Storytime – Church Trip Gone Wrong
Being young was awesome and we went on too many trips. Most of the trips I went to was with my school. We visited the animal orphanage, Wilson Airport, visited Masinga Dam, and saw how huge it was. The exciting thing was not where we were going but traveling on the bus with friends and the snacks consuming the many snacks that were packed for me.
There was a time when the church I used to go to decided to take the Sunday school kids for a trip to Ngong Hills. We just needed to pay a small amount to go on that trip. I begged my parents to pay for my trip, and during that period I could not even skip going to church. My dad accepted and gave me money to pay for the trip. My neighbor Tukiko also managed to convince his parents to pay for the trip.
The day before the big day my mother made me some pancakes and bought some cupcakes and juice for my trip. I was excited walking all the way to our church. The worst that could happen is if they postponed the big day. When we reached the church we found many kids waiting to board the bus there. The church had brought two buses for the trip because many of the Sunday school kids wanted to go. The two buses were not enough and so we had to sit two three kids on two sits. Even some of the kids were being carried by others. Lucky for us Ngong Hills was not that far away.
As the bus was on the road, we were singing many happy songs to cheer the driver up. Songs like “ Ndereva Ndereva njia Moshi, Kwenda na Kurudi Ni Salama”. We reached Ngong Hills at around 2 pm or so. The previous day had rained and so the buses could not go up the hill. We had to alight with our bags which had food and walk to the place where we were to have lunch. So alighted and started walking to our destination up the hill. Going up was not easy because it was too step and we were all tired. I was 11 years old back then. When we reached our destination our guide wanted us to go down the hill on the other side and have lunch where we could see the valley below. What we did not know was that the slope on the other side was too steep. So you could not go down while standing because of the gravity pull. Kids started rolling down the hill like crazy and still no guardian saw the situation and stopped it. All of us rolled down the slope. Some people were hurt but not seriously.
After everyone was down there we started having lunch and the hell broke loose. We could see some dark clouds from a distance moving towards us. Our guide got worried and told us to pack up and start climbing the hill. At this point, we were trying to beat the rain. Just after climbing the slope, it started raining heavily. Remember we had left the bus far away and the road was not tarmacked. The hustle of walking on an un-tarmacked road, that now had turned to mad was had on us. Remember some kids were younger than me on this trip. Nobody had worn clothes to shelter them from the rain. The clothes that we carried to keep us cold were getting wet. We are still up the hill and it rained like crazy and you could not open your eyes wide.
At some point, water was flowing from behind us going down the slope. Now you need to be careful or else you might trip and fall into the water. When we reached the bus and entered inside the tires had sank inside the mad. The bus was unable to move, and all the kids were wet and cold. It was now around 5:00 pm and still raining heavily. At this point, the bus started to lean on one side, where the tires had sucked deeper. The cops around that area had come to where the bus was and advised them to walk to the police station. They said there was no way that the bus was going to move from where it was. And since it was still raining and the road was getting bad no bus could reach us. It was easier for us to be picked up from the police station. And also the bus might fall on one side because of our weight.
Now we had to get off the bus and walk in the rain towards the police station. We were just following the policemen who were dressed well for this rain. The distance from the bus to the police station was not long but because of the rain, it took us like two hours to get there. When we reached the police station we had somewhere to shelter ourselves from the rain but we were cold. I could feel water inside my shoes, my clothes were wet I was just shaking. I also Tukiko struggling with the cold. The hustle was now for the church to look for another means of transportation to pick us up from Ngong Hills. From Nairobi to Ngong Hills during the rain, the car had to come slowly to avoid accidents.
Roads back then were not better than the ones we have today. When the buses reached us at around 10:30 pm we just jumped in. This time they organized three buses, two large ones and one smaller. One child a sit at least but still feeling very cold. I am next to the window with Tukiko. The journey back home was long but at least we were out of the cold and heading home. I just opened my packed food and continued eating while looking outside the window. Nobody was now singing on the way home.
When we reached the church my siblings were there to pick me up. At around midnight, we reached our house with a lot of stories to tell. My mother did not want me to go on any other church trip again, she was angry. After that terrible experience, the again organized another trip. Sadly, on the next trip they organized one child died on the trip.