The car is filled with the overpowering stench of goat- from the two in the back which we have been generously gifted with by the ecclesial elders. The ‘road’ is so muddy we are constantly getting stuck or else sliding into the bushes- one of our tires has burst but we have pumped it up again with a bike pump and so far it is holding out.
We pull up beside a Masai dressed in a traditional blanket, riding a motorbike- he explains that the ‘road’ is worse up ahead. The three local men in the car who are assisting with directions attempt to get out to assess which way we should go…I smile as they yoyo the electric window and tug on the cup-holder. I show them for the 7th time the lever to open the door and they quickly exit and start beating down bushes to make a way for us to pass through.
Kalalani is remote. In the coastal region of Kenya but over a 2 hour drive from any reasonable sized town. We had decided to visit to meet with the people there and bring some food relief for sponsored families. We are told that this tribe are not as blessed as other tribes in Kenya. This region struggles for water. There are no rivers or water sources nearby. Now it is the rainy season so the roads are muddy but even so, most people don’t have much water storage capacity so are required to walk long distances every day to collect.
The houses are mud and sticks and there are no toilets. Apparently it is traditional to just go in the bush. Despite the abject poverty the people are so generous. They are so excited to have a visit and prepare us a feast of rice and chicken, we are even given the privilege of spoons- everyone else makes do with their hands.
We had to borrow a local church to meet in as we don’t have a meeting hall here yet. The children from this area used to walk from Friday to Sunday in order to come to Sunday school and for sponsorship relief, now that has changed and someone comes to visit their area fortnightly, meeting in a local school or a borrowed church.
So often in Kenya I am struck by the contrasts. The extreme poverty and hardship these people face is equally matched by their determination and generosity. The thought of children walking for two days to reach somewhere every week is mind-blowing. The love that is shown by the volunteers making the trek out here to provide relief every fortnight is equally inspiring.