Reflections on Travel Adventures to Kenya

The image above is from a rather extreme adventure to the northern most part of Kenya to find the Turkana people for a little documentary we shot for the Orthodox Christian church.  To borrow from the movie title, "Trains, Planes and Automobiles," we used all modern means to reach our location, plus some good old fashioned hiking several miles.  The shelter above was our base camp.  We had to limit our gear to a few cases.  There was no electrical power, so we had to us the sun, of which there was an abundant amount.  We slept in modern tents inside a fenced compound made of local wood that was gathered for the purpose.  The fence only provided modest amount of security, otherwise, we were exposed to the elements.  In this part of the country, they have been experiencing severe droughts, so everything was baked by the hot sun and turned to dust.  Dust and cameras don't mix well.  At one point, I could not remove the data card from the video camera because a tiny grain of sand had wedged itself into the slot.  One of my clever local guides invented a pair of tweezers out of some scrap metal and he managed to pull the disc out!

While I did have an analog back-up camera, our modest, but durable Panasonic HMC 150 HD digital video camera was the main camera. At one point, we had to cross a swelling foot, carrying all of our equipment on our backs. One slip and we would have lost the camera and the chance to shoot the best scenes of the project.  While it was unnerving, we did made it safely across. Later, I reflected on the potential dangers that we might have faced at that crossing. Critters big and small.  Parasites that could leave you with crippling diseases, but at the time my "whatever it takes" valve kicked in and we got 'er done!

This trip demanded all of my camping, hiking, and production skills.  It was an incredible journey to visit a people that time had seemed to have forgotten! (When the British examined Kenya for exploration, they decided to ignore this northern region because it was so remote! Some things have not changed.