Kenya

Kenya

Never had I expected the despair I encountered in Kenya.  As the ship cruised into the harbor, gunboats on either side accompanied the vessel.  The threat of pirates was present.  Harbor officials and native dancers as well as vendors were waiting dockside.  I boarded a coach for a city tour and a visit to a game preserve 60 miles distant.  As the coach left the harbor area, there was a distinct police presence.  The streets of Mombassa were pitted.  Piles of garbage flanked the streets.  Stick thin people poked the refuse.  There were no smiles, only despair and resentment.  We paused for a Kodak moment at the famous tusks over the main boulevard and made our way out of the city.  Mombassa is one of the main ports for the delivery of goods to east Africa.  Goods are unloaded and trucked to the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, and transported elsewhere to central Africa.  This main highway over which the trucks travel is not a  highway but a mere suggestion of a road.  Though it was wide, there were potholes sufficient to break an axle and the heavy truck traffic dodged every which way so that there were vehicles coming and going in every direction.  The 60 mile trip took three hours.  As we entered the game preserve, we were put into vehicles with an open roof for viewing.  I live on an exotic game ranch and viewing animals is not of much interest.  I mainly wanted to go out into the countryside.  We saw most of the animals on the big game list and ate a lunch buffet at a game resort.  There were no walls or screens.  Flies competed for the food.  The weather was hot, dry and dusty.   The return trip was no less helter skelter.  Mud huts consisting of one room were spaced along the road.  People walked the roads carrying water.  I saw no evidence of electricity.  Upon returning to the comfort of the ship, I asked the guest lecturer, “What is the future of Africa?”   He replied that Africa is not a country but rather over 50 countries.  Some are better than others.  It depends on the government of each country and only with good responsible government is there a future.