I was transported to the dusty fields of Kenya as this story unfolded. Barbed wire surrounded me yet I felt secure. Living in an off-white makeshift tent, nestled amongst the thousands, we stood in line for food and water, every day was basically the same and the word that we clung to was hope. It was amazing how the author’s words carried me to a world so different from my own; I felt like one of them, accepted and wanted. I was amongst all the different tribes who were thrown all together by the in this tent society. These tribes were still divided yet Kenyans through and through. I was connected to Muchoki and Jata and when our trip was over, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
Thirteen-year old Muchoki, his sister Jata and their mother, who has malaria, exist here in this camp, the conditions deteriorating as the days pass. The family plans to return to mother’s homestead once she is well enough to make the trip yet mother’s health never improves. Muchoki and Jata must make the long journey alone. As the siblings set off on this dangerous journey, it becomes less daunting for his seven-year old sister as he tells her a Kamba tale to ease her fears. This remarkable tale is a gem and I enjoyed the magical elements it unleashes in the story. It’s a dangerous journey for these two children, walking alone in a country where individuals are fighting, fighting for their individual tribes. Their journey was incredible and one that I could not put down until the very end. Each individual they met had a story, a story rich in history and full of pride. It was remarkable the journey, the more I think about the book, the more I love it. It would have been so much easier had they had a ride but looking back I think of everything they experienced, the people that they met and effect the journey had on them and I’m glad they embarked upon this journey together.