Labentera: the village

Outside the village (c) Duncan Hutt

Outside the village (c) Duncan Hutt

We spent a lot of time while away looking at the wildlife and the issues that it faces but often this is intimately tied up with the people and communities that live alongside.  There are few places where this link is so strong as it was in Labentera, with the fate of both wildlife and people tied up with the changes in land management.  The villagers herd cattle, travelling widely to where there is food.  During our visit most of the cattle were miles away searching for sufficient sustenance; the wild animals too were hard to find.  Just as the cattle need to be moved far and wide so too the wildlife ranges back and forth over the landscape.  Selling off land and enclosure of it is beginning to have an effect on this movement, restricting the wildlife as much as it does the cattle herders.

Setting up the clinic (c) Duncan Hutt

Setting up the clinic (c) Duncan Hutt 

Outside the nursery school (c) Duncan Hutt

Outside the nursery school (c) Duncan Hutt

We were visiting as part of a group and brought resources for the new nursery school in the village which saves the very young children a long and potentially dangerous walk over to the next village.  Members of our group also had links with the new borehole project which should save a long walk for water.  We also had medical expertise which was put to good use running a clinic for villagers.  None of this is our area of expertise but we assisted where we could.

Thorn hedge (c) Duncan Hutt

Thorn fence (c) Duncan Hutt

It’s very easy to judge other people’s houses and villages.  Certainly the Maasai houses would be tough for most of the visiting group to live in but of course it’s home to the local people.  Fences of thorn sorround the livestock kraal in the village centre but also surround the village itself, a partial protection against wild animals.

At the fire (c) Duncan Hutt

At the fire (c) Duncan Hutt

Village market (c) Duncan Hutt

Village market (c) Duncan Hutt

While there the villagers laid on a market of local crafts, the proceeds were clearly going back into the local community.  We also shared a meal, song and dance around a fire one evening and the British boys and Maasai men enjoyed ‘playing’ with bows and arrows, sticks and spears.

The boys learn how to fire a bow (c) Duncan Hutt

The boys learn how to fire a bow (c) Duncan Hutt

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About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
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8 Responses to Labentera: the village

  1. It would be interesting to know how they achieve the orange of the blankets. Is it colder there, that they need to wrap up, Kenya being on the Equator,

    • thehutts says:

      The blankets are actually acrylic and made in Nairobi. They are sold by the local community to raise money for school uniforms for the children. It can get cold at night and it was also incredibly windy when we were there. The wind was hopefully a sign that the much needed rains were on their way. Sally

  2. Wouldn’t it be lovely to get a group of weavers to create blankets that would be warm and colourful as well. I’m always coming up with crazy ideas it seems. I just felt, reading through this, a desire somehow to give.

    • thehutts says:

      There is a new woman’s sewing centre being opened near the village in the near future and maybe then they will be able to weave their own blankets. They are waiting to get a borehole put in to improve the water supply to the new building, a medical centre and to stop the ladies having to walk 10km to get water for the village. Sally

  3. thehutts says:

    Yes and they don’t whine. They appeared to be a very happy, caring group of people. I was so impressed with some older girls who looked after their younger offspring but could also play happily dancing in a circle they drew in the dust. Sally

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