We will carry our chapati home’ they both said looking at me smiling

It was on Thursday morning the 13th of August, I had prepared to take Shadrack and Victor home, preparation had started the previous day. We left Tumaini at 8am and we started a long journey to Kitale town then we will proceed to an interior center known as Big Tree.

The van driver arrived at Tumaini and my two boys were ready to leave. We boarded a van from Tumaini to Kitale. The journey that took us roughly one and a half hours.  After alighting from the van, we had planned to take our breakfast at Kitale town. I was unable to spot a hotel, 

‘Let’s take tea here, they have perfect chapati.’ Rashid, one of the boys, calmly said. 

We walked into the hotel. We did not talk to each other for about five minutes. Then the waitress came to take our orders.

We were served hot tea and tasty chapati. In ten minutes we were done and it was time to leave the town to their specific destinations, each of them carrying chapati for their families.

We boarded a motorcycle to  Big Tree. I was to drop Victor first to go further to Rashid’s home.

‘Are we still very far?’ I asked the motorist after riding for more than an hour. I doubted.

He assured me that we are getting closer.  After a few minutes we arrived at our first home [Victor’s home] and there was no one to welcome us. The neighbours directed us to where the grandmother was working and we proceeded for two more kilometers. We arrived at a coffee farm where his grandmother was working. People around stopped to stare, they seemed to wonder who we were.

 “We are strangers here,” I told Victor and Rashid and they both shook their heads in agreement.

 As we walked closer the granny seemed to identify her grandson, Victor called his granny in his mother tongue, and the granny was shocked to see the boy looking very healthy. 

” Where are you from?” she asked Victor. 

 “I was in Eldoret,” he answered calmly.

The old lady looked at me and told me to sit and explain everything to her.  After answering so many questions from the granny, we finally left Victor with his granny at the farm.  While leaving, from a distance, we could see them lifting sacks and talking. 

“You still have another mission to accomplish,” I said to myself proceeding to Rashid’s home.

We proceeded to Rashid’s home using a motorbike and the journey was long. It was one hectic day, on the rough road, to a very interior place in Big Tree for more than one and a half hours.

“The house was here,” Rashid said calmly after we arrived at his grandmother’s home.

There was no house and I was totally confused. I started to think about what to do next. Rashid also seemed more confused! After a few minutes, Rashid looked at me and said,

“I have my aunt who stays in the next village, we can go there”. 

Great! I felt a sense of relief!  It didn’t take us long to arrive and there was a nice big house. I was so excited since I knew I would be heading back home early; the weather was not promising, the clouds were dark, pregnant with rain. When we entered their compound the silence there scared me. By the looks of it the compound had been neglected for some time. Grass had grown and spread all over even to the doorstep. 

‘Keep calm!’ I comforted myself as we proceeded to the door.

We knocked and there was no answer. The boy did not have any idea of what was happening and we had to go to the neighbouring homestead

 “They moved to Malaba four months ago,” the neighbour told us nicely.

 We asked for their contacts and tried to reach them. When we called the aunt, she confirmed that they actually moved and the granny also moved to Ziwa. 

 “What do we do?”  Rashid asked.

” We have to go back,” I answered.

We started our journey back to Eldoret. We arrived in Tumaini at 5pm, so tired and with a lot of thoughts on families and how different people are. I left Rashid at Tumaini and I headed home waiting to plan on taking him to his aunt in Malaba.

Author: Esther Muigai