Kenya Recap #3

Before leaving for Kenya I tried to intentionally not do much research or investigating of the history, terrain, politics, or culture. I wanted to go without any opinions and try and let Kenya speak for itself.
Having grown up a military brat and had the fortune of traveling to numerous locations outside the United States I've come to appreciate that not everyone lives like me, or looks like me, or thinks like me, or should become like me.
So as we traveled around and saw homes that we wouldn't even consider living in here I didn't think it a horrible thing. It might be altogether easier to maintain and appreciate a home not so large.
Seeing people just sitting on the side of the road, or walking down the road, doing apparently nothing in the middle of the day, although seemingly unproductive, did not really bother me. It might actually be a comfortable pace at life.
Nor did the awful roads, that made almost all travel in Kenya difficult, seem to stir some emotions in me.
Obviously the health care in Kenya needs work.
As well as the school systems; every child should have the right to an education. Knowing that some children's families couldn't afford to send their child to a school or had to keep their children home during certain times of the harvest was kind of a struggle.
Yes, there are some major hurdles in Kenya that need to dealt with as the nation continues to evolve as a developing country. But I understand that takes time. In no way did those challenges make me pity Kenyans.
Only the lack of healthy drinking water frustrated me and angered me.
The two photos above were taken with my arm hanging out the window. The dirt road and small bridge you see in the second photos may be the best stretch of road we experienced through the four/five hour drive through the Kerio Valley.
Several times throughout the drive we would pass a bridge like this, usually though there were several driving obstacles as we crossed over, including rocks, logs, potholes and divets. Sometimes we had to navigate through a herd of cattle or goats. Occasionally we would slow down for the Kenyan walking down the road, or doing their laundry in the water to get out of the way.
Just in case you didn't get that; cattle, laundry and bathing were frequent activites in the same water, that would be gathered by children and women in old buckets, and boiled for the daily water rations.
One of the Kenya missionaries we met was Samuel "Kep" Elolia. Kip, who was born in the valley, is considered a hero among the villages in the valley, largely, because he made it out. Today Kip serves both the churches in the valley with his leadership and at Emmanuel School of Religion in Tennessee.
After a water filtration system was installed at one of the villages, Kip was teaching the people about the importance of clean healthy drinking water. According to Kip's story, one man took a sip and quickly spit back out the water in disgust. He then poured out all the filtered water from the bottle and walked down to the creek, brown from the clay soil, and proceeded to fill the bottle up. Taking a sip again, the man expressed that this was the water he enjoyed.
I understand that even in some countries on our continent it's unwise to drink the water from a facet. But certainly I've never seen someone from our boarding nations pour out clean water and replace it with dirty ditch water. Nobody should live like that.
Even in Nairobi, the capital city and possible the most developed city in Kenya, on occasion we saw Kenya gathering water from the ditch along a main road. That's just not right.
Hopefully this isn't news to anyone in America. It seems lately that the injustice and inequalities in our world are being exposed and addressed, even by common like me and you. And I'm grateful that the church has stepped up to help address this problem, not only in Africa, but where ever we see it.
I'd like to be a part of that solution.
I don't think there should be any place in the world, where the healthiest beverage choice is a Coca-Cola.
That's my biggest concern and frustration. Have you been to Kenya/Africa? What's your greatest concern?

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