Sometimes the best journeys are the ones you take on your own.
After working with street children in Kisumu, Kenya, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel through east Africa while making my way home. I had joined a tour group travelling from Nairobi to Johannesburg, which to my disgust, seemed more interested in drinking and complaining about the quality of accommodation than having any experience of the sights and sounds of Africa.
The group had gone on a riverboat cruise of Lake Kariba and I decided to hang back on the shore. I was given the chance to take a canoe across the lake to a village across the way which I jumped at, though terrified of the hippo’s and crocodiles that lay in my path. Once across shore, my guide and I walked for hours. He taught me local songs and language and allowed me to visit his family and two wives. We exchanged food and customs, teaching each other words with pointing and lots of laughing.
On the way back to the canoe we stopped at a school just as the children were racing out on their home. My guide and new friend stopped them, telling them the song he had taught me earlier. The children exploded into laughter, and then .. song. Grabbing my hands, we all sang together, voices soaring with spirit and joy. As the children walked away I remembered I had my camera with me and turned and quickly clicked away, capturing one of the most unique and enjoyable experiences I have ever had.
Photo and words by Jessica Stevens