I’m a city child but from time to time (not as often as I’d like) I do go visit my Cucu. She lives alone in a little town on the foothills of the Aberdare Ranges.She lives in Wanjohi which is a small town in Nyandarua County. It is situated east of the great Rift Valley. Because of its elevation and its proximity to the equator, Wanjohi has a fairly constant cool climate, with spring-like weather year-all round, it does however get very cold at night with temperatures hovering within the single digit range.
The town is fairly small with a population of less than a thousand people.
Not far from my Cucu’s house is the river. When I was younger you could drink water straight from it. Not too sure if that’s the safest thing to do anymore.
I just love how green the surroundings are. Rainfall in this area is pretty regular so it stays green pretty much all year. The pictures were taken in late February at the height of the dry season.
Some of my Cucu’s cows. She is far too old to take care of them herself so she has a neighbour who helps her out. Dairy farming is the main economic activity, hence a large percentage of the land is pasture as opposed to cultivated land.
The path right outside my Cucu’s compound. You can see the fence to the left of the picture.
The ‘main’ road from town to my Cucu’s.
Their is a reliable road network from Nairobi to Wanjohi town, but the homesteads can only be reached via small dirt roads which are almost impassable by car during the rainy season.
A section of the electric fence surrounding Aberdare National Park. The fence was constructed to conserve the area mountain forest ecosystem known as the Aberdare Conservation Area (ACA). Before the fence was constructed on some mornings we’d wake up and find one of the farm animals missing. This was always blamed on a leopard. I never saw one but I was absolutely terrified of going to the pit latrine (which is situated outside) at night lest I met one.
The plum trees inside the compound. I have such fond memories of them. They have the juiciest fruit. I remember my Cucu telling me not to climb the trees to pick fruit because there were insects that would bite me. I believed her then but looking back I think she just wanted me not to climb the trees.
Stinging nettle also known as Thabai in the local tongue is a plant that has many hollow stinging hairs on its leaves and stems, which act like needles, and produce a stinging sensation when contacted. I have accidentally stepped on this a couple of times – one of the worst feelings ever. You will itch like mad. Avoid at all costs!