19 July 2009
ISIOLO, KENYA - A smattering of wispy clouds dots the blue sky as white-robed worshipers trickle into Taqwa mosque for Friday prayers. Our car is parked outside the mosque, slightly hidden by a hedgerow of tangled savannah brush that defines the mosque's perimeter. A cool, dry wind blows across this arid town – refreshing against the equatorial heat, but leaving a blanket of dust on the whitewashed buildings.
The car's tinted windows are rolled up to protect against the fine film of dust – and to conceal me from sight.
Isiolo is smack in the center of Kenya, far from Somalia. But the sermon pouring out of the mosque's loudspeakers is in Somali. We listen for a few minutes before the driver abruptly pulls away.
"If they catch us spying on them, we'll be stoned," he says.Continue reading