19 August 2012

Turkana: part one

My heart is set on pilgrimage.  I love being able to pioneer into new land to establish the Kingdom of God.  

Since this was our first big trip there, I'm posting my journal of the journey.  I probably won't be this detailed on our other trips, focusing more on the highlights.  But for now just writing out the experience of going into a new region.  

Part One:

Driving there was so beautiful.  It's almost instant how you go from driving through forrest and a mountain range type area to the flat desert.  To get to Turkana we basically just drove straight on one highway.  You first pass through one police check and go into what they call 'no mans land'.  Meaning it's no ones land.  It's the the land in between the border of the Pokot tribe and Turkana tribe.  They are still at odds over livestock, having tribal wars often.  Then we come to a gate and had to have our vehicle looked over to let us keep going along on the highway which then became Turkana.  And the road, if thats what you call it, is a bit broken.  We got a free massage :).  After crossing into Turkana, we stopped in a town center to eat some lunch.  This center had just had a woman politician come through that will be running for president and was campaigning. So many were dressed up in their nicest traditional attire.  We had rice and goat (trusting it wasn't cat or dog), and went on our way.  The table next to us was a group of old men and they brought them out goat head.  We weren't in Kansas anymore!  Ian said the old men always eat the goat head.  Something Bud has to look forward to one day?  

We drive a few more hours and then turn off on a short cut to get to the village.  Ian decided to let us know halfway down it that car jackings happen on this road, all at night though.  Great! 

we saw a lotta camels

We pull into the village and go down a few more dirt roads to get to the "neighborhood" where Ian's family lives.  I was so excited to meet Lomanai, Ian's sister.  I had heard about her and seen her picture and God had put her strongly on my heart.  She was so cute and quirky as she greeted us and stared at me intently, being the first white woman she had met.  Ian had already said how much she likes to talk and that she does.  She's not shy one bit.  Soon after we arrived, she had Ian's sunglasses and Bud's hat...

Daniel, Ian and Lomonai

We had kids everywhere run after our vehicle and greet us as we pulled into where Lomanai lives.  It wasn't as much of a warm welcoming but more so a parade to see us, the white person circus, or so it felt.  We had hundreds of kids crowd around to stare at us and crack a few smiles.  They would sneak around to touch our skin, then look at their hands to see if white rubbed off.  
(it was hard to find a pic without a naked kid in it)

They said that maybe a white person will come through once a year and stay a day.  There are some big named NGO's (non-government organizations, ex: the UN) that have done projects in this area and sponsor a few kids for school.  Sweet sweet kids.  But tough.  They hit each other a lot.  I mean like flat out slap across the face over the littlest thing and no adults around flinched or thought anything of it.  We did a lot of sitting in any little shade we could find and would occasionally have a translator to have small conversation getting to know each other.  A few spoke english because they go to a school nearby.  The school has 2,000 children and 30 teachers.  And not even half the children of the area we were in go to school.  We made dinner over the fire, some potatoes and baked beans.  Lomonai cooked pumpkin leaves and ugali for her household (motherinlaw, husband, sisters, sister in laws, cousins).  We gave them a plate of our food to try, some liked.  They gave us a plate of theirs.  Interesting.  The texture was like spinach.  We were thankful for the sun to go down and we no longer had to be under a tree.  And then it POURED rain.  Which was funny because when Bud came last time, he brought the first rains of the year so they gave him the Turkana name for rain.  So we all crowded into Lomanai's house that had a tin roof and mud walls.  The rain was LOUD on the tin roof.  Lomanai started singing turkana songs and the boys joined in.  They did their little turkana dancing too.  It involves a lot of jumping.  I loved that moment.  The rain cleared out so we were able to clean up dishes and jump into our tents.  I was about as happy as could be, so thankful to meet Lomanai and be welcomed by the village.  I fell asleep thanking the Lord for all He was doing in our midst.  It was fairly easy to sleep through the night.  We did hear some gun shots, many have guns there.  But I had peace that we were fine and slept.  The next morning I woke up to hearing cows and their bells ringing at about 6am.  I could hear Lomanai and her contagious laugh.  She was out milking.  We got up and tried to fix some breakfast before kids came over but it was too late.  By 7am we were collecting a crowd again.  We hung out a bit then headed into the reserve.... 


NeNe said...

I love this beautiful picture in your words....and you!

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