Located on the Eastern coastline of Africa, just below the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa has much to show, and a lot of interesting history and culture. Kenya has long been the foremost of these countries, with a booming economy, a stable government, and a world class tourist business that attracts many to her national parks and beautiful beaches. If it is your desire to take in a beautiful sunrise over the Indian Ocean, or have that cup of tea in the bush while listening to the grunt of the wildebeest and the hunting calls of the lions, Kenya has long been the place to go.
Yet, Kenya is also a country with many problems. She has in the past had to rely on the agricultural sector for that much needed foreign exchange. Kenyan coffee is some of the best in the world, and the black tea exports are highly valued in many markets. Of recent years, the fresh vegetable and cut flower export markets are booming, but the crops are heavily dependent upon a normal rain / sun cycle, which has been off for the past few years. A few years ago, the Chinese found oil in northern Kenya, and are working out the infrastructure to get it, but this will probably not help the average Kenyan. Then, add to this the vagaries of an education system built around rote memory instead of reasoning, a health care system that does not even have the plastic gloves needed by the doctor for surgery and must treat the 15% of our population with AIDS , a government well known for its rampant corruption, and a people who live on the very brink of poverty all their life due to the 50+% unemployment and the greed of the ultra-rich, Kenya is a needy nation, Kenyans are a needy people, this is a “field white unto harvest.”
Kenya is indeed a beautiful / troubled country, but that is not what brought me back here after my years of college -- it was her people. Each of the ethnic groups within Kenya are unique, many with their own language and cultural norms. The larger tribes, including the Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Kalenjin, Kamba, and more than 35 other tribes blend together normally to make the tapestry of the Tribe called KENYAN. These groups do not always live in harmony, but tend to usually coexist.
Primarily, Kenyans are a religious people, but the basis of that religion is wrapped up in the worship of: Ngai (God) who lives on the tallest mountain in Kenya (Kirinyaga - the mountain with the ostrich), Engai, the warrior who gives all cattle in the world to the Massai, or Nyasaye, the Creator, who along with the dead guide their lives. Today, many Kenyans are “christian”. Most of the people of Kenya are open to the Gospel, but are also very susceptible to the influence of cults and false religions.