by Ben Ochieng
NAIROBI, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenyans are trooping out of the cities for their upcountry homes as the Christmas season ushers in a golden time for family reunions.
Most of the Kenyans who are leaving the cities for their rural abodes are workers who want to use the two-week holiday period, the longest in their calendar year, to connect with relatives.
Most offices and businesses close soon after the country marked the Jamhuri (Independence) Day celebrations on Monday, when President Uhuru Kenyatta ushered Kenyans into the festive mood after he led Kenyans in marking 53 years since Kenya attained independence from Britain.
Most public transport vehicles have reported heavy bookings by the workers.
"I was lucky to have made advance booking with my public service provider for my travel home to connect with members of my extended family, many of whom I have not met in a long time," one traveler Jack Oloo told Xinhua.
He said due to the nature of his work, he can not find the time to travel to his rural home as frequently as he would wish to, so the holiday will be used to make up the lost time with kindred.
A majority of Kenyans prefer to observe the long vacation with their relatives in the village, with a small number retreating to holiday resorts far away from the city to escape from the hustle and bustle.
Some parents travel home with the children so that the kids would 'touch base' with their grandparents in the village.
"My mother has for long accused me for having 'spoiled' my children by making them speak to me in a foreign language that I can not understand," Mary Chege, clerical officer in a government office told Xinhua.
Peter Wafula said he has to support relatives at home during the Christmas period, most of who deem that a person from the city has a lot of money to spend.
"Woe unto you if you don't do so because they will mark you as a mean person and this comes with a lot of consequences," the IT expert said.
Kenyan police have already cautioned drivers of personal cars and public service vehicles to observe road safety precautions on the roads as they drive to their destinations.
On Saturday night, over 40 people perished in a tragic road accident along a road west of Nairobi when a light truck carrying inflammable substance exploded and crushed into several vehicles.
Police have also mounted mangled wreckage of vehicles on raised daises at major road intersections where drivers can get the message to slow down the crossroads.
January 1 will see the reverse trend when Kenyans head back to cities after two-week period of enjoyment and merriment, and probably with depleted pockets.