Where am I? The Rift Valley, Kenya. Birthplace of humanity. Connecting point for Mediterranean, African and Asian bio-regions and ancient (first) civilizations.
The Rift is also home to Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, filled and surrounded by astounding rare species, threatened by climate change.
The rich bio-diversity here has long sustained local communities in a variety of livelihoods, including fishing, traditional farming, nomadic pastoralism, and diverse artisanal craft-making. The Rift is also known for it’s honey-makers, and inventions in bee-hive construction.
Climate change has hit the area hard. The historically clockwork March rains are now unpredictable. In 2008, the Rift and other areas were also exposed to post-election violence. Many died. Many adults and children suffered. An IDP (internally displaced persons) settlement was built on a hill. Shalom Primary School opened a few years ago.
For me this journey begins October 2015 with long walks up a steep hill. I met everyone. The diverse community here plant fields of maize and cultivate daily life. The students learn together.
Maybe the problems of climate change do, somehow, open communication over serious matters of food growing – and water sharing.
A chance meeting with a staff member brought me to visit the school. My first walk across the school field sparked my imagination with….gardens, trees, birds, butterflies, and bees. . . .
. . . a peace garden.