The African VR Centre introduction.
The young maasai boy is standing on a crest of a lowly stump of a hill.
His eyes can see distant higher hills over the landscape of gently rolling plains of the maasai mara.
Letuya has never seen a smartphone. Never seen a computer up close.
He's looking after his father's herds of goats.
A 50 strong herd.
Letuya is very excited.
Tomorrow, he will be joining the chidren of his small village in kajiado for a very interesting visit,
from a very weird fellow.
This is Letuya's experience.
The fellow, who calls himself Paul Simon, Koiyaki ole lemotaka, Waiyaki wa Hinga, Kariuki wa Mwithiga, is bringing weird looking things that i and all the other kids or anyone from our village have never seen or even ever heard of.
When the kids have been gathered and collected together.
A white minivan approached.
A bearded short man stepped out and the elder told us that he is Paul Simon, Koiyaki Ole Lemotaka, Waiyaki wa Hinga, Kariuki wa Mwithiga.
We burst out loud laughing, wondering how many names such a short man can have.
He carries a bag that is full of stuff we have never seen.
He calls us one by one, and we wear the things onto our faces.
When it is my turn to go in front- I am a bit scared. He tells me not to be, and to tell him where and what I have ever wished to see.
I tell him I want to see Nairobi, where my uncle went to work.
He puts the strange thing to his face and appears to wave onto something and helps me to put it on my face.
He tells me to close my eyes and then to open them.
I am shocked.
I just can't believe it. I find myself in a new world.
I stagger a little, he tells me to sit down and look around.
I ask him to remove it, I find that I'm still In my village.
I ask for a glass of water.
He asks whether I would like to see it again. I'm scared to. I tell him to let me think about it.
Others are brave to do it multiple times. Others don't even want to try.
I do, I really do, I want to see Nairobi again.
Paul Simon says you can see anywhere you've wished to see. Or anyone. Or anything.
I asked if I could see Enkai, (God), he said no.
But I could see Obama, the president of America.
That I could see the highest mountain on earth.
That I could see other earths. Other stars.
How the body works from the inside. Or fly on the back of an eagle.
I feel hazed.
I drink a glass of water,
Then ask if I could see the inside of an airplane.
He says yes,
I miss a heart beat.
He ask me to step forward. I slowly do.
He ask me to sit. I slowly do, and clench my fingers to my mouth.
He ask me to close my eyes, I do.
He puts the thing to my face again, and when I open my eyes.
I'm in a space with many seats, - with people of many different colors who dont even seem to notice that I am there.
There's a window.
I look out of it. And I realize, that I'm in the skies! Flying!
I'm in a plane, Paul Simon tells me.
My legs feel light.
I need another glass of water.
Paul Simon said the thing is called Oculus.
We feel so bad when he leaves.
I wished I was brave enough to see the burning mountains.
Or the great seas that we've heard about.
We chat excitedly for weeks about what each of us saw.
And the elder, told us Waiyaki will come again.
This time, I'll go to America.
I won't be afraid.
But it's true, and we all agree,
that such a short man who can show you these many things, on such strange things, can have a very long name.
But we still burst out loud laughing when we remember all his names.
Some of us can't even say them all.
Written for 'Tales from Africa'. A weekly event on Thursdays on Altspace,
By Paul Simon,
Koiyaki ole Lemotaka,
Waiyaki wa Hinga,
Kariuki wa Mwithiga.
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