My classmate, who I hadn’t seen in 9 years was in town, so we headed towards Naivasha, Kenya on Sunday, April 22nd. That date didn’t seem so significant at the time. We had two destinations in mind, Lake Naivasha & Hell’s Gate: Apparently the inspiration for Lion King. I didn’t see the resemblance… We were to head to the lake first, and then head over to Hell’s Gate in the afternoon. Upon consulting with guide books, we decided to head to Hell’s Gate first to avoid the scorching heat that comes with the noon/afternoon hours. Not sure how it got it’s name, but we proceeded to Hell’s Gate, where a geothermal plant has been set up to harness the energy of water beneath which gets up to over 400 degrees. Apparently the the plant is the largest on the continent. And funny enough, the guide book says about it, “doesn’t ruin the landscape”! Oh yes it does! I know it’s clean/alternative energy and all, but it does ruin the landscape. Question is which do we value more.
Anyways, our very knowledgeable guide was a 12 yr old by the name of Charles. You couldn’t help but fall in love. He’s a seventh grader who will be a pilot when he grows up so that he can travel the earth. He took us down 90 meters to the gorge, took us to Hell’s Kitchen where you can boil eggs from the steam of the boiling water that emerges from the rocks. We proceeded to the caves, the mini waterfalls and hideouts and saw everything there was to see of Hell’s Gate.
We left a little before 2:30pm before the rains began to descend. After getting home, we hear that 7 people drowned in that same spot after we had left due to the heavy rains. It had really become hell’s gate for them. It was shocking news, more so because we could’ve easily been among those 7 had we not changed our plans, or had we spent more time there.
It was also a reminder that no moment should be taken for granted…we shouldn’t be so complacent to think we are invincible or immortal. Young or old, we have limited time on this earth. The fact that we don’t know whether we’ll live to be 5, 25, or 85 means that we have to make the most of every day, so that when our time is up, we’ll have no regrets over things said or unsaid, deeds done or undone…
May they rest in peace.