A walk in the tea fields

By Robin Jones Gunn

A vast tea field borders the Brackenhurst Conference Center where the LittWorld Conference was held. On Monday a few of us took to the red dirt paths with our umbrellas, eager to stroll through the tea fields before dinner. In every direction the rain washed tea plants spread out before us in variegated shades of green. Down in the valley we could see the humble village where the tea pickers lived and where the harvested tea leaves were taken at the end of the day. Workers reach for the pale, new growth and pick just the two leaves that sprout from the fresh bud at the top of the plant.

Kenyan tea fields: strolling behind Didier and Ernest. Photo courtesy Robin Jones Gunn.

Ernest, who grew up playing in Kenyan tea fields, taught us how to roll the long, dark green tea leaves and make a whistle. He told us stories about his wife and their wedding, while Didier, an illustrator from France, demonstrated his juggling skills with three umbrellas. Alice and I smiled. And smiled and smiled. We were mesmerized by it all; the people, the place, the soft air and the expansive view…

<<Read the full post now on Robin’s blog

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