Encountering the Digo – a nature tribe in Ukunda, Kenia / June 19th, 2018

After half an hour driving through fertile farmland and rainforest our jeeps stopped at the meeting point. The elder women and some children of the Digo village welcomed us. In loving kind of way they decorated us with blue and red shawls, which they traditionally wear at their festive dances. What an honor and appreciation for us!

Singing and full of rhythm we started our walk. All of us at once felt the origin african way of life. On this 30 minutes during walk to the village we realized that Europeans have yet to learn a lot to achieve thus dancing and rhythm feeling. Nevertheless, nobody lost his good mood.

Warmly welcome, we gathered at the village square, shadowed by tall trees.  Intentionally we sat between the village dwellers, children, women and men. We thanked for the invitation, introduced ourselves, our community and philosophy and presented our host gifts for the whole village to chief Mnyzmu. The, at the first time in Africa, we sang our praises in Swahili. The Digo had been joyfully surprised to be honored in their mother language. With pleasure everybody joined in singing:

Sisi ni kitu kimoja. Mimi, wewe na ulimwengu.

We are all one. Me, you and Mother Earth.

Many of us had intensive encounters with the children, which were so open-minded and curious. Due missing teachers for a long time and our few Swahili knowledge, we expressed our deep cordiality with looks, healing closeness and blessing rather than words. Meditation for peace is also possible with eyes open: many laughing children´s eyes showed it to us…   Afterwards we played with the children and took peace photos with the Digo. Proudly they showed us well and village.

The village elder Mnyzmu led us to his Muslim house of worship, in which women are usually not admitted at all and also not without headgear. Thus he showed his great affinity to our community. When David then gave the village elder the honor of putting him on his chair, a murmur went through the village. This great appreciation and encounter at eye level was felt for all Digo. We invited 15 Digo, women and men, to give us the honor, to join in our traditional peace dinner in the ballroom of our hotel and to eat and celebrate with us.

Finally, some of us played drums with the Digo and dancing we said for today „Kwaheri“ – „Goodbye“. This encounter with the Digo tribe connected us forever from heart to heart.

Monika Koppe-Rulands

(This journey has been privately financed.)

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