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Kenya, The Beautiful Land in Which I was Born In This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.


A country filled with rugged mountains, grass topped valleys and sprinkled with fertile soils. Living there for 11 years gave me the wonderful opportunity to soak in its unique culture and experience it firsthand. If you were to visit this distinctive country, you would fall in love with its contagiously happy, carefree people. The people aren’t shy, and will boldly confront you with their wide grinning smiles. Even though its people are pretty fantastic, what you’ll most likely fall in love with is the beautiful land itself. Its landscapes and wild animals are all around to be seen.
When I was a young kid, I had the privilege of visiting Kenya’s famous national park: Masai Mara, which is a vast open land that contains wild animals, roaming at their own free will. The Masai Mara is named after the local Masai who are native to the land. Visiting the Masai Mara was nothing compared to visiting your ordinary downtown zoo. In a zoo, all the animals are confined to their own personal cages. In Masai Mara, you are the one in the cage, traveling in a van in search for animals in action, which included lions fending their kill from hyenas, cheetahs sprinting after Thomson’s gazelles, or even just immense numbers of wildebeests migrating from Tanzania’s Serengeti (aka the Great Migration). Of course you didn’t have to go Masai Mara just to see wild animals Africa is quite known for. I remember driving to Kenya’s capital Nairobi, on a road filled with pot holes, stopping to take pictures of giraffes crossing the road, then zebras and hyenas later on the same exact road. Or even camping by Lake Baringo, where hippos would graze in the night just feet away from our tents.
Kenya indeed is a land filled with adventure. Not all being pleasant. My family lived in Kisumu for two years which was a city by Lake Victoria. Every night at exactly 7:00pm, bats would be everywhere flying right above our rooftops, flapping their wings and screeching, scaring little girls and boys alike, threatening any possibility of sound sleep. Living right by the lake also meant the accompaniment of thousands of mosquito bites. Every month, my dad, brother and I would be sick with malaria, which eventually led us to move out to Eldoret. However, food from the lake was superb. Coming from the Philippines, my family has quite an appetite for all kinds of fish. Fish was caught daily and served fresh.
We also fell in love with other local foods, such as sukuma wiki, which is the favorite vegetable dish for all locals, mandazi, a sweet baked dessert, and other delicacies that my brother and I to this still day beg my mom to make, including Kenyan tea. Being colonized by the British, Kenyans also have a great ardor for tea. A famous Kenyan saying: “Kila wakati ni wakati wa chai” means ‘Every time is tea time’. If you were to drive around Kenya, you would probably be unable to count all the tea plantations you’d see.
Looking back, I question my parent’s decision to raise me and my baby brother in Africa, which probably isn’t the most ideal place when it comes to safety and health. But I would never change it for the world. I’m proud to have survived all my numerous adventures, and I’m pleased that I have unique stories to tell. All these tales come from the Kenya that I remember as a little girl. I would love to visit again one day to see which parts have changed and which haven’t.




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Luke.I.Am said...
today at 10:47 pm:
VERY VERY well written, amazing imagrery and a beautiful country! WELL DONE! 6 out of 5 stars
 
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