Bev arrived in Nairobi to take up a month-long journey through Kenya and Uganda. One of many major causes on her behalf visit was to meet up Jared, a Ugandan school student who she had been sponsoring for days gone by 18 months.Bev's time was ideal: the Lake Turkana Social Festival was to take place a day or two after her arrival in Kenya and therefore which was the initial destination. Moses and Laura, buddies of OTA and owners of Mara Explorers camp in Maasai Mara, were in Nairobi and were cajoled into joining the journey north. Then they asked Scott and Helene, a English pair operating their Land Rover around the continent while they found out how to spend their retirement. And therefore our small band of intrepid individuals began the two-day journey to the much north-western corner of Kenya.
We encountered a few sceptics who were dubious about the capability of the OTA van to get to Loiyangalani and to cross the leave to Marsabit. But Francis handled that Toyota such as for instance a correct professional despite the water, mud, steep ascents and descents, loose rocks and every other obstacle imaginable. In Maralal we'd to get our authorities escorts to accompany people more north. There have been only a couple of times when Bev discovered the necessity to gently drive the young soldier's rifle away from going directly at her - he was very calm about holding this kind of system, but we probably would have been much more comfortable had he been a tad bit more attentive.
The initial morning of the Turkana Event was fantastic. Fourteen ethnic organizations from upper Kenya collected in Loiyangalani, each setting up a traditional house, wearing old-fashioned costumes, dance traditional dances and performing standard songs. The environment was enjoyment as each tribe attempted to out-sing and out-dance each other. However, this is the initial year the Marsabit Region Council was working the festival and it would appear that they didn't get much advice or guidance from the organisations who'd been involved previously. This system was dismissed and we found ourselves performing the planned 8am rise up a pile to see stone art in the warmth of the midday sun.
The 2nd day was actually less organized as we all waited for Deputy President Ruto to arrive before any activities can start. His scheduled birth at 11am didn't happen till 3pm and the planned activities turned out to be a political rally. This was ideal for the locals who do infrequently see their MPs, but for international tourists it wasn't the most interesting "social event ".
From Sea Turkana, we went east to Marsabit where we'd a slight accommodation tragedy but a good food find. While Bev, Francis and Tracey headed in to area for supper, Scott grilled at camp for the rest of the group, including our authorities escorts. Pasta with vegetables - not quite what soldiers in upper Kenya are used to and these were only a little nervous about that mzungu food.