Monday, July 7, 2008
Desert Nomads to Frantic Naturalist
My childhood started in South Africa, but I moved to Kenya at the mature age of 8. The location, Korr. Where is Korr - in the middle of the Kaisut desert in Kenya.
It was here, growing up among the Rendile people that I grew my deep love for the bush, for wildlife, for deserts and for Africa as a whole.
The Rendile are a people group who live in the desert area between the bottom of Lake Turkana up to Mount Marsabit.
Rendile people are nomadic pastoralists that keep sheep, some cattle, and camels. There whole way of life revolves around the camels. Since they are nomadic in a dry area, the Kaisut Desert area where I grew up was wild. There was a lot of wildlife around, and no fences, restrictions, just open space.
I learned to speak some Rendile as a child, and spent a lot of time out walking, climbing mountains, tracking wildlife in river gullies and learning about the bush/desert from the people.
To this day, I believe strongly that those experiences have given me a perspective that can't be taught. It was a very special way to grow up.