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Transcript of Walking Home
The main character in this book is a 13 year-old boy named Muchoki. He cares for his younger sister after their mother and father die He and his seven year-old sister, Jata, walk a couple of hundred kilometers across Kenya in search of their last remaining family members. As a result, Muchoki's shoes and clothes were tattered and torn. He always caries his knife with him to provide protection to both of them.
The Refugee Camp
Importance of my character
Muchoki is important to the story because he is an example of what can be done when adversity and unfortunate circumstances occur. His inner strength and perseverance is demonstrated numerous times throughout the book.
This is where the people that stay at the Refugee camp spend most of their time
It's a sandy piece of land that is poor
There are tents everywhere for the people
Limited food and water
It's and overcrowded area
Lots of soldiers patrol this area
Muchoki and Jata now live with no parents and no family near them. The two of them must live on their own with limited food and water. They walk many kilometers through the violent streets of Kenya
Early every morning, Muchoki would gather the water container from the tent and head out to the water pump to ensure he would be would be the first one there when the truck arrived with the water.
Muchoki is determined to find his mother's family in Nairobi, about 200 kilometers away. He dosen't know where their mother's family lives in Nairobi nor knowing if they're even alive. Either way, Muchoki and Jata continue walking tirelessly each day in the blazing sun to hopefully reach them.
Muchoki loves his family very much. After his father died in a fire, Muchoki cared for ailling mother and young sister.
When his mother was sick, Muchoki would regularly ensure she was warm with the blankets they had. In addition, Muchoki would also divert his food to his mother in hopes to maintain her strength.
After their mother died from malaria, Muchoki and Jata were left as orphans. Legally, Muchoki wasn't old enough to independently care for Jata. Due to this, soldiers were planning to place the brother and sister in orphanages, but different ones.
To ensure that they stay together, Muchoki and Jata sneak out from the refugee camp at night with help from the Masai soldier they had dinner with. The soldier leads Muchoki and Jata on the right path to Nairobi.
The message from author to reader is:
Every personal journey, no matter how far, starts with one step- and a bit a hope.
An example involving Muchoki's mother demonstrates this idea of hope. Before she died, she told Muchoki and Jata a story about the orgin of the Kamba tribe, also know as the "people of the string". The string served as a beacon for the people to find their way home in times of trouble or misfortune. The string became a symbol of hope.
For example, Muchoki undergoes a physically demanding journey of 200 kms from a refugee camp to Nairobi and he also experiences a self reflective journey that causes him to think differently about those who have hurt him.
Forced to leave their home in the small town of Eldoret
Death of their father
Meets a friend
Dinner with a soldier
I can relate the long journey of Muchoki and Jata to Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope.
A matatu is a privately owned bus
Jata and Muchoki use the matatu for many things
To use it, it costs money
lots of people use it and it is always filled with people
When you're on the matatu the ride becomes really bumpy
This story takes place in Kenya, East Africa. The settings in this book include:
The refugee camp
The Refugee Camp
The refugee camp is an overcrowded, sandy piece of land that often has dust whisking through the air. There are hundreds and hundreds of tents lined side by side with many people cramped and crowded inside each of the tents. There is a great amount of grit beneath each of the tents and when it rains the grit turns into a sea of mud churned by thousands of people moving through it. There is limited food and water for families, and this had to last them many days. Reams of soliders patrol the gates that lead in and out of the refugee camp.
A matatu is a privately owned minibus. They are multicolored, often eye catching and vivid. They are usually noisy and smelly due to the overcrowding of people and the scorching heat. To use this bumpy mode of transportation costs money and extra time, given the lengthy delays that the passengers experience. One striking characteristic of the matatu is the uneven piles of tattered boxes and chipped barrels on the cramped roof of the minibus.
This story has a personal connection to me because my grandparents lived in East Africa.
During their walk in the city, Muchoki and Jata encounter a farmer named Omolo who needed assistance with pushing his cart up the hills of the city. Muhcoki helped him to do this, and, in return, he received some oranges. The relationship of the two was based between a mutual need. In the end, both were content with the outcome.
The roadway to Nairobi
The Roadway to Nairobi
200 kms spanned the distance from the refugee camp to Nairobi. They traveled mostly on open country grounds. Muchoki usually tried to walk in the very center of the roadway, as he imagined the tarmac on either side would provide him and his sister protection from the lions that could scale the side of the roadway. As Muchoki approached the city he could see the buildings in the distance and the looming mountains beyond. Muchoki's eyes lit up with happiness as he knew his destination was within sight.
What I Like About the Main Character
Muchoki was a likeable charatcer due to his caring nature with strangers and family. For example, on their way to Nairobi they passed a man who had an empty water container. Feeling badly for the man, Muchoki asked the man if he would like a refill of his water container from the nearby pump. The man nodded his head slowly and smiled widely. Muchoki hurried over to the pump, which was in the opposite direction, and quickly filled the man's water container. In return, the man firmly gave Muchoki and Jata a few shillings to use on their journey. With these preciuos, few shillings Muchoki offered to buy Jata a treat of her choice.