Doug and I go for a jog most evenings. I say jog, it is a quick walk in places; I blame the heat and the altitude. As we get out of our gate Kennedy, the neighbour’s son is ready and waiting in his sports kit, good to go. We turn up the hill and start running, Kennedy always the pace setter. Doug has a regular circuit which starts with a lung busting climb and thankfully levels off to be a steady downhill back to the start. We did two laps tonight before both of us couldn’t face anymore; Kennedy could have run all day. Being a mzungu (white person) and running in garish sports equipment we stick out like a sore thumb. The local kids are high-fiving us all the way round and some chase after us chuckling to themselves, which is great. They make the effort worthwhile.
We end our jog by running on top of a dam that is just on the outside of Kola. Usually it is just Doug and I cooling down but today there were hundreds of people sitting there. After a few minutes a cheer went up and a truck pulled up. The truck was there to distribute bags of maize. The people had been waiting since 08:00 in the morning for emergency food relief.
Most households near Kola are subsistence farmers with a small plot of land to feed their family. October through to December is traditionally the rainy season, however last year there wasn’t enough rain to sustain their crops so they failed, and now the country is heading into famine. We saw Kennedy’s dad queuing up for the maize.