A few people know this already, but on our trip as we were leaving Turkana our bus was stopped by two bandits, one of whom had a gun and had it pointed at our bus. All they were after was money, and they didn’t even come in the bus. The people who worked with the program, both our program and that of the travel agency, were amazing. They were extremely calm and sensible, and took such good care of us, both before and after the event. We all gave a few hundred shillings (3 or 4 dollars) and then we were on our way again. The event itself occupied a very small part of our trip, but the memory of it is the most salient in most of our minds. I guess that’s just the way the mind works. I guess trauma takes precedence over happiness. And trust me there were many happy memories. It’s frustrating thought that two young punks were able to ruin so many memories.
I know that I promised to finish the blog entry about Turkana, but at this time I just can’t.
Last Monday we found out that another one of the trips to Lake Turkana (though in a different area of Turkana) was met with another bandit. But this time it didn’t. According to the people who were there, one man stopped the bus and was asking for water. When the bus stopped he pulled out a gun and shot Kuel, the cook for the travel agency in the chest, killing him. We were all pretty close to Kuel, so his death hit us pretty hard. He was one of the sweetest men I’ve met here, and he had such a good heart.
It’s so hard to have these memories conflicting with the remainder of the memories from our trip. A group of us went to his funeral on Saturday, which gave us some time to process. But it’s still hitting us pretty hard. Kuel was so sweet, we know he wouldn’t want us to be sad, but it is taking some time for us to process.
If you think about it pray for Kuel’s family, he leaves behind his wife and young daughter, Jacinta, and I know that death is something that happens pretty frequently in Kenya, but that doesn’t make it any easier for us or them to deal with.