Wattle Underwear

While attending the Highlands High School at Eldoret, we were taken to a wattle farm belonging to an elderly German. Wattle trees where grown and the bark used for the leather tanning industry. We were told how the trees were planted and harvested and finally to our great amusement he said, “Und von day you vill all be verring vattle underver. Ve vill turn the trees into fine thread like nylon.” Thank goodness that never happened. Imagine wattle underwear! Would it have been scratchy and bright yellow, like the flowers?

We had lunch in the wattle plantation and then went for a dip in the small river. When we got out, we were horrified to find we were covered with leeches! We received no sympathy from our teachers who informed us that the Victorians paid doctors good money to bleed them with leeches.

Helen Leggatt, South Africa