The Dichotomy of Living in Kenya

Over the last two days, Glenda and I were attending a conference at Rift Valley Academy, a sister school to Rosslyn. For those of you who don’t know, RVA is located in Kijabe, which overlooks the Great Rift Valley.

This afternoon, I took some time to just sit and enjoy the view. It was a beautiful day, the sun was out, the sky was East African Blue, and I just sat and watched the shadows of the clouds drift across the side of Mount Longonot. It was peaceful.

Then, on the way home, just at the top of the Rift, we saw a very unfortunate accident in which a young boy on a bike was hit by a car. We didn’t see the accident, but we saw the young man lying in the middle of the road. Bystanders ran out and scooped him up (he looked unconscious) and laid him in the grass on the shoulder of the highway. When we drove on, there was blood on the road. It’s hard to believe that something so awful could happen in a place so beautiful.

It’s one of the things that can make living here, while not exactly difficult, at least different than in the States. The juxtapositions here can be overwhelming. We live on a beautiful, 40-acre compound with trees, a swimming pool, a gym, and a minimum of pollution (unless the folks on the other side of the wall are burning their trash). Then I visit my buddy Mike in Umoja Estate. There are almost no trees, obviously no swimming pool, and the pollution can be pretty heavy (and the noise pollution pretty severe).

It doesn’t mean that our place is better, necessarily, because the way a place looks does not make it a good place, and I love visiting Umoja. It’s just tough to reconcile the differences sometimes.

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2 Responses to The Dichotomy of Living in Kenya

  1. I would have liked to have seen a picture of the beautiful sky and the clouds in the mountain to counteract the mental picture of the accident.

  2. dk says:

    i hear you… ditto.

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