My journey to Muhoroni...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday in Children´s Garden

The journey to Nairobi was peaceful. No problems. I was skimming through the newspapers that we bought at a gas station in Kericho.  They were writing about (in)security before Christmas. The robbers lurk for people in order to provide better Christmas for themselves and their families. And the police shoot the robbers right away. The robbers do not kill if they get what they want. You cannot look into their faces and you have to give them everything they ask for, you should not oppose them or try to negotiate. The danger is strongest during the night. That is when all kids of gangs meet up and plan robberies, burglaries and kindappings.
I feel safe here in Children´s Garden. There are too many people around here. The robbers focus on abandoned places because that means less pontential witnesses. I live where I lived before but I haven´t seen cockroaches here before. So far I have only seen them in pictures in the card game Bug Bluff. At first I was horrified to learn that cockroaches can survive atomic bomb or even being microwaved and then yesterday I bought a great spray that made them all go belly up!
As soon as I arrived a herd of kids hung themselves on me! I don´t know if you can even imagine that. They asked me if I had brought fish from Kisumu for them. All of a sudden several kids started to ask me about Luo language and test me on how much I knew.  I didn´t know there were so many of them here! They spoke to me in Luo but I didn´t understand them at all.
Muhoroni spoilt me. The toilet pit is beautifully deep, I can´t see the gutter, there was a lot of water and mainly it was clean. Here I found a functionless non-flushing toilet, drain was out of order and the water in the shower couldn´t go away. And those cockroaches! Those were really waiting for me. One of them immediately walked up my bed and kept watching me hiding inside my purse. 
The first evening the Luo kids didn´t want to let me go. Then it got calmer.

They don´t have school now so there´s not really anything for them to do. It was raining and mud was everywhere.
Small kids were inside so I was drawing with them and I told them a fairy-tale. They are eager to receive any kind of attention or love.
Children´s Garden lies at the end of Kawangware and on the other side, behind a richer quarter Lavington you can find Nakumatt, a shopping mall. There is a good restaurant, café, drycleaner, flower shop, cinema, bookstore, pharmacy, tourist shops and many tourists. It is stuffed with white people. Taxi is quite expensive and matatu, public transportation, is not very safe, so I went by foot – of course, with a bodyguard. It took us an hour. I bought the most necessary things and then we went to the Kawangware market. There I bought a wash-basin and a mop. I was happy to come back and scrubbed everything properly.
It easier for me to talk with the boys. The girls are trampled down by the culture, they are tongue-tied, not very bold and they don´t speak up. The boys, on the other hand, are curious, they ask questions. It has changed a little as the girls have been getting used to me and they speak up more. I try to give them more attention, too. And all of a sudden Moses suggested that I read a book about sex with the girls, and maybe ask some of their questions. Glove thrown down.
In the evening, after the supper (about 9pm) about 20 older girls gathered in one room, they were reading, asking questions, opening this „forbidden“ topic. The age range was 13 – 17. We are going to meet like this every evening. I think that this is one of the topics that they have no one to talk to about.
And today I am trying to rest a bit – after all it´s my holiday!


  1. Hi what is a Slovak doing in my hometown. What are the odds of that happening. I grew up in Muhoroni. I live in Seattle now though. As a mzungu did you manage to meet up with the Norwegians who live their. They have been their since the eighties.

  2. Hello Steve! Well, as far as I know, there are now no Norwegians, just English and Irish people around in Muhoroni. And I am just trying to work here and help out :-)

  3. I was last back their in Dec 2007. I voted and fled before the election violence. Barely made it to the airport. Those Norwegians used to live in a place called Thessalia(ask around). Well maybe they fled, word is in 1999 some local thugs relieved them of thousands worth of computer equipment. Funny story, i dont know if this is a stereotype (about punctual Norwegians)but when i was in the second grade our teacher did not own a watch and thus she would tell it was home time when one of those norwegians pulled up like clock work to pick up her adopted son from school. i dont know how bad the Aids crisis is now in Muhoroni but if you would have showed up their in 1988-1999 you would have witnessed a disaster. It was a triple whammy, men leading promiscuous lives, a church system that was ill-prepared and unable to help in anyway and a provincial medical authority that was all set to deal with malaria and other tropical disease and nothing else.