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September Rain Haiku from Western Kenya, Webuye

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  • Isabelle Prondzynski
    Dear Patrick sensei, dear all, Thank you, Patrick, for a beautiful message, sent after your journey to Webuye in Western Kenya. We shall all be able to enjoy
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 10, 2007
      Dear Patrick sensei, dear all,

      Thank you, Patrick, for a beautiful message, sent after your journey
      to Webuye in Western Kenya. We shall all be able to enjoy the journey
      with you -- smells, swaying bridge and all!

      Please read Patrick's message, which follows here -- thank you,
      Patrick, for having brought back your story and your haiku -- that is
      a great pleasure!

      Isabelle.

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

      Dear Isabelle san,
      I have been away again, and this time round, I was in one of the
      small but beautiful and economically strategic towns in Western
      Kenya, Webuye. The town is located exactly at the foot of Chetambe
      Hills, close to River Nzoia. River Nzoia is responsible for the
      famous annual Budalangi Floods. I took many beautiful photos, which I
      am going to send to you.

      There is also one very distinct feature about Webuye town: it hosts
      the Webuye Pan Paper Mill which is the largest in the Sub-Saharan
      Africa. There is an ever powerful obnoxious stench of the gas
      emisions from the factory that lends the air a distinct foul smell:

      at the foot of
      Chetambe Hills and stenchy air--
      Webuye town


      When we arrived in Webuye town, it was still very early morning, and
      the moon was still visible in the grey morning sky:

      a golden arc peeping
      out of the grey morning sky--
      half moon


      Then we beheld the flooded River Nzoia:

      flooded furious
      and raging down stream...
      River Nzoia


      At night, we could distinctly hear the roar of the flooded river:

      the roar of the flooded
      river in the quiet of night--
      September rains


      In the morning, we did not require bread, as there is green maize for
      roasting:

      breakfast of tea
      with roast maize--
      September morning

      maize turning
      golden brown--
      imminent harvest


      During the floods, there is usually a big problem as bridges are
      swept away and one has to go a long way to find a bridge on which to
      cross the river. The communities alongside the river have initiated a
      unique project called the mufunje bridge group, which has made a
      traditional bridge from wires and sticks; it is a weave of wires and
      sticks across the more than 100m width of the river. The bridge sways
      and swings as one walks across it, but it is firm and cannot break!

      people cross the swaying
      busy mufunje bridge--
      flooded Nzoia River


      Other wonderful things found on the way include:

      ripe figs under
      the leafless fig tree--
      September breeze

      finger millet--
      standing tall in the
      morning sunshine

      ready boda boda--
      day break in
      Webuye town

      ~ Patrick Wafula
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