Yesterday afternoon I decided to go on a walk. It was a beautiful warm and sunny Kenyan day. I stepped out the gate of our compound and was met by some of the neighborhood cows at the end of our driveway.
As far as Eldoret, Kenya goes we live in the good part of town, an area known as Elgon View. Cows, sheep, and goats are herded all around us everyday. It’s a great visual explanation of the life of nomadic herders if you are discussing ancient lifestyles with your children. Only this is today and Eldoret is in a building boom. The interesting part of it is how the new and the old mix side by side.
This is the view out one of our bedroom windows that fairly well encapsulates the mix of old and new in the area. New homes in the background. A field that will soon be planted in maize just on this side of the wall. My next door neighbor’s backyard in the foreground.
Yes, that is my next door neighbor’s out house.
There are some big houses within walking distance of our home. Of course each home is surrounded by a fence and has bars on the windows. The houses are built primarily with poured concrete and are of varying quality. Honestly, I can’t stand the appearance of most of the construction. It just isn’t pretty. It’s purely utilitarian. Then one day I was in a conversation with a local man who was questioning me about the wood used in construction in the states. He thought that it sounded wasteful and flimsy. He especially could not understand why anyone would build a wooden home where hurricanes might strike. I found myself struggling to make any intelligent response. Suddenly the desire for pretty seemed a little silly.
This is another neighbor’s trash pile outside of their property fencing. Being ‘stuck-in-our-ways’ Americans we pay to have our trash picked up. (Well, picked up in a pick up truck by a couple of guys who begin to go through it before they even leave our compound. We doubt that much of it ever makes it to the city dump.) A lot of our neighbors burn their trash in their yards. The plumes of smoke are sometimes rather smelly but don’t often last long.
These are some town houses being built about a mile up the road. All the construction trash and debris is being piled up just outside the development and doesn’t look to be taken away any time soon.
This is an individual home being built nearby.
This is a shelter used by students waiting for bus transportation to their school.
Another neighbor’s out house in the back of their maize field. The property values are increasing in this area. Farming is still a big part of the community but fields are being replaced by housing more and more.
Sticks and barbed wire are a common way to fence in farming fields.
This is the home that stirs my emotions the most. It is a stick and mud home about a ten minute walk from my front door. The family has several children who see us coming and run out to stare and wave. We dropped off a Christmas basket with flour, sugar, chai, and such.
I’m still getting use to living here.
And this you shall greet him, “Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.” – 1 Samuel 25:6