A wonderful day in the country side
Our first boarding school child Stephen had just completeed elementary school and just to make sure we wanted to get guardians concet if we could take him to high school.
Stephens guardians livein an area called Kuria about two hours drive from Kisii. We could not get hold of them so we decided to go unannounced African style. In the morning we left fully loaded with excitement, soda and lollipops. To avoid embarrassing them on what to prepare for us we brought food too.
The first guardian lives in Kurra city and as it had been three years since our last visit and there are no addresses in that area it would have been fun to locate the homestead. It all looked like the last time so it was easy. Next to the blacksmith there is a small corridor with laundry and open kitchen and the house is along the same corridor only a few meters ahead. We were met by the guardian who had a child in her arms, she had been in the market but a child had recognised us and had ran to get her.
We came in to the one room apartment which quickly filled up with the children. It was heart warming despite the cramped conditions. The children were laughing and fooling around. But more importantly we were allowed to put Stephen to boarding school.
We had hoped that Stephen was at his guardians place because the road to his grandparents is long and winding but nevertheless we had to find our way there. After a while on the tarmac road we turned onto unturmacked dusty roads. We passed tobacco fields, genuine African villages and everywhere there were children looking puzzled or waving at us - white people is not something you see every day these sides. We drove long on these roads and the quality keept falling. All the houses looked the same and we realised it would be hard to find the right house. We decided to ask for help and were directed to the Stepehens late mothers house. The courtyard had been swept but no one was home, from our last visit we knew that Stephens grandparents lived somewhere behind the house.
We have never been to his grandparents place so it was all unfamiliar. We walked through small trails past corn fields with the baking sun above us. We could see houses ahead and when we saw smoke coming from the courtyard we knew someone had to be home. As we came closer we could see a group of small houses separated by primitive fences. In the courtyard there was a cow with huge horns and chickens running around. A small boy was standing in the doorway. We recognised him immediately as Stephens younger brother Brian. He was surprised to see us and ran into the house. A few moments later Stephens grandmother came out. She is a wonderful old lady thin and wrinkly as a proof of her fantastic life under the sun and large piercings in the ears. She recognised us immediately and though we didn't speak the same language there is no doubt she was happy to see us.
We were placed in the shadow under a big acacia tree on small traditional African stools. Curious neighbours came by and before long they had brought a lot of tables and plastic chairs. Even though we would rather sit on the stools grandma firmly directed us to the plastic chairs. There was no doubt she was in charge. Stephen was working in the field and somebody was sent to get him. Meanwhile more curious children came to great us some stood by and watched. We were served tea that tasted of smoke which was obvious it was prepared on open fire. The air was warm from the baking sun but the mood was relaxed and pleasant. When Stephen finally came we were surprised how big he had gotten. Even though we were surprised of how good his final grades from elementary school were though obvious himself was not much pleased for not being position one. We explained why we were there and after a long conversation in an unfamiliar language we were allowed to put Stephen to boarding school and told that the family really appreciated the help Jambo Shule was giving Stephen and how it relieves the family.
After a few hours in the authentic Africa village it was time to say goodbye and as sign of good guster or call it tradition we were given a live chicken which we had to take with us in the car. We were tired and full of new experiences that we would not have gotten as regular tourists in Kenya.