It’s Wednesday and we’ve got up early. There is a lot to be prepared for when arranging a peace march in Kosirai, a village in Kenya not far from Eldoret city. We are here together with a friend from Fredrikstad, the glass artist Abel Sawe. Abel is originally from the farm we now live on and has for many years, together with his wife Kari, contributed to the construction and daily operation of the village`s primary school.
A peace march is arranged every Wednesday in my hometown of Fredrikstad. It’s easy to remember, it’s Wednesday, I know it’s time to walk the peace march and the meeting point is in front of the Town hall. We walk for one hour up and down the pedestrian street, always with peace flags and in winter we have torches as well. For more than 10 years I have been walking the peace march.
The peace march does not just walk back and forth; we also raise funds for several different aid projects, including 3 projects in Africa. Some of us wanted to visit the projects we supported in Kenya and off we went. And of course we had to bring our peace flags. The plan was to arrange a peace march in the village of Kosirai. The main purpose for our visit in Kosirai was to see the school that the peace march had helped to raise funds for.
We did not expect a very big attendance, but we were prepared to walk the peace march anyway, after all it was Wednesday. It was a great surprise when people came from all directions to join us in the peace march. They came out of the woods and from the cornfields happy kids appeared and soon we were so many that none of us could keep count.
At the farm, a local ceremony master had arrived and brought with him a bunch of ladies who started dancing and singing. All together we walked out on the gravel road and the march could head towards the school. And it continued to show up people. Further up the road a bunch of people stood waiting and from the small side roads new people came to join us. There was also a TV team, where did they come from?
I have no idea how rumors had gone around about us strangers that was arranging a peace march in Kosirai. The whole village wanted to join us and they wanted to thank us Norwegians for the support. When we finally arrived at the school, all us Norwegian guests had to plant a tree in the schoolyard. The kids entertained with singing and dancing and we had to do a speech as well. Great party and good atmosphere and everything was prepared without us guests noticing anything at all.
This peace march in Kosirai will forever be one of my best travel memories. Many of us had to wipe some tears when the march went forward between the fields and we could feel the good wibes from the community. I also felt joy and gratitude for being part of this celebration and being able to walk a peace march in Kosirai.