Monday, March 28, 2016
WOOOAH! : From Walking Bare Feet to Working in the US Army!
"Back in the day while I was growing up in Lelan, at the end of every term, my mother would make me visit my grandma in Chemosong, a village border of West Pokot on Marakwet West, say about 30 min jog/1hr walk from kaptalamwa center. There, I would have to spend the last week before primary school re-opening helping her in taking care of her sheep, cows & chicken. On the day of return, my grandma would give me a guard full of sour milk “mursik ” in a pokot style “sotet”. He would carefully put the delicate guard in a used fertilizer bag “chebiree”.
She could also give me a “hen” which I am learning to be one of the greatest lessons in my lifetime. After bidding kokoo goodbye, I would carefully walk home, mugula with my Mursik & a precious gift to grandson (a hen, tied in the legs). Given the delicacy of the two things I was carrying, I would meticulously walk home slowly hoping nothing weird chases me & make me fall and lose the milk or the hen to miraculously run away in the middle of dense grass vegetation.
Thank goodness every time I arrived home safe. Now, the story of hen is quite interesting. On arriving home, last two days to start of school term, my brothers & I had to build my “hen “a four legged raised bamboo house behind our boy’s house “we didn’t build the boys house, technically we inherited from dad when he moved to mabati house”. I made sure that the roof of the hen house was well thatched, made a ladder for her, made sure it had a good secure door to keep away the nocturnal predators.
Then, I kept my prayers intact that the wondering neighbors (katitu) cockerel would make sure my “hen” would lay fertilized eggs. Sure enough few days after, I noticed a pathway to a small bush near our house & there you go…. few white eggs.
School had already started & every day, I could not hide my joy when I got home from school. I prayed that when they hatch, they will all be alive. I secured the location of eggs making sure that there was no rain for the 21 days my hen was going to be in seclusion to prepare the chicks to hatch.
On a surprise Friday afternoon, I arrived home with sounds of tiny chicks. I had forgotten counting days. Before I could take my meal, or undo my blue & yellow uniform, I ran straight to the house to see my precious gifts. Joy on the face of a little boy could not be hiden anymore. Lucky enough, all of them except one had hatched nice and healthy looking chicks.
That Sunday, my mother allowed me to build another structure near our fence to safeguard the chicks from sky predators “chesirere” when I was gone to school. Every Saturdays while tendering to my mother’s pyrethrum garden, I would collect earthworms, place them in container “kasuku korogoro” so that when I go for lunch, my chicks would also have a good lunch. I watched them in disbelieve blossom & hoped that one day, they will grow up, I will sell some to buy my mother sugar, and have some change to take to school games.
Every Saturday while helping mom clamp the calf’s as she milks “lelkina” or “samoo”, I would watch the Airplanes waay up on the sky, emitting white smoke. I would tell her, “mom one-day mom”, I will be on that plane. I didn’t know it would become a reality.
My story is a story of every son. A son who imagined things that never thought could happen. That is why every time, when I drive to kokos place Chemosong, & find a boy walking on that road with his “hen” to the nearest center, I make sure I give a lift (ride). Because that boy is me few years ago. That boy sitting in the kitchen fireplace with her sisters helping mom wash dishes as she prepares evening meal is my story. My story is a story of father now watching TV with his son, hoping that one day, the son will become somebody. That is why when I meet that girl or boy going to posho meal, I give a lift (ride) because that is me…few years ago.
I never imagined I could sit in front of microphone & TV camera talking to millions of Kalenjin’s. I never thought a son carrying a “hen” one day could get an opportunity to work in one of the most prestigious & powerful forces in the world.
My story is a story of HOPE, where HOPE TRIUMPHS always. Nothing is impossible in this world. Everything blossoms when you to take care of it. Everything becomes something when you give the attention it deserves. My “hen” in another country is a million industry.
My story is your story. It can only be summarized in one word.