Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Letter Three: N'gata Farm 4/6/26. Stars and Stripy Rats

A short letter this time. He is just one of many who will have written home telling of the beauty of Africa, a place, it seems, it was hard to leave even amongst settlers who fell on hard times.
Njoro is situated on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. It lies 18 km west of Nakuru the district town. Lake Nakuru is now a National Park, famous for its great flocks of flamingos who turn the skies and shores pink as they feed on the lake. The travel guides today promise sitings of black and white rhino, herds of waterbuffalo, zebra, buffalo, giraffe and lions with one of the best chances of seeing a leopard in Kenya.
In this letter Allan just describes the stripy "rats" who don't seem to be on list of favourable animals to see! They were probably not rats but a species of the pretty and lively African striped mouse.

Letter Three

Nagata Farm
Kenya Colony

My dear little daughter Joyce,

Just a line to say that Daddy is well and happy and spends many many an hour in thinking of his dear little Joyce and Mother and hopes they are both well; and poor old Patrick too even if he has got big feet, he didn’t make them himself, and they are grand firm things to stand on.
Daddy will be coming home soon now but he does not know yet just when that will be but he longs to see Mummy and Joyce again and we must think of some specially fine treat for all the three of us to have when we see each other once more.
I hope that Mummy and you are now away on a little holiday somewhere, you must get a change of air and surroundings; it does everyone good to see new places and new faces every now and then; Daddy has seen a great many, sometimes more than he wanted to. Auntie Nell has written Dad such a nice letter all the way from Montrose in Scotland and now a letter is on its way back in reply.
When we are ploughing the fields we often see Rats running away in terror, but these are Brown Rats and striped on their backs with Black stripes like a Tiger, they are rather pretty. You would like to see the beautiful moonlight at full moon all over the great Plain, one of the most beautiful things in Africa is the bright moonlight and the stars twinkle twinkle, in the clear air.

With heaps of love to you and to Mother and take care of each other wherever you are


Here is a photograph printed from the negatives of some work in the fields pre the employment of heavy machinery. Here are the oxen and the maize crop he referred to in first letter .