From Chris Hansen of the Register-Guard:
The rainy season in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley runs March through June and afternoon thunder showers can quickly turn dirt roads into mud and make them difficult to negotiate.
Wait long enough and they can just as quickly dry out and become drivable again.
Problem was, Edward Cheserek didn’t have any time to spare.
It was June and Cheserek, home for the weekend, had one day to get back to school for final exams — tests he needed to ace in order to receive a scholarship to St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey for the coming fall. It was the chance of a lifetime for a 16-year-old from a poor family of sheep and cattle farmers in the remote Kenyan village of Kapker.
“I didn’t have any means to get to school because the roads were bad,” Cheserek recalls. “The passes were so slippery my dad didn’t want to drive me because we would get stuck somewhere.”
So early Sunday morning he woke up, changed clothes and, without breakfast, began to run. Sixty miles and 12 hours later, he arrived at his destination — Kapcherop High School in Elgeyo Marakwet County — exhausted and so sore, he could barely walk for three days.
“It was really hard,” Cheserek says. “I had my pocket money so I just start running, running, running, 10 miles then I stop to eat, and then continue again running. When I got to school my dad call me and say, ‘Hey, where are you Edward?’ and I was like, ‘I just left because I didn’t want to miss my exams.’”
Or his ticket to America.