(n.) The interior of the country
Mo (my best and oldest friend from Montana) and I got to go “up-country” a few weeks ago. Kenyans that live in the city generally claim a different area of origin besides Nairobi. It might be where their family originally comes from or where they were born. During holidays the city practically clears out as urban Kenyans return to their “up-country” homes and relatives. The setting is typically more rural, more basic, and often times more beautiful. We had the privilege to escape the pollution and noise for 3 days, and get back to basics.
The place: the outskirts of Rurii (central Kenya)
The people: Samuel and Esther Ngarachu, Mo’s Kenyan host parents in 2008
Let me tell you, it is sure different from the city! Better yet, let me show you…
Brilliant starry skies at night, golden misty bird-song filled mornings. Fresh produce, curious children, warm and welcoming neighbors, water from a hand-crank well, hospitality and endless cups of chai tea, miles of rolling farm land as far as the eye can see. Yep, up-country was refreshing. But more than that it was a re-centering, back to basics, re-prioritizing time. Once in a while, you just have to escape to the country… or to the up-country.
“Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid nature.”