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A collection of stories written by 8th grade students at Daylight School in Kapenguria, Kenya. The stories are mostly traditional stories of the Pokot, Turkana, and Karamoja tribes of northwest Kenya. Many of the stories involve animals like elephants, lions, leopards, ostrich, hyena, and giraffe with which the students are familiar. In Kenya, students take a test, much like the college entrance exam in the US, to determine whether they can continue their studies in high school. Part of this test is writing an original story which is graded on English spelling and grammar, penmanship, and creativity. Tom Gillaspy and Larry Underkoffler were asked by Michael Kimpur, the founder of the school, and headmaster Eliud Mungoma to work with the students on creative storytelling. This is the product and yes, the class sat under a giant Mukusu tree. Writing the stories of the nomadic peoples of northwest Kenya on paper will help to preserve them and parts of the culture. Little has been done in preserving these stories. This is a start. Hopefully, more stories will make the transition from verbal only to also appear on the printed page. The lives of the traditional peoples of northwest Kenya are changing rapidly. If the stories are not preserved soon, they will be lost forever. Most of the students of Daylight School are orphans, largely resulting from inter-tribal violence. Daylight School accepts students from all tribes and religions and is changing the dynamics of the area, creating a whole new tribe.
About the Author
The real authors are the 2016 level 8 (8th grade) students of Daylight School, Kapenguria, Kenya. They wrote the stories and deserve all the praise. More information can be found at daylightcenter.org. Larry Underkoffler is a Junior High art teacher in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Tom Gillaspy is a retired demographer who also does some writing, mostly poetry. Larry and Tom published the children's book, "Piko, The Dog With No Tail" in 2014. In 2015, Tom published a collection of poems "And The Rough Places" some of which relate to Kenya, some to Peru, and some to hiking mountains.