Sunday visits during the 1984 East African famine

This poem touches on the loving hospitality of a Kenyan village.

By Paula Mahon - Peace Corps Volunteer, Kenya (1982 - 1984)

In this mountain town where relentless sun and Sahara winds blow,

where goats chew grass to earthen nubs, I cannot find a packet of

flour nor a tomato in the outdoor market.

Drought has wasted the terraced fields of corn.

But the gregarious nature of the Kikuyu has not suffered and these

people of Kagaa still entertain me with afternoons of chai and


And when I leave for home,

I find my knapsack laden with pineapple and mangos.

This poem was entered in the returned Volunteer category for the 2015 Peace Corps Poetry Contest. The contest received more than 1,000 submissions, representing over 50 years of Peace Corps service in more than 100 countries.

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