Writing is an interesting and yet challenging task that helps one to develop his or her knowledge. Through writing, information passes from one person to another and hence leaves the majority of people knowledgeable about different matters. Writers learn and discover a lot through the process of writing. At the same time, writers face various challenges in the course of their duties. The most challenging writing task I have ever encountered was centered on writing about the culture of the Elmo group of people. This is a small tribe living in the North West of Kenya around Lake Turkana. This paper attempts to explain the various challenges encountered in accomplishing this task.
The first major challenge that characterized this task included the least knowledge about these people. The Elmo is a very small tribe that even most people from other Kenyan tribes do not know of their existence. The later research reveals that it comprises only ninety nine people. As a result, there is scanty documented information about this group of people. The national libraries do not have documents relating to the culture of these people. This made it pretty difficult to obtain substantive data about the tribe. Inadequate exposure to the Elmo tribe made it difficult for other people to know of their existence, let alone their culture. It became compulsory therefore to pay them a visit to obtain first-hand information to write about.
Inaccessibility of this region proved another major problem of this writing exercise. This region was served by impassable roads that made the area difficult to reach. The area was swampy and the pathways were very muddy. In addition, the temperatures of the region were unbearably high. For a visitor, the environmental conditions proved to be hostile to data acquisition exercise. These people lived in the area of about forty homesteads in a village fenced with a mud perimeter wall. Strangers could not get access to this village. It was hard to ask a neighbour to introduce me to these people, otherwise, the journey could become fruitless. Accessing the place and its people really proved to be challenging.
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Language barrier and uncooperative respondents made it challenging to obtain first-hand information from the Elmo tribe. The Elmo group did not welcome strangers at their land as they believed that such strangers came to spy about them and would later come back and launch an attack on them. For this reason, they depicted hostility to the people they did not know. Given that they were less educated, they did not know how to interact with other people as their life majored around fishing in the lake. It took a lot of persuasion and offering of gifts to find an approach to these people. While getting acquainted with them, it arose that only two people in the entire village knew another language apart from their native one. An interpreter played his role while translating the speech of interviewee and me. However, not perfect as intended, the interview ran and I extracted basic and important information to write about the culture of the Elmo.
In conclusion, it is evident that problems I encountered made the writing task the most challenging I conducted. The challenges included language barrier and uncooperative respondents, inaccessibility of the area due to tough terrain, remoteness, and scanty knowledge of the existence of this group of people. Briefly, the culture of the Elmo tribe remains the most challenging writing task I have ever done.