I recently learnt a new lesson in life: that when you take things for granted, you are very likely to miss numerous opportunities.
I learnt this recently when I happened to go to the North of the country, at the home of our chest thumping hairy cousins. No, I had not gone to visit my cousins – what for?
I cannot hunt among these relatives of mine because I am not sure the mean looking silver haired bouncer would allow me to throw the first lyrics.
What took me there is a long story for another day. Nonetheless, one thing led to another and I found myself in amajharuguru where I tried to make myself as comfortable as possible.
My situation was like when the first man landed on the moon – I got out of the vehicle, scanned my surroundings- left-right, front-and back.
I had my misgivings about the place, especially based on what I had heard about the people and the place.
This Northern town where I had just landed was known for the brutal wars of the bacengezi in 1997 and the only good story that came from there, apart from being a tourist destination, was that of being the country’s food basket because of its conducive weather and volcano soils for the production of irish
potatoes.Therefore, there was no reason whatsoever to entice me to go to this town with intention of bird hunting, until I landed there by mistake.
I arrived there at around 5pm and I did not see anything that could interest me. I decided to walk the expanse of the town just to pass time before heading to my hotel.
I walked the town’s length and width but still I saw nothing of interest. I decided to go to my hotel and seek for temporary refuge from the chilly weather.
Since there was nothing interesting at the hotel lobby and bar either, I decided to go to my room and chill a little bit.
At night fall I decided to brave the cold and melt in the dark to find out whether darkness has anything to offer, it being a weekend night.
The part where my hotel was located was like graveyard –nothing moved and the only sound came from frogs crocking from distant swamps. But from where I was I could see lights and movement ahead and I walked on.
Since all businesses were closed so it was easy to pick out a hub of activity deep in the centre of the town. It did not take me long to locate the place called ‘Woodley’ owned by young Kenyan entrepreneurs.
People, mostly budget tourists were milling around the tiny night club like moths on bulb. The scene was spectacular; tourists outnumbered local people at 80% and you could see local hunters trying to outdo each other to impress the white birds.
I sat down to first make my assessment of the place before I think of what strategy to use.
Who would have guessed that the seemingly dormant city would have people staying up until morning in the name of entertainment? But yes, the town was not about Irish potatoes alone. From what I could see, people knew how to enjoy life here after a long day in the potato fields.
I could tell that most of the locals at the joint were potato farmers, including the birds present from the way they dressed and stared at people. As I was contemplating hunting a potato farming bird, something caught my eye.
There was this gorgeous bird sitting alone in a corner detached from her surroundings, apparently enjoying the music that was being played. She was not a mzungu and definitely she was not part of the potato farming fraternity that had descended on the town from distant ridges.
I approached her and from the ensuing ‘interview’ I was able to learn that she was new in town, having come to visit her aunt who lived here –I had guessed so!
It happened that her aunt was the liberal type and did not mind her going out to ‘kill’ the boredom of the town. I also shared my story, why in a way was similar to hers. That is how I got myself a companion in the chilly town and the rest, as they say, is history.