There is so much of Kenya in the recent weeks and months that have been mired by the “Hotbed of Terror” CNN incident. In sharing with family members and colleagues about my travel to Kenya, I was greeted by the coded language of our “Fear mongering” media blitz - BE VIGILANT. I was not present to any “hotbeds” of terror during my 12 days in Kenya, but did witness others. So I saw something and I’m going to say something.
HOTBED of ADVENTURE
"No worries. This is Africa!" Those words became a mantra as I sat behind Peter and the “boda boda” (motorcycle) driver as we rode through dirt roads that make up the rural southwestern Kenyan landscape. I had arrived from Berlin the night before and starting at 11:00AM I began a 12 hour journey through Kenya to the home of Peter and his family. The Guardian Angel bus would get me only three quarters of the way there. The remaining passengers were packed into a large van which got us to Migori. Once in Migori, I met with Peter and then 10 of us crammed into a car for another 45 minute drive. There were 4 people in the front, four in the back, two little children and a trunk full of bananas. Once we got out of the car, I thought we were done. It is then that Peter turned to me and pointed at the motorcycle. The driver, Peter, myself and my luggage bounced up and down on the winding dirt roads. We arrived to the gate of Peter’s property and were promptly met by the little boy who was in many ways the greatest reason for the visit. Peter, the director of the SCHAP Community School had named his first born son after me. Little adventurous Eduardo had fearlessly walked alone from the house to the gate in complete darkness and he’s barely two years old.
HOTBED OF GENEROSITY
Peter and his wife slept on the floor of their humble home to make sure that I slept in the only bed in their one bedroom home. They slept on the floor along with their two year old son. Everywhere I travelled in Kenya people went out of their way express unmatched generosity and kindness to me.
HOTBED OF INTEGRITY
There was a knock on the door at the home I was staying in Nairobi. I wasn’t paying much attention because I was sorting through my luggage, preparing for an imminent departure to Bermuda. The call came from downstairs that there was someone at the door for me. I was a little confused, slightly excited . . . who could possibly be at the door to wish me off right before I was getting ready to leave. I walked down the flights of stairs to the front door. As I opened the door, I saw the taxi driver who had shuttled me around Nairobi for the later part of the afternoon through storms and bumper to bumper traffic. James reached out his hands and gave me my passport. I had left it in the back seat. He drove all the way back to Lavington to make sure that I had my passport. I was probably 30 minutes to an hour from making the discovery and that would have been a complete shit show.