Turkana Tribe-Tribu Turkana

It takes more than thirteen hours of driving straight from Archers Gate close to Isiolo to get to Kitale in the other side of the Lake Turkana. It was thanks to a very good advice from my friend Michael Leadismo, to take a shortcut that is not even on any guidebook not Lonely Planet not even on the maps. It was to instead of going all the way south to Timau, Nanyuki, Nyahururu, Nakuru, Molo to ElDoret then Kitale. Passing several private dirt roads where you can see several Belgium Flower corporations companies with acres and acres of land with huge green houses and several private ranches where I found the Rhinos that I miss at the “Massai Mara” and the endangered Grévy’s Zebras on the “Samburu National Reserve.”
Toma más de trece horas manejando desde “Archers Gate” cerca de Isiolo para llegar a Kitale en el otro lado del Lago Turkana. Fué gracias a un buen consejo de mi amigo Michael Leadismo de tomar un atajo que no se encuentra en nigún libro de viajero nisiquiera en el Lonely Planet East Africa, tampoco se ve en los mapas. En ves de tomar hacia el sur hacia Timau, Nanyuki, Nyahururu, Nakuru, a ElDoret Kitale. Viajar por caminos de terracería privados donde observe infinidad de corporaciones de Floristas de Bélgica con inumerables invernaderos en hectáreas tras hectáreas y muchos ranchos privados donde encontré los Rinocerontes que no vi en el “Massai Mara” o las Zebras Grévy que estan en peligro de extinción en el “Parque Nacional de Samburu.”

That short cut saved me around six hours of driving on the crazy un-existing roads of Kenya, the 19 hours drive was cut short 13, so in Nyahururu had lunch and then went through several dirt private roads to Marigat, Kabernet, ElDoret, Kitale. All private Ranches whit double electric wires just to prevent any intrusion from the outside and also to prevent any wild animals get out of there so they keep on their Ranches to offer private “Safaris” to their Britons clients, specially their armed forces. The Colonial times are not over yet, but extended, for God knows when.
Ahorre tomando ese atajo cerca de seis horas en los endemoniados caminos de Kenia, que son en una palabra inexistentes, las diez y nueve horas de manejo se cortaron en trece, almorze en Nyahururu y depués de varias horas en los caminos privados de terracería pasé por Marigat, Kabernet, ElDoret, llegando hasta Kitale. Todos los ranchos privados tienen doble cerca eléctrica, para prevenir la intromision de afuera y para retener los animals salvajes que tienen dentro para ofrecer “Safaris” a sus compatriotas Británicos, en especial a las Fuerzas Armadas Briánicas. Los tiempos de la Colonia no han acabado aqui, solo se han extendido, Dios sabe hasta cuando.

The suicidal way the Kenyans drive makes sense in only one-way: as the culmination of their miserable existence is the major event, they fervently look for their own death. The ways they die it make nonsense. So traveling around is playing deadly games that, as many know; is not usually the guilty one who dies.
La manera suicida de como manejan los Kenianos tiene sentido de solo una manera: es la culminación de su miserable existencia es el evento más importante de su vida, ellos buscan de una manera enfermiza su propia muerte. Las maneras en como la encuentran no tienen sentido. Así que manejando en los caminos de Kenia es un juego muy peligroso y mortal y como muchos lo saben no es el culpable el que usualmente muere.

Somehow made it to Kitale around 11:30 at night and the only good place on sight was the “Pinewood Cottages and Conference Center,” five minutes of Kitale center, had dinner and crash for a couple nights there, because, to venture north, you must go on a caravan from Kapenguria to Lokichar then Lodwar if you want to get there alive.
Milagrosamente llege a Kitale antes de la media noche y el único lugar que se veía bien fué el “Pinewood Cottages and Conference Center,” a cinco minutos del centro, cené y caí como piedra a dormir, estuve un par de noches ahí, porque para ir aventurandose hacia el norte tiene uno que ir en caravana desde Kapenguria pasando Lockichar hasta Lodwar, si es que quiere uno llegar vivo.

The “Manager” of the “Pinewood” joint named Mr. Evan told me that he knew some people in Kapenguria, around 45 minutes north from Kitale. And also told me that the next caravan leaving Kapenguria was leaving around noon the very next day to Lodwar.
El “Gerente” del “Pinewood” un tipo llamado Mr. Evan me dijo que él conocia gente en Kapenguria como a 45 minutos de Kitale hacia el norte. Me informo también que la próxima caravana estaba programada para el día suguiente al mediodía hacia Lodwar.

I bought a 4Kg bag of Corn Flour, a dozen two litter water bottles, small milk boxes for my morning coffee, and the water is never enough for this part of the dry world.
Compre una bolsa de 4Kg de harina de maíz y una docena de botellas de dos litros de agua, agua es siempre indispensable en el clima desertico en Turkana.

The very next day, after “Mr. Evan” advise I waited for the noon caravan to Lodwar, just to find out that it left at seven in the morning. One of the good advices is to double guess what a Kenyan tells you, half of it is not true and must of the time; they do not know anything. But, they need something and know they can get that from you, somehow.
Al día siguiente y depués del consejo de “Mr. Evan” espere en vano la caravana del mediodía, puees fuí informado que la caravana había partido a las siete de la mañana. Un buen consejo es creer la mitad lo que te dicen los Kenianos, casi todo es mentira y la mayor parte del tiempo no tienen idea de lo que estan hablando, no saben nada, pero necesitan algo de ti y saben que te lo van a sacar de algún modo.

Knowing that the first caravan left five hours earlier, I went to the police station in Kapenguria to find out when, if ever will be another caravan towards Lodwar. The Senior Sergeant of the joint informed me that it will cost me $2,500 Ksh for a escort and it will take at least two of them per day and they will have to be with me at all times. Final cost: too much. I negotiate with him a mere 3 thousand Kenyan Shls for the entire trip, be he told me, once he got those first 3 thousand Ksh that was for each one and each day!!! And have to be with me all the time and bring them back. I saw him directly on his eyes and took my money away from his hands, a very dangerous move; telling him that it was not possible for me to do that. Paying more than $30,000 Ksh, was just not in my budget, that, I would be spending the night in a hotel at Kapenguria and wait for the next morning caravan. I left right away, towards Lodwar.

Sabiendo que la caravana había partido ya cino horas más temprano, fuí a la estación de policia en Kapenguria para preguntar cuando habría otra caravana, si es que había otra hacía Lodwar. El Sargento del cuartel me informo que yo necesitaba por lo menos dos guardias armadas de a $2,500 Kenian Shelines cada uno, y que ellos estarían conmigo todo el tiempo. Costo final, demasiado, negocie con el de que fueran $3,000 en total, le di el dinero y me dijo que no que era por día! Tendrían que estar conmigo todo el tiempo y tenia que traerlos de regreso. Lo vi directamente a los ojos y le quite mi dinero de su mano, un peligroso movimiento de mi parte, diciendole que era imposible para mi pagar tanto. Pagar más de treinta mil Kenian Shelines no estaba en mi presupuesto y que me quedaría a dormir en un hotel en Kapenguria y esperar la caravana del día suguiente. Me fuí de inmediato hacia Lodwar.

Kapenguria is featured in the history of Kenya as the place where the independence fighter Jomo Kenyatta was tried and convicted with the group known as the “Kapenguria Six:” Bidad Kaggia, Kungu’s Karumba, Kenyatta, Fred Kubai, Paul Ngei and Achieng’Oneko. Six leading nationalist in Kenya who were arrested in 1952, tried and convicted in there in 1952-53, and imprisioned in Kapenguria jail, accused of been part of the Mau Mau secret society; that when they give the oath of the society drank blood from white residents whom took the best lands of Kenya and let the original owners stay as tenants farmers in the 20’s. After their evictions of their own land, things worsened for all in the 40’s and 50’s. Kapenguria Six
Kapenguria esta en los libros de historia de Kenia como el lugar en donde el luchador de su independencia y primer presidente Jomo Kenyatta fue enjuiciado y encarcelado a trabajos forcadoz por más de tres años junto con él se encontraban Bidad Kaggia, Kungu’s Karumba, Fred Kubai, Paul Ngei and Achieng’Oneko. Y se les conoce como los “Seis de Kapenguria” fueron arrestados en 1952, acusados de pertenecer a la secta secreta Mau Mau y que según dicen bebian sangre de residents blancos sacrificados cuando tomaban su juramento a la secta. Los residents blancos tomaron las mejores tierras en la invasion de los años veintes y permitieron a los duennos originales quedarse como granjeros pagando renta. Despuees de varios años fueron echados de sus propias tierras, poniendose las cosas muy mal en los 40’s y 50’s.

After twelve hours on the road I was able to reach Lodwar, and stay at the Bethany Guest House from the Diocese of Lodwar. At the middle of the way in Lockichar I asked some drivers that were resting on the side of the road how dangerous was the road to Lodwar, they told me: you just passed the most dangerous part. I found Bethany Guest House through Google, not even the Lonley Planet East Africa Book have a reference on this full board place, for a mere $1,000 K Sh per day on a double gated compound I spent several days and nights there, it is not a five stars hotel, but I bet is one of the best accommodations in Lodwar. Shared bathrooms and shower that flooded at all times; but with hot water on the cold nights in the dessert. Awake in the early morning around six thirty by the small planes taking off on the airstrip close by.
Después de doce horas llegue a Lodwar y me hospedé en la “Casa de Huespedes Bethany” de la Diocesís Cristiana de Lodwar. A la mitad del camino en Lockichar le pregunte a unos choferes que estaban descansando que que tan peligroso era el resto del camino, a lo que me dijeron, lo más peligroso es lo que acabas de pasar. Encontré “Bethany” a través de Google, no esta en libro de Lonely Planet East Africa. Es un lugar que tiene tres comidas y en un complejo con doble cerca y doble entrada vigilada por $1,000 Kenian Shelines. No es un Hotel de cino estrellas pero tiene agua caliente en los baños que siempre se inundaban al tomar un regaderazo en las noches frías del desierto Turkano. Despertado antes de la siete de la mañana por el despegue de los pequeños aviones de la pista de aterrizaje que estaba a tiro de piedra.

The administrator Tim Lynn an Irish man, was kind enough to introduce me, after a personal interview with him about my motives and curiosity about the Turkana Tribe; to a talented 18 year old Turkana musician which write his own lyrics of his rap music on Turkana, Swahili and English; he performed for me at the middle of the dessert area close to the junction known as “Gold Junction”: Akidah Tall. He talked with his father Chief Barnabas, who is the chief of various groups in the area. Overnight he went to visit his Dad and explain the reason of my travel; he came back with the news that a traditional Turkana wedding was to take place in a couple days and that I was invited to it as a guest. He then welcomed me to his sister compound close to a riverbed where I place my tent and spent four days with them.
El administrador un Irlandés llamado Tim Lynn, fué muy amable en presentarme; después de una entrevista personal conmigo acerca de cuales eran mis objetivos e interés en la Tribu Turkana; a un joven talentoso músico de 18 años que escribe y canta su Rap en Inglés, Turkana y Swahili; él hizo una presentación para mi en medio del desierto al atardecer cerca del cruze conocido como “Cruze del Oro:” Akida Tall. Él hablo con su Padre el Jefe Barnabás, quien es el jefe de varios grupos del area, se fué a verlo en la noche para explicarle el porqué de mi visita, de regreso trajo noticias de que se iba a celebrar una boda tradicional Turkana en un par de dias y que era yo invitado a la ceremonia. Akida me llevó al campo donde sus hermanas viven y acampé en lo que es un rio muy cerca de sus casas, me quedé ahi por cuatro dias.

Turkana Tribe People History

The Turkana tribe originally came from the Karamojong region of northeastern Uganda. Turkana oral traditions purport that they arrived in Kenya while pursuing an unruly bull. The land they occupy is harsh and very dry. The Turkana were, therefore, less affected by colonialism than other tribes because the British saw little value in their land.
As with all other pastoralist tribes in Kenya, livestock, especially cattle, are at the core of Turkana culture. The Turkana people live a nomadic life, always moving from one place to another depending on the availability of pasture and water for their animals.

The Turkana have always been nomadic pastoralists, moving from one place to another looking for pasture and water for their animals. They rear livestock such as cattle, goats, camels, sheep, donkeys and others. The Turkana’s main food is milk mixed with blood. Having many animals is so prestigious in this culture that the Turkana raid the neighboring tribes of their animals in addition to displacing them from their land. Starvation is preferred to eating one of their livestock. The livestock also plays a big role in paying off bride price since the bride’s family can request for a lot of cattle in addition to camels. Cattle raids are common between Turkana’s and their neighboring tribes, especially the Karamoja of Uganda, and the Pokot and Marakwet of Southern Kenya.

Unfortunately, these cattle raids have increasingly become more dangerous due to an upsurge in the use of small firearms (guns and rifles) by Turkana’s and their neighboring tribes. Today, many people in the region own unlicensed firearms for their own protection. The sight of a Turkana herdsman holding a G3 (or AK47) rifle while herding his animals is not strange in this region.
Unlike other nomadic tribes, the Turkana do not have many complex customs or strong social structures. Each Turkana family tends to be self-sufficient though at times a number of families may graze their animals collectively.

Polygamy is an acceptable way of life. A Turkana man can marry as many wives as he can afford to pay the bride price for. Something different from the other tribes in Africa, the Turkana do not allow circumcision among its people. Women are only considered adults after they are married and men can marry as many wives as he can afford. In the Turkana tribe, a married woman will wear different type of jewelry then a single woman, Specially the wedding ring that goes around the neck with the rest of colorful beaded collars.

Most of people in Turkana tribe adhere to traditional beliefs. Their main religion is African Traditional Belief. Their god is called Akuj and can be prayed to either through the ancestral spirits or directly, while 5 to 15% are Christians.

For more information check: The Turkana Cultural Profile and Turkana Tribe of Kenya

Akidah’s Sisters

Akidah Tall, performing for me close to the crossroad known as the “Golden Junction”

The first night I meet with Chief Barnabas and we had a long conversation. He explained that he worked as a Veterinarian Assistant for years when he was young and then found a job as Head of the Community-based Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) in pastoralist areas in the Turkana District. He still works with the CAHW and has his offices close by in the Kahawat area. Several international Non Government Organizations best known as NGO’s had funded these Community based structures. For more info click here: www.odi.org.uk/resources/download/147.pdf

La primera noche me reuni con el Jefe Barnabás tuvimos una larga conversación, él me explico que trabajó de muy jóven como asistente de Veterinario y que después encontró trabajo como jefe de la Trabajadores de la Salud Animal basados en la Comunidad en las areas pastorals del Distrito de Turkana, donde sigue trabajando y tiene sus oficinas en el area de Kahawat. Esta estructuras comunitarias han sido financiadas por varias organizaciones internacionales no gubernamentales conocidas como NGO’s como la Agencia Noruega para el desarrollo y la cooperacion (NORAD), Salud Animal y Vacunas en organizaciones comunitarias (PARC-VAC), Veterinarios sin Fronteras (VSF), etc. Así como tambien la Organización Mundial de Alimentacion de las Naciones Unidas.

After knowing what had caused my curiosity about his people and sharing with him my surprise at seeing such a photograph in the newspaper; as Chief of the Turkana Tribe by the powers vested in him, he then welcomed and conferred on me the title of a Turkana Warrior. He told me that as such it was now my duty to report to the world that they are very proud of their culture and the way of life they have had for several generations. And that they do not eat dog and never have. The next day he introduced me to the elders of his Group and then allowed me to take photographs of the event, which I posted on this blog entry.

Después de saber lo que había provocado mi curiosidad acerca de su gente y compartir con él mi sorpresa al ver una fotografía en el periódico; como Jefe de la tribu Turkana, por los poderes que le fueron confieridos, luego de darme la bienvenida me confierio el título de Guerrero Turkana . Me dijo que, como tal, era ahora mi deber el informar al mundo que están muy orgullosos de su cultura y el modo de vida que han tenido durante varias generaciones. Y eso de que han tenido la necesidad de comer perros por falta de alimentos es una patraña de los politicos Kenianos para involucrar más Organizaciones No Governamentales en darles dinero, que ellos nunca han comido perros. Al día siguiente, me presentó a los ancianos de su Grupo y, a continuación me permitió tomar fotografías del evento, que he publicado en mi blog.

Turkana Chief Barnabas.

It is obvious to say that he has a powerful position in his community, so preparing for the wedding I bought two bags of 2 Kgs of sugar a couple bags of tea leaves and tobacco as present for the wedding celebration. Chief Barnabas also explained me that the head of the group celebrating the marriage of his brother was giving his best Camel buck for sacrifice at the traditional celebration, I asked to be excused at the sacrifice as the animal’s screams and cries creep me up.
Claro es decir que la pocisión del Jefe Barnabás es poderosa en su comunidad, asi que preparandome para la boda compré dos bolsas de dos Kg de azúcar, dos bolsas de te y tabaco como mi regalo para la celebración. El Jefe Barnabás, también me explico que el jefe del grupo que estaba celebrando la boda de su hermano estaba dando su major Camello macho para la celebración tradicional. Pregunte no ser invitado al sacrificio del animal, pués los chillidos y gritos del animal muriendo me dan escalofrios.


The Elders in the Turkana District in a “Group Picture”

I went to the wedding celebration place that was at a short drive on the river-bed to a small village up north, I meet the “Elders group” before getting up to the site where that sacrifice took place. After shake hands with every single one, a group of around fifteen to twenty young Turkana warriors started to dance making noise with whistles and singing in Turkana like they were fighting a war, their faces were covered with white lines that I learned later was Camel fat.
Fuí a la celebración de la boda que estaba muy cerca de donde estaba acampando, un poco al norte. Me encontré con el “Grupo de Ancianos” antes de llegar al lugar de la ceremonia y depués de saludar a todos y cada uno de ellos de mano un grupo como de quince o veinte jovenes Turkanos empezaron a danzar haciendo ruido con silbatos y cantando en Turkana como si estuvieran en una batalla, sus caras estaban cubiertas de lineas blancas, que después supe era grasa de Camello.

After some explanations by Chief Barnabas to the elders, I was cleared to move freely into the group taking some video and photographs that for some of them was their very first time to be captured with such a strange object.
Después de algunas explicaciones de el Jefe Barnabás a los “Ancianos” tuve tarjeta blanca para tomar video y fotografías que para algunos de ellos era la primera vez en ser capturados con tan extraño objeto.

The best buck was killed a few minutes before my arrival with a spear that the head of the group sacrificed on behalf of his brother, whom was marring a Turkana girl with a pea on the pod already, so the bride group asked for more to be offered for that affront. The main young group was very attentive of the quarter of the Camel. The Elder Women group came inside of the pen prepared for this purpose. After they cut off the legs of the animal, they put together all the blood they could in a big wooden container. I pass to the drinking of blood, but cannot say no to the Camel meat, I asked for a well-done one.
El Camello fuee sacrificado unos minutos antes de mi llegada con una lanza directa al corazón, por el jefe del grupo en favor de su hermano que se casaba con una joven Turkana que ya estaba esperando, como se comieron la torta antes del recreo, la familia de la novia pidió más por tal afrenta. El grupo de jovenes Turkanos estaban muy atentos al dezcuatrizamiento de la bestia. Un gupo de Mujeres Ancianas entraron al corral que para el evento había sido preparado. Despuees de cortarle las patas al animal, juntaron lo que más pudieron de sangre en un olla grande hecha de Madera. Yo dije no al ofrecimiento de beber la sangre, pero no pude decir que no a la carne del Camello así que la pedi bien cocinada.

I felt that been there all morning was enough for an introduction and asked to be excused and be back in the early afternoon. At the time of my return, some other young Turkana warriors a bit drunk; from far away had showed up for the event and were very unhappy if I did not pay them for taking some pictures. I totally refused and say goodbye to all. While driving off the small village I heard that no more singing or party was going on.
Senti que estar toda la mañana era tiempo suficiente como para ser presentado, pregunte ser disculpado y que regresaría en la tarde. A mi regreso otro grupo de jovenes guereros Turkanos un poco ebrios que llegaron de muy lejos estaban presentes y exigian ser pagados por las fotografías, a lo que yo me nege tajantemente y me despedí de todos ellos. De regreso a mi casa de campaña escuché que los cantos y la celebraciones habián cesado.

At the store where I bought the “presents” for the wedding I meet a fixer for a “Resort” at Eliye Springs, in Lake Turkana. His name is Michael Emekwi Perkan and chat with him for several minutes while waiting for Akida. I was told Eliye Springs, was nearby less than twenty minutes; that resulted in close to two hours on unmarked dirt roads, very easy to get lost.
En la tienda donde compre los regales de boda conocí a un promotor de un hotel en Eliye Springs en el Lago Turkana. Michael Emekwi Perkan es su nombre platicamos un poco en lo que llegaba Akida. Me dijo que Eliye Springs esta a veinte minutos de Lodwar, muy cerquita, no más tras Lomita; el viaje resulto de cerca de dos horas en caminos de terracería sin ninguna marca, muy fácil de perderse en ellos.

After the unfinished wedding I head out to the overpriced joint, 6,000 Ksh per night “Bungalows” occupied by several Europeans. I just sat down at the closest shadow near to the “beach” and drank some “Tuskers” when I heard a familiar voice. Yes, it was Michael, he was so happy to see me there that he opened a small plastic bag on the table showing several amethyst stones, telling me that I was able to pick one of my liking for free, that he found those stones on the beaches of Lake Turkana overtime. We talked for hours over some “Tuskers” and had lots of fun. His present stone is at a very special place on my shrine at home, of course, I handed him $500 Ksh as we shake hands in our farewell, when we said goodbye.
Después de la frustarda boda, me dirigi hacia Eliye Springs, el pequeño balneario esta excesivamente caro, Bungalows por $6,000 Ksh la noche. Ocupados por Europeos. Me senté en una mesa con sombrilla cerca de la playa del salado Lago Turkana, ordene una “Tusker” que es una cerveza Keniana, cuando la estaba disfrutando escuche una voz muy familiar. Sí, era Michael, se puso tan contento de verme que saco una pequeña bolsa negra de plástico la deposito en la mesa y saco de ella varias piezas de amatista, que dijo haber encontrado en sus largas caminatas en la orilla del Lago Turkana. Platicamos por horas tomamos varias “Tuskers” y reimos mucho. Su regalo esta en mi pequeño altar en mi casa donde ocupa un lugar muy especial, porsupuesto al despedirnos le deje en su mano quinientos Ksh.

I went back to the Bethany Guest House to have a good night sleep, little that I knew what was waiting for me. I got everything ready for a morning ride to Kitale, a day of driving south, filling even the extra gas tank, just in case. After several punctures thanks to the Acacias spines, the Land Rover broke-down at a very dangerous junction where the road spread in three parts one going northwest to Lorukumu, between Lokichar and Sigor. The time chain inside the engine just broke. Move the Jeep outside the road and immediately the fist herder appeared with more than two hundred heads of ship and with his AK-47 hanging on his shoulder, demanded from me some food, sneaking through the windows to take a look of what I have inside. By the third one I was speaking in Spanish at them, because they did not speak any English, Swahili or any other language that we were able to communicate. Knowing what people will say back home, told them to kill one of their ships start a fire and cook them and eat them, the adrenaline rush was high. I struggle with myself, but follow my common sense and even that my camera was at my reach on my seat; I did not took my last photograph at them.
Regrese a la “Casa de Huéspedes Bethany” donde dormi como bendito, sin saber lo que me deparaba el destino. Pusé todo listo para el regreso a Kitale todo un día para regresal al sur, inclusive llenee un tanque extra de gasoline, por si las de hule. Despuees de muchas ponchaduras de las llantas, gracias a las espinas de las acacias la Land-Rover se descompuso en un cruze m uy peligroso, conocido por el alto bandidaje en el area el camino se dividía en tres partes una de donde venía, al sur Sigor, Kapenguria y luego Kitale y al noroeste Lorukumu. La cadena del tiempo dentro del motor se rompió. Movi el carro fuera del camino y de una manera inmediata aparecio un pastor como con docientas ovejas y su rifle AK-47 en el hombro, exijiendome comida y husmeando hacia dentro del carro para saber que traía yo. Al tercer pastor con su AK-47 yo ya les estaba hablando en Español, pués no hablaban Inglés o Swahili. Sabiendo lo que la gente diría en casa con muchas groceries en Español les dije que si estaban muertos de hambre era su pinche culpa, que mataran una de sus ovejas con sus riflecitos hicieran una fogata y se tragaran sus chivos, la adrenalina hizo hervir mi sangre. Luche conmigo mismo pero segui my sentido común y no saque mi cámara que estaba en una bolsa en mi asiento. No tome mi última foto de ellos.

Dead car in the middle of nowhere with a no chance of survival overnight, the first attempt for some “businessman” to take me out was from some Somalians, that with an eighteen wheeler and an extra empty bed did not want to take me even to the closets town of Sigor, found out that they were money launderers, as merchants or traders as they call themselves. From Somalia they go to Ethiopia, then Kenya to clean the millions of dollars they get paid for their piracy business in the Indic Ocean.
El carro sin funcionar y yo enmedio de la nada con pocas perspectives de salir vivo si me quedo a pasar la noche ahí. El primer encuentro con alguien en esos caminos fué con un “empresario” Somali, le pedi que me sacra de ahí o no la iba yo hacer para el día siguiente, el traía un trailer con un remolque extra y vacío, no me quizo llevar ni al siguiente pueblo que es Sigor. Me enteré después que son lavadores de dinero. De Somalía pasan por el sur de Etiopia y llegan a Kenia a lavar los millones de dolares que hacen en su negocio de piratería en el Oceano Índico.

Cool head that I have, knew that somehow will be coming out of this harmful situation, a “lowry” that is a truck in between and eighteen wheeler and a regular pickup-truck picked me up, and after a very painful four hors from there to Kitale and $12,000 Ksh took me out of my misery. Just to fix the car I paid over $25,000 Ksh.
Con la cabeza fría que yo tengo, sabía que saldría de esta situación tan peligrosa de alguna manera; una “lowry” que esta entre un trailer y una camioneta me levantó me llevó hasta Kitale despuees de cuatro horas de broncos en los peores caminos del mundo, por $12,000 Ksh me saco de mi miseria. Por arreglar el carro page cerca de $25,000 Ksh.

Spent a couple nights at the “Pine Woods” place in Kitale before coming back to Nairobi. After this nightmare; I changed my plans, no more around Lake Victoria trip, no Jinja that is where the Nile river starts, no chaotic Kampala, No Kigale in Rwanda, where more inter-Tribal fight took place years ago between the Utu and Tustsi. Pass to visit the Gorillas at the Republic Democratic of the Congo. I decided to say no to spend more than $15,000 UsDlls. Decided that I was done in Africa for good, and changed my ticket instead my scheduled departure on November 24th to Sunday October 31st to Amsterdam and spent some days in there to rest and regroup myself after my African ordeal.
Me pase un par de noches en el “Pinewoods” hotel antes de regresar a Nairobi. Después de esta pesadilla; cambie mis planes, no más viaje alrededor del Lago Victoria, no a Jinja que es donde comienza el Rio Nilo, no a la caotica ciudad de Kampala. No a Rwanda y su capital Kigale que es donde la lucha inter-tribal entre los Utu y los Tusti dejo cerca del millón de muertos. No a la vista personal con los Gorilas en la Republica Democrática del Congo. Decidí decir NO a gastar más de $15,000 UsDlls. Decidí que estaba harto de Africa y cambia mi boleto que estaba sujeto a regresar el 24 de Noviembre para el 31 de Octubre y pasar unos dias en Amsterdam, para descansar y recuperarme de mi calvario Africano.

About marcocastrophotography

I was born and raised in México City, where the mixture of cultures gave birth to the nation that we know as México. My grandmother was the last in my family who spoke fluent Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. Due to the racism in those days, she never taught her daughters the language, and therefore, we, as a family, lost our cultural heritage. I have been involved, however, with the indigenous world, even though I do not believe this happened by coincidence. I have a background as a graphic designer, one credit short of a BA in Graphic Communication Design from the National School of Visual Arts, National Autonomous University of Mexico (ENAP-UNAM). While in a Photographic Workshop at the University Center of Cinematographic Studies (CUEC-UNAM), I met a photographer who changed my life forever: Ignacio “Nacho” López. I can still see how strongly he influences me when I develop my work in my digital darkroom. I have also had the opportunity to share marvelous moments with photographers like Dolores Alvarez-Bravo, Hector García, Lázaro Blanco, and Walter Reuter who introduced me to the etnia Triqui in Oaxaca, Mexico (Triqui Nation). I traveled and worked as Reuter's assistant for several years. I moved to New York City in 1993, which was a dream of mine for years. Here I have had the opportunity to collaborate with newspapers, magazines, and several news organizations, as well as literary publications. I also have been working as a photographer-consultant for the United Nations headquarters in New York City for the past six years at the openings of the General Assemblies. I spent endless hours in my darkroom, even mixing my own chemicals blowing up my prints back in my hometown; skills that I apply today in my digital work with attention to detail. I hold a BA on Communication and Culture from the School of Professional Studies at the Graduate Center City University of New York class of 2010. I consider myself as a Photojournalist with a Humanistic approach; I have an opportunity to rapidly built rapport with my subjects allowing me to break the barriers of language and culture; this open the doors for me to get a glimpse at their experience on their daily life and activities. Taking advantage of the old school and the digital imagining, I take the Previsualization of an image as taught by Anselm Adams with the algorithms of the new digital era and combine them to enhance what I see and experience at the moment of capture. My experience as a printer in Black and White darkroom, has allow me to choose the right material to support my imaginery. Using the Canon Pro9500 MarkII with it’s high-performance, high-density 7680 nozzle FINE print head that produces ink droplets as small as 3-picoliters for stunning, true-to-life images. The Canon LUCIA ink system guarantees archival photo life up to 100 years. All this in a 100 % acid-free cotton paper as the Moab Somerset enhanced velvet 225gsm. In 13” by 19” prints that I sale as fine art. As freelance Photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Am always open for the booking of my expertise and for hire anywhere in the world as I hold two passports as Mexican-American and a driver’s license for the State of New York.
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9 Responses to Turkana Tribe-Tribu Turkana

  1. ES says:

    I love reading your blog, Marco! Thank you for sharing the link!

  2. Baff Ross says:

    wonderfull work mr marco,, am on my way to visit the land and hope i will come with some good pictures:)

  3. Jersey Bola says:

    Hi, this weekend is nice for me, for the reason that this
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  4. Hello to all, as I am in fact keen of reading this web site’s post to be updated on a regular basis.
    It consists of pleasant data.

    • Thank you! Agree with you, as I let my blog sleep for almost a year, but I will be posting more often as am traveling to Meexico for to weeks starting tomorrow, you may want to subscribe to my blog to get notified when a new post appears! Marco Castro

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    • Thank you for your comment, agree most people give almost everything for granted and do not know how to react out of their comfort zone, I take my chances and take big risks, that is why I believe I am a world adventurer. Have been with good luck so far!

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