I've been in SMS contact with my friends in Kenya since the start of the violence. When the clash was restricted to Nairobi it wasn't much of a concern to most of them, as they live out in the Rift Valley (except for the students in Nairobi, and I can only hope they are safe).


I grew more concerned as I saw that the violence has spread to Nakuru. Those of you who followed my trip may recall that Nakuru is the last city on the edge of the Rift Valley, and is also home to the amazing Lake Nakuru National Park. IHF (the organization I was shooting for) had purchased a building on the edge of town, for the children to live and learn in. Many from the orphanage had been moved there over the last several months, and as soon as I heard that the violence had reached Nakuru, I started to worry.


I'm happy to report that there is good news. The clashing tribes appear to be primarily the Kikuyu (generally the ruling tribe in Kenya, and the tribe of President Kibaki -- the one who is accused of stealing this election), the Luo and the Kalenjin. My friends are Pokot, and their tribe is considered savage by many Kenyans (tourists in Nairobi or Nakuru who say they are traveling into the Rift Valley are usually warned not to -- told that they will meet a brutal death at the hands of the Pokot and never be seen again). While the Masai have the spotlight as the warrior tribe, the Pokot are the ones who are truly feared.


Reportedly all the buildings surrounding the children's new home have been burned to the ground. But the IHF buildings have been left alone. The Kikuyu and Kalenjin know these are Pokot children, and know to leave them alone.


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