Puzzling rocks of Kapsabet

Irecently set out for Kapsabet in Nandi county on a Church mission. I had always wanted to visit the famous Kenyan highlands in Rift Valley, not only to know why they produce the finest athletes, but also get a glimpse of why the colonisers were adamant leaving them to our forefathers.

On the material day, we left Thika at 6am in a convoy of four big buses. We had spent the night in the church to make our departure less complicated. In the first hours of the journey, I coiled my thin body at the left back corner, an attempt to catch some sleep. I had wrapped myself with a Maasai shuka, and I was lucky to catch some nap before the sun started striking my back ferociously through the rear windshield. Most of other missioners in the bus too had retreated to their seats for the early morning treasure. Sleeping in a moving vehicle can be so uncomfortable, so I woke up.

Looking through the windows, I could not help myself from admiring the beautiful vegetation covering the cascading ridges of Gatundu in Kiambu county. Rows of pineapples and lush tea farms beautifully decorated the landscape. To a stranger, a flat tea plantation can resemble a football pitch. Soon, the tea views ushered a thick Kamae Forest, which we spent half an hour to cross. I tried peeping through the thick canopy of trees to spot an animal, but I wasn’t any lucky.

After about a six-hour drive, we stopped at Nakuru for some snacks. The rest of the journey was lively, as chats, music and laughter lend the air. I opened a conversation with a German missioner named Pierre. We talked about Masai Mara and the Great Rift Valley, among a myriad of other things. I preferred to openly talk about Kenya than enquire about Germany.

On reaching Timboroa, hilly landscapes, maize plantations and other beautiful sceneries stole our glance, and even neutralised our seldom chitchats. We arrived in Kapsabet later in the evening and did a few rounds of publicity campaigns at Sirwa, Kapkangani and Chepsonoi markets. On loudspeakers, we notified the locals of our arrival. We reported to Father Kuun Secondary School, our residence during the mission.

Being missioners, we choose not to appear any classy. We interacted with the locals, enjoyed local delicacies and slept in school dormitories. Generally, we lived like locals. The mornings were the most boring times. We hated leaving our blankets for the biting morning cold, but we had to. In the afternoon of the first day, I noted some strange looking rocks near a homestead and decided to have a closer look.

From far, the rocks looked like igloos, the houses of the Eskimos in the northern hemisphere. The rocks seemed to be competing with trees in height. I made enquiries about them. I was told that the rocks actually “grow”. My source had lived in that homestead for over 20 years and could bet that the rocks had grown in size. I was assigned three boys to be my guide around her farm. Looking from far, the rocks seem soft and amorphous, but a closer look reveals a hard and solid look. I tasted the rocks in search of any saltiness, but they didn’t taste anything close to salt. I left the place a bit perplexed, with no answer to exactly how the rocks came into existence or how they continued to increase in size.

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