Monday, August 10, 2009


Meet Frankie.  He's a little fella who I had the pleasure of meeting in Meru while we waited for some of the women to return from their wood hauling trip to the forest.

Frankie is about ten or so years old although his eyes made him look much older.  He was the first out a group of kids who had the courage to walk up to me.  I had my camera slung over my shoulder while I was leaning up against the truck.  Frankie's only English was to proudly proclaim his name and ask me mine.  For some reason Kenyan people have a hard time saying Scott.  They try to say it over and over but it just comes out sounding like "Schlott".  "How about Shep", I asked. "Shep" he said perfectly.  From then on out I was to be known as "Shep" across Kenya.  "Hey, whatever" I said, "I've been a Shep since birth".  My father was a Shep, as well as all my brothers and I'm sure my two girls will be also.
Frankie followed me around for a while copying my every move.  It was like playing "stop copying me" with my kids!  Frankie led me over to a brightly covered wall down from where we were stopped and pointed at it and said "picta".  He wanted me to take his picture.  Up until I raised my camera to my eye Frankie was all smiles and laughing every time we looked at each other.  Now his demeanor changed completely. He was very focused and he didn't need any direction.  He knew how he wanted to be portrayed.  I took only two frames and they are identical.  I showed Frankie the image on the back of my Canon and he was very pleased and he looked up at me and nodded and then he just walked away.  The few minutes we stood there the other kids were giggling and pushing each other and it didn't faze Frankie in the least.  After the other kids saw Frankie's picture they started howling and laughing and patting him on the back.  King Frankie walked down the road away from me with his head held high and a trail of his subjects in tow.


  1. Great observation Shep! 'Scott' would surely be a hard pronounciation. It's not an everday name in Meru. Scott would be pronounced 'Skot' and not 'Skat'.

    An 'r' in Meru will acquire an 'L' sound and vice versa...

    Your observation brought to my eyes memories of fascination with tourists visiting kenya when I was growing up!

  2. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....