Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kenya calling #1

The year is 1995. I'm 21, feeling an odd mix of totally vulnerable and completely invincible. Together with my friend, Annagh, I've jetted off to Africa to visit our mutual friend Carla on a farmstead in Kenya.

It turns out my travel journal is more forthcoming than I suspected - I have to laugh. Clearly the urge to write is bursting out all over, although it will be another six years before I sit down to try and write a publishable novel.

I'm going to share snippets from my journal verbatim, without editing, so excuse the lapses into nonense, and the occasional moments of pomposity.

Saturday 29th July

Chamaeleons at [Carla's Grandmother's].

Met birds like whirring jewels, that purr away when you approach.

The game* in the Rift was stunning, just standing by the road watching traffic by imperiously. The roads are like off-roading centress - continously being driven at 70mph down them is pure fantasy. I don't really believe I'm here, it's too wonderful.

Tour of compound and then to watch new combine harvesting. A baby Duiker** almost got caught, so we took on the role of mother, guarding it from the Masai, who would have casseroled her. So sweet and frightened. It'll be put back tonight for its mother to find. She's waiting at the edge of the field, where the wheat turns into bush.

Little sleep. Plagued by insects and thoughts of insects. The blackness is total.

Sunday, 30th July

This place is barren, scrub and dust, water not to be found - but its beauty leaves me bereft of words and reason. I would like to believe I could live here, but I love England, too. It certainly has my heart - but it is its wildness and hugeness - I see God in its heart, and my heart in its God.

After checking our beds tonight, A & I went to the loo - when we got back there was a shrew in her bed!

Monday 31st July

Visited [neighbours]. Met ostriches, Aunt, Tiny and Tarquin, who is having a house built for him - gorgeous. Visited the boys in the fields struggling to get the harvest done.

An Australian photographer came to shoot O [Carla's brother] on his bike***. V impressive. He makes it look effortless, despite bruised ribs from an off 2/3 weeks ago.

Beds free from wildlife.

Saw baboons at edge of field when delivering drinks.

Bloat in cows last night - not serious.

*The section marked "mammals" in the journal shows we saw baboons, Grant's and Thompson's gazelle's, Giraffe, Wildebeest and Zebra.

** A type of antelope.

*** O at the time was the Kenyan motocross champion. They'd borrowed a JCB and made him a practice track just outside the farm.


At 2:12 pm, Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

I loved reading this Anna, and I can't wait to read more. Thanks for posting.
Sue :-)

At 2:15 pm, Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

I loved reading this Anna, and I can't wait to read more. Thanks for posting.
Sue :-)

At 11:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an adventure. Can't wait to hear the next installment.

Lori :)


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