Cannon King Walking With Africans July 2014

July the 9th

- Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Today I visited two different groups off of the highway towards Mombasa.On the way there, I hitched a ride on a "matatu"; a small 8-seater bus that often can fit much more (as I've learned from experience). I also had my first experience on the "bota botas"; motorcycle taxis that hangout on almost every corner of this part of the country. These methods of public transit are an essential part of the Kenyan experience, and I'm fairly sure I can now classify myself as a local.

As we pulled up to the first group I was struck by the sprawling greenery in the complex. A little context: it is currently the dry season in Kenya, and fresh water is fairly difficult to come by. As I came to find out, the micro finance group had been pooling their resources to purchase water from the railroad company, and were using that water to grow one of the most impressive farms I have seen here. The group uses the profits from this shared land to not only invest back into the plot, but also pay dividends to all its "share-holders". The chairwomen of the group asked the interpreter if I knew what "dividends" were. Later on I was surprised to find that the entire group had either an elementary education or no education at all. Lioness, an employee of our partner in Kenya, said that this group (founded in 1992) has been the most successful hes ever seen. The resourcefulness of the Kenyan business people continues to impress me.

The second group that we went to see only had 8 present members, as many were away for a local election. Nonetheless, they extended the typical Kenyan hospitality that is so endearing. They brought us and our bota bota driver cokes, and laid a large dish down on the table. Having not had any lunch previously, and possessing the typical appetite of a college age student, I was pretty excited. They removed the lid to show chick peas. Lots and lots of chick peas. I'm telling you, this dish was twice the size of my head, and just filled with peas. Lioness informed me that in Kenya it is considered very rude to not finish your food. Not to put down this woman's' cooking, as the first 40-50 bites really were delicious, but an American teenager was simply not built to eat this big of a meal consisting of completely peas. I could not finish, and left ashamed.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. I have accidentally discovered the Kenyan bat's favorite tree. I do not know the name of the tree, but I do know that my campsite lies directly below it, as they are nice enough to decorate almost every skyward facing surface around me. Even as I write this, I am being lulled to sleep by a light pitter patter on the roof of my tent. As I said before, it is the dry season here... It does not rain.

Brad King commented on 10-Jul-2014 11:02 AM
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Jen Connors commented on 28-Jul-2014 07:50 PM
Hi Cannon - I'm a member of Burke Pres Church. James told us to check out your blog! Just a quick comment on the bats. They're so cool. It must be fun getting up close and personal with the local wildlife. Keep up the great work! Many blessings ...
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