africa, you will see that Lake Victoria is on the western border of the country. Kisii is not on the lake-front. You could not even say that it is near the lake, but it is in that region.

In the morning, I was met where I was staying in Nairobi by five of the brothers from the church in Kisii. They had driven through most of the night to reach the city. After a breakfast, we all six men piled into the Toyota Camry for what was to be almost a seven hour ride back. I was comfortable—they gave me the front seat, but I can imagine it was not the same for the guys in the back. Happily however, two of them had come to Nairobi for work, so they stayed behind. So it ended up only four of us.

If you still have your map out, you can see that the route that we were to take was through the Great Rift Valley. This largest valley in the world is about 3,700 miles long, beginning in Lebanon, running down through the Dead Sea of Israel, along the bottom of the entire length of the Red Sea, into the Afar region of Ethiopia (you can ask our son Levi about that strange land), and finally ending up in Mozambique in southeastern Africa.

As the three men from the church in Kisii and I continued on in our Camry, we were to drive through the part of this great geological feature of our planet that runs though Kenya. The broad valley was very beautiful as we began the descent, but the bottom of the valley is a wide, flat and treeless plane. It is also almost waterless, making living there difficult. Many of the people that do live there are nomadic goat herders.

After driving probably four hours across this almost barren plane, we saw green hills ahead. It was the province of Kisii. The dry flatlands soon gave way to fields growing with almost every type of agricultural crop, including coffee and tea. The tea hills looked to me like well-manicured gardens, which in a sense they are.

Glad to finally be at my destination after the long journey from home, I was not the only one who was dead tired from lack of sleep. Those men had driven through the night and now through the day.

But weariness be hanged, we went first to the church, where the people were waiting for us.

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