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From farm to fork and some wine

During our trip to Eldoret, we ate and drank everything from fast foods— nothing tastes better than a plate of fries and sausages to a hungry traveller—to wholesome fare such as goat stew with rice

Njeri Maina@njerimainar

Wholesomenes. It means different things to each of us. Some of us feel wholly healthy when we are in relationships or in the company of loved ones, while some of us feel whole in new experiences.

For me, wholesomeness is the continuous pursuit of edifying new experiences, starting new relationships while making sure you hold on to the meaningful of old.

And right now, I feel whole as I listen to the peaceful burbling of Naiberi River as it gushes by, seated next to my sister who we are not on talking terms as we just fought. 

Though we do not usually agree with each other, my sister and I share a common liking of good food and fanaticism for being healthy. This was the main reason we both settled on Elagerini Travellers Tented Camp in Eldoret as our weekend destination—the promise of fresh organic food and serene forest scenes.

If ever there was an environment conducive to feeding our bellies as well as our psyche, we imagined it was Elagerini. And we were spot on. Elagerini feels like home.

The indigenous trees in the compound, the cool fresh air, the feast of lush green for the eyes and the chirping of the birds all seem to welcome you into the heart of Uashin Gishu county and to a warmth Nairobians miss.

And good food warms the heart in much the same way.  During our trip, we had everything from fast food— for nothing tastes better than a plate of fries and a sausage to a hungry traveller — to wholesome such as goat stew and rice.

We ate fruits and indulged in decadent desserts too. We fed on an entire spectrum of foods from the entirely healthy to the, ‘oh, this is too good to be healthy, stuff’. We had breakfast for champions, a whole thermos flask of tea with numerous mandazi and chapati. We even offered to go to the shamba and help collect maize and local vegetables (saga, managu and nderema). The vegetables were for Chef Gideon who was to prepare them for dinner — beef, local vegetables and ugali.

As we re-learnt how to roast maize cobs, we heard how children in Eldoret go to athletics camps at a very early age, with high dreams of becoming the next Eliud Kipchoge. They train day and night, as their parents toil endlessly to pay the high fees for the camps. A few succeed, but many do not.

We came to see how Eliud Kipchoge and other top Kenyan athletes win international marathons. There is a lifetime of hard work, tears and sweat that the cameras never focus on.

Many of the ingredients used to make meals are sourced straight from the Elagerini kitchen garden or from neighbouring farms. Not only is the food good and fresh, but it also tastes better with the knowledge that some of the proceeds help empower local farmers.

A little wine is good for your stomach, says Timothy in the Bible. Even Jesus Christ’s first miracle was to provide wine for thirsty wedding guests. To me, this is a Biblical carte blanche to indulge in wine and its relatives.

The Elagerini bar had good wine and all its relatives whom we were more than glad to indulge in. Joan the bartender  who was more than glad to keep our cups full as we engaged her in dialogue about the Eldoret running culture and global politics, including The Chronicles of Donald Trump. She was both knowledgeable and entertaining.

So if you ever feel like you need to search for wholesomeness and its relatives serenity and peace, it might help to just up and go to Elagerini, Eldoret.

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