One of the many projects Abraham putting in motion during his trip to Kenya is getting a trailer for Big Blue to haul. He concluded that the trailers for sale in Nakuru and Eldoret were not strong enough for our needs – they might tip over on the rough roads and would break down eventually. So, Abraham decided to have a trailer built. The guys he knows have built lots of custom trailers, and it will take a week, everything brand new and strong and sized just right for our needs.
In response to my questions, Abraham texted me a paraphrase of something that our friend Steve “King of the Mountain” Gachupin shared with us years ago: “we’re making our own trail.” It’s true for us and now that we have a tractor, we will make our own trails, and more, in Abraham’s village on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. I replied “we’re making our own trailer! 😉 ”
Abraham had his first trailer made by Director Terrence Malik –for the movie Voyage of Time (check out Abraham at the 1:13 mark!) Five years ago, Abraham heard about a local casting call, showed up and next thing he knew was invited to a film shoot that ended up taking place over several months on trips to the White Sands, the badlands west of Socorro, someplace a ways out of Chama and way up in the mountains between Durango and Silverton.
Before the shoots, they sent Abraham to Hollywood to be fitted for the most modern prehistoric realistic feet shoes that have ever been made for a Kenyan Olympian to wear on the big screen. I wish I could share a photo, but not only were the custom naked minimalist rides declared top secret, but reports are that Abraham declined to wear them anyway, and opted to shoot his scenes old school style (as in with his own feet). I once saw a photo of the fake feet, but have done my best to forget about it, in light of Abraham’s admonishments about how serious these people are about their creations and the penalties for unmasking his prosthetic rides.
As is turns out, Terrence recruited a tribe’s worth of actors and set out to learn how things would sort themselves out – social evolution on steroids. As Abraham describes it, he hit it off with Terrence and the rest of the crew and as time passed (the movie covering some 4 million years from start to finish), Abraham became recognized as the leader of his tribe. As in real life, Abraham was a warrior and a running messenger, and led his people into the great unknown.
Imagine. Abraham grew up in Matunget on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, with misty equatorial pine forest wilderness all around. One of his earliest memories is of a German paratrooper. Sometimes he would spot parachutes above the edge of the Rift and this time one landed close by. Abraham didn’t understand what the mzungu soldier was saying, but he liked the candy that the soldier gave him and from that moment on wanted nothing less than to fly.
Years later, during his 7 years in the training camp not far from Matunget, Abraham watched Dances with Wolves and wondered about the Native Americans in the movie. He had never heard about these people before and was amazed. And now, after his world travels and races, a decade later, he finds himself living in the Pueblo of Pojoaque with his wife and his children, and working with Native Americans at the Pojoaque Pueblo Wellness Center. Abraham realized that “these people are just like my people!” His indigenous perspective contributed to the creation of Global Running Culture, in recognition of the fact that running is one activity that many cultures share. Since then, we and our families have devoted ourselves to our mission of bettering the lives of youth through the powers of sport and education in three communities where running is a vital part of the culture.
Our goal is to complete the school before end of year and will be sharing information about our fundraising efforts to facilitate completion of the project. We are 8 years into a journey that is turning into reality in Abraham’s village, advancing an amazing vision and lifelong passion of Abraham’s mum Margaret, which is being carried on by Abraham’s sister Emily. Building a new school in Matunget will spin the wheel that Margaret created even faster, propelling the children of the village on trajectories of hope and opportunity. Thank you for traveling with us on this journey.