Just after the new year the boys who were undergoing the ritual of their Pokot rite of passage came out after a month of seclusion. It was a great celebration for the people of our village. The photos above give you an idea of the celebration. The rite of passage occurs every 3 to 6 years for the Pokot, this year was chosen by the elders and so boys all over our area were undergoing this long ritual of becoming adults in the tribe. There are boys who do this experience in "the bush" and follow the old traditions of the tribe and those who are chrisitian who have an experience that is adapted to reflect christian values. I was able to witness the celebrations for both groups of boys. As an outsider, a muzungu, I wasn't sure how the Pokot people would respond to me but the people could not have been more welcoming. They were so happy to have the sisters celebrate with them this momentous event in their life. I was very touched by how gracious the people were and how they welcomed me to witness the celebration of their Pokot rite of passage.
In February the young women of our poly tech graduated with their certificates in Dressmaking and Tailoring. These are strong young women who have great courage to better their life. For most students, going to a poly tech school is what they do if they do not make it into secondary school. The young women range from having no formal education at all to a few who have completed 8th grade. This year I have the joy of teaching English and Business in the poly tech school. One day I was talking with them and they asked me if I could take them to the nearest town, Makutano. None of the 27 students have ever seen a paved road, none of them have ever been out of the village and to a town or city, but they are eager to have the opportunity to learn and grow. I'm hoping that later in the year we will take a trip down the mountain to the nearest town so they can glimpse more of the world around them.