People

Nairobi

My life

Ngoto

Children

History

Market town

A Sikh wedding

Around the country

Literature

Beauty of the land

Kenya Railways

Animals

kenya

Kenya: I remember the gracious hospitality of the people, traveling to rural areas, the legacy of colonialism, the dignified formality of handshaking and dress, the colors, the engaging rhythm of Kenyan English, the rain, the wheat fields and forests and scrub and waves on the shore.

A country is as hard to catalog as a universe or as a family. But I would want to try to tell you that the country is beautiful, and how people could succeed in shaping a happy, worthwhile life with less than a tenth of the possessions we think are necessary for basic life. I would want to try to explain how life and death, laughter and heartache, wealth and poverty seemed so much closer together there.

And of course, a key point of real travel for an American is always to try to see a place on its own terms, but illuminated by your own perspective. To see it, in other words as capable of existing just fine without the United States, without Europe, to see it in terms of its own definitions of self and not your own.

I lived and worked there from 1984 to 1986, and all the photos and descriptions here apply to that time. Things will be different now. Despite the passage of 25 years, however, the time there, the friendships and events are still vivid. I still think I'll go back some day; but I probably never will.

Last modified 9/20/16; posted 10/15/07; original content © 2016, 2007 John P. Nordin