Everyone I spoke to before I left Vermont knows how excited I am to be visiting Kenya again and also about the very special gift I am going to receive this time around. Yes, believe it or not, I have been promised a camel and no, he will not be traveling back to Vermont with me.
I am told my camel lives on the outskirts of Nemeray, a remote village in northern Kenya where one of KURA’s sponsored students, David Galgithele lives. I have named my camel, Chester, short for Manchester, the name of the town I reside in Vermont.
As we travel north on very difficult roads towards our destination of Ngurunit, I am told I will have the opportunity to meet Chester. Sure enough, approximately 4 hours into our journey we stop at a compound and are greeted by two men. One is the owner of the compound and the other a warrior who is in charge of taking care the camels. Both men are very friendly and seem as excited to show me my camel, as I am to meet him. As I am brought over to a group of camels surrounded by a thicket of thorny brush, I see him. He is black in color and am told one year old. Sadly, he is not as happy to see me, as I am to see him. He is very nervous and it has become apparent it will be difficult to get near him. After some time, the men are able to round him up so I can at least get close enough to touch him.
This particular breed of camel can survive three weeks without water, which a good match for northern Kenya considering the long stretches of drought this region suffers. The people who live in northern Kenya are pastoralists whose sole source of income is livestock… goats, cows and camels. The drought this year has been particularly harsh with most families losing a large percentage of their herds.
I was thrilled to have the chance to meet Chester and the good people who care for him. God willing I will have many chances to see him again.
Next stop Ngurunit.
Hadi wakati mwingine (Until next time)