Monday, June 3, 2013

Tea Country

 Last Sunday we explored Kenya's tea country.  Actually, Kenya's tea country is vast and extends quite far out beyond Nairobi.  But the closest place to get the flavor of Kenya's number one crop (Kenya is the worlds largest tea producer) is in the Limuru/ Tigoni area about 45 minutes North West, outside the city.  The rolling hills of tea go on and on and are broken up by crops of trees.  This land was once all forested; there is pretty much none of that left untouched.  All of it cleared by white settlers who planted tea and coffee here in the early part of the 20th C.

 We stopped for lunch and a bit of a play at a hotel/restaurant/conference center called Brackenhurst.  There was a little cafe that was remarkably "American" in ambiance and menu.  We had a simple and fairly tasty lunch and then the girls played in the aging playground.  While Nile and the girls tried to negotiate the old style  teeter totter I wandered around the garden planted with indigenous plants and flowers.  Before piling back into the car the girls spotted a tree that looked good for climbing.  This was a great tree for climbing.  It is not often these days that one finds a really good tree for climbing.  Usually the good ones are in places like school yards or over parking lots where grown-ups are too worried about children hurting themselves and make silly rules about staying out of the trees.  Oleana had the great fortune of spending most of her last year of preschool (the year that she was 5) up in a tree -seriously.  Climbing this tree; finding just the right spot to just hang out and watch the happenings down below brought back those special memories.  All in all -a good day.

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