There is something special about a child’s laugh. I can’t quite explain it, but it has a raw innocence to it that makes you feel good inside. Feel Happy. It has to be a miracle of life, an innate universal language or dialect that we all understand. It should come as no surprise then, that when the offer to travel to the small town of Kimana for a weekend to visit a Children’s Home, the only question I had to ask was when do we leave?
For those of us unfamiliar with Kimana, it’s your typical small town, one major street, and one major shop and just like that we are at the other end. The 1km by 1km town is 95 km from Emali , off the Nairobi-Mombasa high way and just a stone throw away from the world famous Amboseli national park, which by the way is normally the main attraction there. However, Kimana is a small charming town in every single way except one.
The majesty of a sight unseen anywhere else, the vast and truly eye boggling Mt Kilimanjaro towers over it like a silent guardian.
We arrived at Kimana in the gaze of a golden sunset, the silhouette of Mt Kilimanjaro barely visible yet distinctly outlined in the horizon ahead of us. The Home is not far from the road and a short dusty walk later, the heartwarming giggles and laughter of a curious candy grabbing little angel called Furaha welcome us.
The next three days just seemed to flash by. In that time we made a make shift gazebo for the boys to hangout under during the hot afternoons, had some amazing ice-lollies made by the older girls during those hot afternoons, took loon therapeutic walks in the evenings and enjoyed the way a good animation can leave the smallest of the children mouth wide open with wonder and awe.
That weekend we were supposed to go and expose those wonderful kids to life the way we see it and inspire them to seek out their dreams. However in my opinion it was we who got the inspiration. Life in the city can be so hectic that we forget the bigger picture which is simply. TO LIVE!
There has to be more to life than beating your colleagues to the promotion or bending your back over backwards to achieve someone else’s predefined idea of success for you. What is the most precious thing on the planet if not life? Even time is made valuable by the fact that it acts upon your time.
As the Matatu drove past Kimana that last day I remember thinking to myself, you need to spend more time with the people who matter to you most. Time waits for no one, so I best start chasing it.
Alex Muriuki- writer
MJ Kawira- photographer