We drive to Naivasha, speed along the steep escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, swerve around donkeys and cyclists. One man has a huge silver cylinder strapped to the back of his bike, is swerving as he pedals centimeters from roaring lorries. I realize as we pass that he is also texting on his phone. The girls listen to Narnia books on CD, complain when Phil doesn’t give his usual commentary on the valley, Mt. Longonot. I grip the door handle every time Phil passes a matatu, avert my eyes from the rail-less drops along the shoulder.
The kids splash in the brown river that cuts through the ravine. The walls of the ravine are lined with layers of rock, every shade of green, vervet monkeys. We listen for the snort of hippos. The older girls find a log and start a ferrying business, charging the younger kids ten rocks for a ride down the river on their boat. We skip stones, discuss theology, remind the swimmers to not let the water in their mouths. The rocks are smooth and warm under our feet, our backs. The girls collect them in their pockets and empty chip containers.
At night the moon is so bright we don’t use flashlights, The world is blue, blurry and glowing. We pass chocolate and wine bottles around the fire, tell the stories that hadn’t been told in daylight, coaxed out by that unusual dark light.
A dragon fly lands on my computer, its spider web wings twitch, its rounded jaws in constant motion, its striped body pulsing with its lungless breath. It flies away and then lands in a new position, over and over, always perching on the edge of my laptop screen. I wonder what it wants to tell me, or if it is just showing off its miraculous body.