Special Mention

Karthik Ramakrishna   

Memories of Kenya

 “I had one of the most gratifying experiences on a 2017 trip to Kenya. A family trip which had intended to be just leisure ended up leaving an indelible imprint forever.
Let me take you to Sweetwaters Camp in Nanyuki. Its picturesque scenery left us flabbergasted. We had a safari there and were introduced to a special guest – Baraka, a rhino completely blinded in a conflict, now under care of forest officials. We felt sympathy for him until we realized he could still carry on by himself with minimal assistance. His determination and resilience was a lesson to learn. 


On the way to our next destination, Lake Naivasha, we say a huge voter turnout for a local county election. We were impressed by the eagerness of the citizens of the country in exercising their rights and duties. We then stopped at the Equator to view a scientific spectacle- The equator water experiment. Quite mind boggling! At Lake Naivasha, famous for hippo spotting, we learnt that majority of the deaths in Africa happen due to human-hippo encounters. This was petrifying until the ranger remarked “More deaths happen due to terrorism and other human activities than the ones caused by animals”. A moment of reflection!


The climax was Masai Mara. But more exciting than the Big Five safari and the great migration was the opportunity to meet the Masai tribe. We were acquainted with their struggle for subsistence and abysmal living conditions. But bear in mind, they are extremely talented especially in running. (Most of Kenyan marathon runners come from this area). Another puzzling tradition: the man who jumps the highest gets to marry the prettiest woman of the tribe and is elected its head. Despite dearth of facilities and an arduous life, their sanguine approach is quite noteworthy.
Kenya made me look inwards and consider the cause of those on the other end of the spectrum. Indeed it was the greatest learning experience. A land of wilderness, plagued by poaching and decades of colonial rule, has forged on still retaining its charm and hospitality, practicing and preaching the philosophy of Hakuna Matata. Asante Kenya!

 

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Karthik Ramakrishna  

 I am currently a student in grade 12 and live in Mumbai. Travelling and writing are my favorite pastimes. Kenya has been a place of happy memories and as such always holds a special place in my heart. My other interests include the French language and culture.

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