Hold my hand, hold my hand! The grass roots gave in, I tumbled down the rugged edges and fell on a tree shrub. I lost consciousness.
Ken was getting excited to go for that academic trip to visit one of the passively active volcanic mountains in the Rift Valley. It was something he had planned for in two months since they re-opened school.
“Wake up, wake up! It due day. We’ve got to be ready for the school trip.” My classmate woke me up that morning at five O’clock. I was in my second year at high school. Things like this got us excited as I was in a boarding school. Quickly I prepped myself and went to the dining hall to have my breakfast. In everyone’s chatter, it was about what they expected to unfold in the day. Little did I know my fate.
Our academic trip started off at six in the morning. It was still dark, but who cared as long we’ll be travelling a distant place away from school. That is what got us thrilled. With soft music playing in the bus and watching the distant trees which seemed to be moving along with the bus, I gave in to a nap. After some hours of travel, we stopped at a nearby gas station to fuel the bus. Everyone was told to take a stretch, walk around and buy some snacks if need be and shortly we resumed our journey. Finally, the Rift-Valley. A scenery that cannot be forgotten. The steep slopes of the escarpment and a fairly flat ridge that stretched out at the bottom. It almost looked as if it was hand crafted.
It only took us two to three hours to get to the crater. It was like a steep climb up, volcanic stones scattered around, some large some small and small gravel-like volcanic rocks loosely laid on the road. A couple of times the wheels of the bus skid on this rocks. Finally, we were at the top. The huge crater which circumferences on a huge diameter. It has some steep banking on the side and on the bottom, you can see smoke spewing on different spots of the crater. I stood on the edge of the crater and looked down. It’s a far drop to the bottom with vegetation like small tree shrubs growing on the sides, all the way to the base. On the highest point, there was a pole with many arrows pointing to various cities around the world. We were not the only school or people to have visited the site. On count, there were also some local and foreign tourists around.
We had a 45 minutes’ lesson from the local guide on formations of volcanic mountains and craters in the rift valley and when they stopped being active to passive or dormant. It was now time to take some photos of the landscapes and us as a class. I remember we took a couple of them until I decided to take one on the edge of the crater, just to have a clear view of it in the background. ‘Snap, snap,’ “Oh wait, I want to move a little closer to the edge,” I told my friend. I posed, putting one leg a little back and that it when a turn of events took place.
I slipped over loose gravel and lost balance. I tried gripping myself on the ground but there was nothing to hold onto. I was on a quick drop! Luckily, I held on to some grass which had grown in tight clusters. It didn’t matter to me if it was going to let go as long as it held me to a stop. “Hold on Ken, am getting help,” said my classmate. There were some bruises on my arm and legs, a little bit of scratches on my face. “Help, help!” I could hear people calling on. Two men came down the slope, cautiously watching their steps. They didn’t want to make the situation worse by adding more casualties. “Hold my hand, hold my hand!” he said. I tried to stretch my arm but the grass started to give in. ‘Aaaaaarh’
I woke up, not knowing how long I’ve been unconscious. I was being pulled up by a rope. My whole body ached. What happened! “Don’t move,” I heard someone say, it almost sounded like a murmur. A sheer pain came from my leg. “Knot it tight to stop the bleeding,” I heard a man say. Through blurry vision, I saw a stick had pieced though my thigh. I gave in again; this time I woke up in a hospital emergency centre. What happened next, I can’t recall. I only woke up the following morning heavily bandaged but still in agony. “It took me a couple of months to heal completely but the scars I got remind me of that moment I escaped ill fate,” concluded Ken with some balancing tears in his eyes.