Last Sunday my small sister Kavevi told me that she will officially make me the last born if I continue treating Wow salted rings like a basic commodity in my house. First of all, I don’t know how you can make a first born a last born. Secondly, Wow salted rings are a basic commodity in my house because it is my house. Thirdly, I think they are the best commodity that ever happened to our supermarkets. You want to know how I met my current crush? Well we were both shopping at the local mini mart when we both reached for the last 200 gms packet of Wow salted rings at the same time. The rest is history but I think this dude is totally dateable, he eats the salted rings! How romantic! I mean I can marry this guy right away, he should meet my mama already. Any wedding planners you guys can recommend?

Anyway, moving along swiftly, for some weird reason, I have really struggled to pen down this piece. I don’t know why, maybe it is the overload of beautiful memories that narrating this story brings…..I don’t know. But like I promised last week, the series will continue. I also just realized that I forgot to introduce Ze Brodas properly, where are my manners? On the cover photo, the guy holding the selfie stick is called Don (His other name is Paul but we shall call him Don for the sake of this read) he is the baby of gang, don’t be fooled by his height. The guy with a prayer-like pose behind him is called Paul Ollando (but let’s just call him Paul). The other dude is called Cecil and ze fine ghel rocking expensive designer sunglasses is, yours truly. Are we together? OK. This photo was taken on a boat ride at Lake Victoria in Homa Bay Pier. After the post last week, Paul reminded me that I forgot one of the tasks in his JD (apologies my handsome broda). Well, apart from his other duties, Paul was also the movies guy, he kept the gang entertained with the latest and coolest movies.

You know, this adventure made me learn a lot about Ze Brodas like for instance, there is a way Paul moves his neck when he is trying to make a point, Cecil’s squints his eyes when he is genuinely smiling (I actually think he closes them) and Don can really sprint. I joined him once during his evening work out and let’s just say, I am never doing that sh*t again. So anyway, we left our homestead in Ugunja and headed to Yala. Cecil and Paul are brothers, their parents work in different stations and at Yala we went to visit their dad. Since Cecil and Paul grew up here, they took Don and I around and honestly the entire time I was praying that we bump into one of their childhood crushes so that I could make fun of them hehehe! Unfortunately we didn’t. The following day we headed to the rocky land of Seme, Cecil’s mum works here and this time we were joined by Cecil’s mum, Winnie and Wendy (Cecil’s younger twin sisters) I hope you don’t get confused because I come from a very large family.

Anyway, on our way to Seme, someone suggested that we go to Kit Mikayi and I was more than excited because I had never been there. So we got there and were introduced to the tour guide, Leonard, a middle aged man who was a super passionate historian. Kit Mikai means ‘The stone of the first wife’. Leonard took us around telling us the mythical stories associated with the gigantic rocks. Kit Mikayi is on a hill and I was surprised to see the human settlements down the hill. I mean these people must have a lot of faith, because the whole time I was wondering, “What would happen if this rocks came rolling down?” We started by checking out the ‘ground floor’ as he called it which was super dark. We moved on to the ‘first floor’ and by the time Leonard was leading us to the ‘second floor’ those of us afraid of heights (like yours truly) chose to observe from a distance. Leonard also showed us the shrines built by the Legio Maria.

Throughout the tour, I kept interrupting Leonard with questions mostly because I was really fascinated by the rich cultural myths and also when I needed clarification whenever he used a Dholuo word that I didn’t understand. We later got down and joined the locals in a traditional dance. They gave us sisal skirts and honestly the dudes looked really funny in them hahaha! There was something liberating about the rhythm, the passion of the instrumentalists, the divine vocals of the soloists, we felt so welcome. I never knew that my aunt (Cecil’s mum) was such a great dancer and soloist until we got here. After the dance, Leonard took us to a small hut near the entrance and showed us some of the traditional regalia that our forefather’s donned. Because we are such millennials we wore them and took a gazillion photos for the gram.

By now, it was a bit late and threatening to rain but we still had energy for days. We were hungry for more adventure so when someone suggested that we visit the nearby Got Maria, we were all game. So basically Got Maria is a rock in Seme that has the shape of Mary the mother of Jesus while holding baby Jesus. It is said that only those with great faith can see that shape. It is on some sort of hill so we packed the cars aside to get to it. At the foot of the hill, we were asked to remove our shoes as we were getting to a holy ground. When we got to the rock, we found another Legio Maria shrine at the foot of the rock. We studied the rock intently to see the shape of Mary and Baby Jesus, wueh! But don’t even ask if we saw it. That was enough adventure for the day so we got back to the cars. The journey back to the house was OK until one of our cars got stuck, luckily Paul and Cecil sorted it chap chap so we continued with our journey.

The following morning, Paul, Don, Cecil and I had to leave for Migori. The original plan was to use the ferry route through Mbita but unfortunately we were a bit late so we used the Kisumu-Homa Bay route. Our designated driver was Cecil, I was on the co-driver seat while Paul and Don took the back seats. Being at the co-driver seat obviously meant that I was the one controlling the music yeeiii! I was the boss! Ze brodas would have tolerate my kind of music, but my moment of power came to a sudden halt when I realized that we only had Cecil’s flash disk which contained loads of Bongo music. Can you believe there wasn’t even a single Hip hop track in there? Anyway, at least I got to decide which Bongo song people would listen to. Plus the car’s sound system was legit, it made me like Bongo music…. for real. So we got to Kisumu where we took a break and Paul took Don and I around while Cecil sorted out his mini errands. As we were walking in Kisumu Don kept telling me, “Agie when we spot a hot chic, you will keep your distance because I don’t want you to ruin my chances, OK?” And did I oblige. He was to do the same when we spotted a hot dude lakini wapi? This guy would start making fun of the guy or putting his hand on my shoulder. Don it is your fault that I still don’t have a Kisumu bae. You are wicked!!!

The journey resumed and we took another stop at Lake Simbi Nyaima. I won’t lie, the scenery blew me away. The beautiful crater lake is surrounded by green vegetation and has a rich mythical story behind it’s formation. Simbi Nyaima means ‘sunken village‘. We met Gerald Otieno, our tour guide, a young man with the most fluent Engluo ever. He narrated to us the story of Anyango Nyarguasi, the lady with super powers who caused a storm and hence the place that was once a village, sunk to form a lake. I also picked the braggadocio undertones in Gerald’s talk. He was definitely proud to be born a Luo. Unfortunately there were no birds in the lake at the time but Gerald told us that flamingos do visit occasionally.

We left Lake Simbi and our next stop was at Homa Bay Pier. The cool breeze from Lake Victoria was super refreshing I must say. There were many boats on the lake and I was dying to get on one already. It had been long since I was on a boat so the current was a bit frightening for me. So to calm myself and enjoy the ride, I suggested that we sing and the song that came to our minds was ‘Punda Dhao Gi Gwen’ which is a beautiful Luo song that talks about how the donkey argued with the chicken after the chicken laughed at it when it fell down. Someone sat down and wrote about a donkey and chicken and it made sense, na wewe bado umeinisist kutuimbia nyimbo za mapenzi zenye hazileti shangwe! See your life! Anyway we also took tons of photos. The first ride was super awesome, so Don offered to pay for another ride and who were we to object? Huh? Due to time constraints, we had to summarize our tour at Homa Bay and head home.

Paul took the wheel to relieve Cecil as he had been driving the entire time. We drove through the Sugar belt in Awendo and even passed by the famous Sony Sugar Company. We did not get into the factory though, but we got just close enough. We took one last stop at the local market to get some snacks then proceeded to Migori town. It was a bit dark by the time we got to Migori but I could spot a number of traders and businesses in operation. Cecil and Paul promised to bring us to the town the following day so we headed home only to be welcomed by barks from dogs. I have always been terrified of these canines so I hoped that ze brodas would be caring enough to hold my hand and lead me to the house while shooing the dogs away lakini wapi? I just heard Paul and Cecil call their dogs to the car, “Scooby! Bailey!” My heart rate shot up and who names their dog BaileyKama unapenda Baileys jinunulie don’t subject a poor creature of God to certain names.