Kenya!........ I cannot imagine an experience more completely enchanting,... a child's first wonders and engagement restored in an adult. For Connie and for me it has been the greatest and most awesome of privileges, working professionally with the people in a respectful, vulnerable, and intimate fellowship which is shared by doctor, artist and teacher ; connecting with the spectacular displays of Nature, of birds and animals. Moments lived fully! This selection is but a small portion from what was an explosion of work over the 14 years of the contract, as well as from return visits every 4 to 5 years. People in central Kenya and folk on the island of Lamu off the northeast coast of Kenya in the Indian Ocean, our most sought after vacation destination, form the bulk of this presentation. Animal drawings abound in my Safari sketchbooks! Enjoy these moments that are so immediate in my memory and feelings, and were such a gift to us.
As Nairobi is the capital of Kenya one expects the rapid urban development that is occurring everywhere to be in motion. Unfortunately this is as true as the rapid development of the chasm between the wealthy and the needy. I was particularly fascinated by traditional cultural phenomena as well as the extraordinary inventiveness of folk that had little of this world's goods. The small kiosks made often from found discards provide work and a living, though meagre for a family, and spring up in nooks and crannies amidst the large new buildings of modern Nairobi. The shared generous and resourceful spirit of the disenfranchised touch me.
This tropical island is on the trade route from the East African coast to the Arab Emirates and has been historically under the control of several peoples, but now a part of Kenya. The relatively small island population of about 8000 is settled in the largest of the villages, Lamu which is a significant port town and predominantly Muslim. There are no cars on the island with the exception of the Commissioner's land rover! Donkeys are the beasts of burden. Coral blocks carved from the sea and mangrove poles are the construction materials. It was our favourite retreat, atmospheric and delightful to a fault. The homes, streets, way of life, the history on faces of the elderly....oh so much more were the feast for an artist's eye!