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Kenya Day 13 – A day at the farm

Relaxing at the farm

Relaxing at the farm

A cool breeze blows through the hairs on my arms and legs. Starlings twitter in the trees above me as they wait for the tractor to plough up more insects. The sound of voices drifts on the air and I hear Dad and Julius laughing at me.  Apparently Kenyans don’t expect a mzungu to sleep in the dirt under a tree on a farm. But that’s exactly what I’m doing. And I’m loving it. I actually doze off for a while because there’s little better than lying in the shade on a summer’s day.

Dad and Julius having a laugh

Dad and Julius having a laugh

Dad and Julius sit nearby in the dust talking about the vegetables the school is going to grow on the farm. Julius is a big strong man who always seems to be smiling. He tells Dad that they intend to grow kale, carrots and corn. Then he asks Dad whether he’s sure I’m comfortable on the ground or whether I want to sleep in Rosemary’s car.

Dusty work

Dusty work

Meanwhile, the tractor trundles up and down the farm.

The tractor almost finished

The tractor almost finished

What was just a block of land a day ago is now starting to look like a farm. It’s amazing the difference the dark brown colour of ploughed land makes to the way a parcel of land feels.

Neighbour ploughing by hand

Neighbour ploughing by hand

In the plot next door a farmer ploughs his land by hand. The man works all day without a break. It must be torturous work, especially in the heat. But this is Kenya and hard work is a reality here.

Carrying diesel for the tractor

Carrying diesel for the tractor

On the school’s farm, a labourer carries a huge drum of diesel to the tractor on his shoulders.

Cutting down the tree

Cutting down the tree

A man climbs a tree to start cutting it down using a machete to allow the tractor to plough underneath it so more crops can be grown on the farm.

Local woman cutting firewood

Local woman cutting firewood

And women cut the tree’s branches into firewood for cooking fires. They then carried the heavy piles of firewood to their homes.

Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys

Soft sand = fun games

Soft sand = fun games

But it’s not all hard work on the farm. As the local boys come home from school, they are drawn to the freshly ploughed soil like bees to honey. Their afternoon is filled with laughter, running, somersaults, jumping, rolling and playful wrestling in the soft dusty soil. I’m sure their mothers will be upset when they come home because families here have to walk a few kilometres to buy water from the closest bore if they want to bathe. And here in Kenya, families like to send their children to school clean so the boys will need to bathe.

The boys letting down their guard

The boys letting down their guard

But for me, that’s not such a concern: I am just happy to see these smiling young faces having fun. They remind me of my nephews back home.

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7 comments on “Kenya Day 13 – A day at the farm

  1. Thanks Andrew, I was getting serious withdrawal symptoms from being depleted of Andrew blog stories. I can go another day now…..

    • LOL Mum 🙂 You are very sweet. How cute is that last photo? It took the boys ages to have the courage to let the mzungu to take their photo. When I first took one (at their request), the other boys hid behind the one on the right. Haha.

  2. I always laugh when you write about taking a nap somewhere. Seems to be easy for you, and I have never been a napper. Lovely post.

    • Haha Angela. I love nothing more than a good nap – especially outdoors. I can usually sleep through anything. But this trip I have discovered that I can’t sleep through snoring – it seems to be my napping / sleeping kryptonite (Dad had some red wine one night when we were sharing a twin room and his snoring woke me up).

      I have a theory that I do so much stuff that my body has become opportunistic with sleep. Essentially, if I am not doing anything active, my body just falls asleep 🙂

      • Apparently I never napped as a child either. I think I’m afraid I’ll miss something. But I can say it’s rare for me to not sleep well at night, so I think I tend to just go, go, go and then crash well at night.

        • LOL about being afraid you’ll miss something. Somehow I can just picture that 🙂

          I used to have trouble napping because I had PTSD for a while so I couldn’t close my eyes during the day or outdoors. But I was in therapy for a while during 2008 and 2009, which helped a lot and now I can close my eyes anywhere.

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