EuropeStoryKenya: harmony, balance, determination, courage and struggle by Elena Molina

In the African savannah, land of the Maasai people, I felt the beating of the heart of the Earth accompanied by the harmonious balance of nature.

In the African savannah, land of the Maasai people, I felt the beating of the heart of the Earth accompanied by the harmonious balance of nature. And with the same intensity, but in a totally different way, I vibrated wandering around Nairobi, where the acacias had been replaced by tall skyscrapers competing with each other for the highest technology.

Among them, the slums intermingle, true oceans of tin roofs that cover up shady alleys of muddy soils. The air is also fetid, since the overcrowded people live with all kinds of waste, the recycling of which, in large part, constitutes their livelihood.

In their streets, I felt the desolation reflected in misplaced glances, a heartbreaking pain that was transferred from them to me and from me to them. I have to admit that I succumbed to injustice. Questions and more questions hammered my temples producing a lacerating pain, like I had never felt before. Young teenagers lined up for a plate of food while sniffing glue. A devastating habit that, little by little, is annihilating them, leaving them with barely enough strength to hold the plastic bottle from which they inhale.

At the same time, I watched as huge mountains of plastic drums piled up and I dreamed that torrential rains erased forever the traces of pain, that imperishable pain produced by hauling the heavy yellow drums to carry water. In my dream, the fragile backs of the children, the most vulnerable, no longer had to bear their burden. Women also walked haughty, since their hair, dancing in the wind, showed the colorful beads already released from the devastating weight. However, it is not a dream to say that, in spite of everything, life buzzes with joy among the huts built with veneers. Thus, I felt myself like anybody else there, participating in their struggle for a more dignified life, as it is reflected in the fascinating graffiti that permeates its streets with art and hope.

On my tour, I also wandered through the desert, lost among herds of camels, goats and sheep. And I walked over the sea of lava that, as in the most tender embrace, surrounds Lake Turkana. I visited as well fishing villages where people live preserving their legacy with pride and dignity, all together shaping the most amazing kaleidoscope I’ve ever seen, in terms of cultural diversity. And it was here, in this place, where I most felt that quantum leap that, fast as lightning, travels through infinite spaces and settles into timelessness. Past and present merge, the future is like a dream, perhaps even pure chimera.

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Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
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