When does it start feeling real?
It’s hard to say what’s more unsettling: arriving at a new post and moving into an empty house that remains barren for weeks, or even months, while one’s belongings are in transit, or packing up one’s possessions and sending them away with a moving company and then living in the empty house that seems all the more bare because for years it had been filled with the things that make a house a home.
Turkana, in northwest Kenya, is a land of extremes. Scorching temperatures, intense droughts, and flash floods are the routine features of a difficult existence for the region’s pastoralist tribes. Believed by anthropologists to be the cradle of human civilization, the Lake Turkana basin remains virtually untouched by modernity – a kind of living museum that offers a rare glimpse into the way life was millenia ago.
At the hat tournament in Kigali, a young man with a huge camera approached D to tell him that he was working to organize the first Ultimate Frisbee beach tournament in East Africa, to take place in Tanzania next summer. A surreal conversation ensued during which D tried to explain that East Africa already had a thriving annual beach tournament, an assertion that the young man shrugged off several times, saying, “Ok, but this will be the first Ultimate Frisbee beach tournament in East Africa.” No amount of convincing could persuade him that he was half a decade late and that Kenya has hosted exactly the kind of tournament he had envisioned every Easter for the last five years.