A kids sense of adventure is like a muscle of the mind; if we nourish it right, it will grow stronger, and if we neglect it, it will become weaker. In one of our recent hikes to Mt Kilimambogo, we signed up 10 year Nina Nganga, her 8-year-old sister Melissa and their 10-year friend Zahra. These young hikers were accompanied by their mother who has been really instrumental in nurturing their love for adventure.
A few meters into the hike, it struck me how these young girls had an innate sense of wonder, a feeling of awe and amazement over trails we were hitting. They told me that in fact, this wasn’t their first hike, Nina and her friend had already hiked up Ngong forest, Kereita forest and this was the second time Nina was hiking Mt Kilimambogo.
“I’m planning to do Mt Kenya with the kids end of next year (2019)” says her mom Alice Nganga in one of our conversations, “ Nina enjoys the nature out there and after every hike, she can’t wait for the next one”. True to this, a few weeks after Mt Kilimambogo we conquered Mt Longonot together with her 10 year old friend Nicole and they were so full of energy and passion despite some sections of the mountain being steep.
Hiking and chatting with these little champs revealed to me that we should be always open to having the innocence and curiosity to be fascinated even by the most minute things and to see their uniqueness.
This fascination with nature enables kids to be inquisitive creative thinkers and problem solvers.
For example, as we hiked together we were pondering why the zebra has white and black stripes and why giraffes tongues are sort of tough?
This fascination also enables them to fully grasp the need to protect nature.
For example, Nina’s connection with nature has not only enabled her to enjoy hiking but also take time during weekends to volunteer at Kenya Society for the Protection & Care of Animals due to her love for animals. She has not only done this, but she has also written a recently published book called “Nina and Rocksoft Adventures The Helpless Zebra”.
In this book, she has written about her love for animals and what she’s doing to protect them. The story begins with Nina and her best friend, a horse named Rocksoft, go for a ride by the hillside. Their ride turns scary when they spot nasty poachers in the area and a little zebra all alone. Nina knows the poachers are after the zebra, but she doesn’t have much time to help. She and Rocksoft must act fast if they want to rescue the helpless zebra.
Nina’s book is available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle versions and it can be found via this link.
Written by Patrick Njoroge