Dodu Nims

The world as seen by Nimo!

Valentines in the bush

I am a diehard romantic, very grateful for the corny day where people get to give flowers and chocolates for no reason other than love. This year I got myself stuck in a bush with a bunch of amazing scientists.

Don’t get me wrong I am a sucker for adventures and would with no doubt, team up with a bunch of strangers {my pocket knife at hand 🤣} and definitely go to explore new culture and wildlife, while driving through a dried-up mangrove vegetation, trying to look for fish to sample.

Our old four wheeled land cruiser got stuck in the narrow filled vegetation road. As if mother nature was angry, we also got a puncture we couldn’t repair.

Why you may ask? Was because we did not have the right spanner, well, poor planning you might say or just sheer bad luck, but we were in for an unpredictable day 🙂.

We got our umbrellas out, thank goodness there was plenty of shade, got our snacks and started loading our minds with interesting conversations.

Suddenly, all the people who had directed us to the ditch had disappeared. It was just us, the distant noises of wildlife and our messed-up vehicles. As the hours passed the stories started getting unappealing, the laughers dwindled and no motorbikes or strolling pedestrians were passing by. We were all alone in the semi-arid shrubs, with no sense of direction.

Finally, some of our strongly heroic men decided to walk for over 5km in the scorching 34 degrees Celsius blazing hot sun to seek help. We ate bread, lamented about our catastrophe for about three hours before two women and a man finally appeared. They looked worn out, but fulfilled having fished some enormous size cafish. We bought some, all in the spirit of supporting local businesses and asking for help.

We learnt that they were a couple and the daughter’s mother, it was disheartening to see that she was barely sixteen and already married to the fisherman. I couldn’t fathom that child brides still existed in the country, according to UNICEF, 23% of girls in Kenya are married off before they turn 18.

At that moment I wished there was something I could do but honestly, I would just have been intrusion. Maybe she had already come to terms with her lifestyle or maybe she loved her life. We’d never really get to know, and as she walked away with her husband and mother, I said a little prayer for her, that she finds joy.

As the sun started to set, our superheroes had not yet returned from their hunt for help, we started a fire as we smoked the fish, sharing thoughts of how we would sleep in the forest if no one came to our rescue and how the fire would have to stay lit, the whole night to scare the hyenas and how we’d have to cram up in the vehicle. Then finally our heroes came back on a motorbike with several varying spanners and a hammer, just in case. And in a few it was time to go back to civilization.

I asked to ride with the motorbike guy, his name was Abdul. I was curious about his interests and his culture. On asking about school, he defensively said that school doesn’t matter, as much as a comfortable life and survival in the heat.

He told me he was twenty-two, married a twenty-year-old wife, they had been married for a year and already had a baby girl. He asked me to be his second wife so I could give him a boy, I wondered if boys still meant that much to the African culture, and if giving birth to a girl still meant that little.

Well, as we biked off in the dusk, now barely hearing the sounds of hyenas, I was grateful for one thing, that maybe one day things would be different, but in the meantime, I just needed food.

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