Orthodoxy in Kenya (Part II)

Mar 4, 2008 by

God is Great license plate, Orthodoxy in KenyaThe following photos constitute the second and final part of my photo essay on Kenyan Orthodoxy (for Part I click here). They were all taken in Western Kenya, mostly in remote Luo villages in the tropical forests around Lake Victoria. Although Western Kenya’s principal city, Kisumu, had a reputation even then for being unsafe at night, and although the Lake Victoria region of Western Kenya is hardly prosperous, the region’s slow paced village life, rolling tea fields, tracts of fertile farmland, and tropical lushness all conveyed a sense of peace and relative abundance (although the same cannot be said of Western Kenya’s Rift Valley, a vast flat arid plain dotted with Masai communities living in abject dirt-and-flies poverty). This bucolic impression may have been exaggerated by the fact that I had spent so much time in the Nairobi shantytowns, which make for miserable living from any perspective. Nevertheless, whatever truth there may have been to the idyllic picture of Western Kenya was shattered in recent months when the region, especially Kisumu and the Rift Valley, experienced some of Kenya’s goriest bloodletting in the post-election bedlam. There was no hint then of what was to come, at least not to the transient visitor’s eye. The only violence I had experienced was from an Anopheles mosquito, which injected me with a dose of malaria and soon had me curled up in a trembling, feverish heap just in time for the seven-hour potholed drive back to Nairobi.


-Constantine Markides

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