"I was handed a South African magazine today by a friend who had spotted the article, "The long and winding road". He had noted the name "Eldoret" in the article, and knowing that I come from that area, thought that I might be interested. It sparked off many memories for me, as I know the road which Jo describes, one might say, intimately, as my sister, who still lives in Eldoret used to work at the mine in the valley (fluorite being the mineral mined), and, in fact met her husband there. We had a farm not far from the top of that road, and we could drive to a viewpoint a little farther along the same escarpment, and look straight down on the mine workings which are situated in a branch of the Kerio Valley. I still have old black and white photographs taken from that viewpoint, long before the mine started!
I would dearly love to know how you came by this article!! Call it sentimentality or what you will, it was a blast from the past looking at the lovely photographs in the article. Is there the remotest chance that you could maybe fill me in on how you came by the article? Better still, I would love to be able to contact Jo Hedges."
*************If you'd like to read my story, The long and winding road, as it appeared in the magazine, please contact me via e-mail; I'll send you the PDF. Although the magazine is accessible via the Internet, it takes a while before the latest articles appear online. One of my previous articles ("Au naturel or not?") which appeared in November, can been read here.
I replied to the person who wrote back immediately and said he has many stories and photos which he's offered to share with me. I've been trying to delve - rather unsuccessfully - into the history of the South Africans who arrived in Eldoret in the early 1900's; I also searched in vain for material regarding the valley where we spent the best year of our expat lives.
In Kenya I came across a magazine called "Old Africa" which has stories and anecdotes about the first settlers (farmers, entrepreneurs, professionals, missionaries) in East Africa. I hope to be able to do something with my new online friends' stories and photos in due course. I will keep you updated.
BTW the man and his wife live in South Africa now. Ironically they stay in the same town where Grant and I grew up, went to school, married and had our first son! When they moved from Kenya, East Africa to the Natal Midlands in South Africa in 1978, Grant and I had just moved east to the Zululand coast. They lived next door to Grant's parents and he remembers them well, especially as they all served together on the Anglican church council in town.
Have a wonderful week and stay safe and well.