A volunteer in Kenya, part three
Lutterworth’s Ernie Stanford visited Kenya to volunteer for the Kindfund charity. In this, the final in a series of despatches, he speaks about a pastoral tribe for whom life has changed little in hundreds of years.
100 miles north of N’garemara on the A2 is Laisamis.
The tarmaced section of the A2 (laid by the Chinese) ends here.
We drive a further 40 miles on a dirt track (no signposts) into the Kaisut desert before we reach the village of the Rendille – a pastoral tribal people who survive through the flocks of sheep, goats, chickens and camels which give them food ,clothing and trade.
Their way of life is probably unchanged for hundreds of years.
They would not know what income tax was if it stared them in the face.
It is sandy, a furnace (40 to 45C) and the high bare surrounding mountains give it a brooding feel.
We are here to bring food for the seven kids who live in the Home.
It is run by husband and wife Lucy and Raphael, assisted by another young teacher, all from Archers Post.
Other kids from the village come to school and have lunch. Lucy and Raphael have four children of their own, including twins born June 2012,
Coming here from their home in Archers Post was their mission, funded by Kindfund (There is a state school which stands empty as the teacher sent lasted only one day).
The Home is very basic, the kids sleep on the floor of the banda (the rectangular mud and thatched huts).
The school rooms have a blackboard and a sandy floor to sit on. The walls and roof consist of branches from the acacia trees (the only source of shade when in the open).
The young Rendille men wear their warrior clothes, carrying a sheathed knife-like kukri and a spear.
Like the women they are bare from the waist upwards, though the women wear a weight of beads.
We are here also to repair the non-functioning well situated half a mile out of the village.
The well is 180 feet down and each ten foot section of pipe has to be lifted and taken away with the pump for repair before it can be used again.
Other water supplies come from tanks with water channelled from the surrounding mountains during the rainy season. These feed troughs for the animals.
It was a festival day when we arrived. Dressed in their tribal Sunday best the younger men and women moved from place to place around the village lasting all day chanting and moving rhythmically.
Their celebration seemed to be to do with the moon,or a man exchanging hats with a woman, Anyway, they seemed to be high on something, but it was colourful and entertaining.
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Weather for Market Harborough
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 31 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North