Last Sunday we returned to Kerio valley, where the community are still facing considerable challenges, four months on from the devastating landslide. During our previous visit we had discovered that one of the unfortunate side effects of these disaster situations, where people are struggling to survive, is the ongoing disruption of the education of teenage girls; so this time as well as the bags of maize we took boxes of sanitary protection.
The journey is fairly gruelling but always inspires a sense of wonder in us. We started our descent of the escarpment in swirling fog which gradually cleared and gave way to brilliant sunshine, shimmering heat haze and stunning bird and butterfly life. We even saw a couple of monkeys and ground squirrels. There is such a sense of the unspoiled antiquity and beauty of the Rift Valley here, despite the presence of growing waterfalls which loom with the possibility of further landslides.
Due to the heavy rains we had to park some distance from the church and walked in the searing heat over rough terrain as Revd. Maritim led us on the “scenic route”…..
As we were climbing out of the dry river course Liza grabbed a tree root and quickly let go of it as something had stung her….she then slid back down and climbed again, this time to the top where David pulled the sting out, thereby unwittingly helping the venom to spread!
(Note to all intrepid explorers, stings should be scraped out, not grasped and pulled).
Over the next few hours Liza experienced what the internet describes as an allergic reaction stopping short of anaphylactic shock but still not at all pleasant. Her propensity for low blood pressure meant she was fainting and clammy, with a racing heartbeat and feeling really unwell. (Note to self, always take antihistamines with you when travelling into an isolated rural area). Her hand remained swollen and painful for several days.
So a bit of an adventure, a lesson learned and all of it well worth the effort to be able to stand with the members of the parish church and support the community in Kerio Valley.