As the world went about its daily activities, history was being written at the Rowallan Scout Camp in Nairobi Kenya on July 28th, 2010. It is now official that Kenya is the first African country to host a World Scout Moot.
After a chilly night that prompted the Swedish contingent to sing and dance for the better part of the night, may be in an attempt to keep warm, most of the scouts are up and running by 6.00 a.m in readiness for the big day. You can tell from the radiance in their faces that the anticipation is real and high.
By 8.00 am the Rovers are done with freshening up, packed their camping gear in readiness for their departure to the expedition centres. They are through with their breakfast and are gathering in the arena for the presidential opening ceremony. Amazing!
It is a view to behold as an array of beauty don the arena; a rainbow of Scouts singing, dancing, mingling and interacting in a spectacular display of their colourful uniforms and national flags. Hundreds dances to a popular Kenyan music genre,Mugithi. (a dance where people dance in a single file and go round forming a big dancing ring)
The gusto and the energy they exude tell it all: It’s Time!
And before long the moment that the world had been waiting for is finally here as President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, who is also the Patron of Kenya Scouts Association, and also a Patron of World Scouting walked into the arena, flanked by an array of high ranking officials in the Government of Kenya and the Scout Movement.
When time comes for the recognition of respective contingents, the ceremony get spiced up as those with smaller number of participants shout at the top of their voices to match those of bigger ones such as Kenya, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia.
In an uplifting speech to the highly charged and excited Scouts, the President wishs the participants a memorable stay in Kenya, inviting them to enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the Kenyan people, to make friends and to discover Kenya.
At the end of his speech, there is a new burst of energy, clapping, Scout yells, Vuvuzelas blowing, flags waving. The moot is officially on in Kenya.
Then come the time for participants to load their luggage into trucks heading either to Machakos, Embu or Nyeri expedition camps to start a four day journey of Ultimate Discovery.
Story: Peter Ngare, KenyaPhotos: Victor Njenje