Runner-up is "Karibu Kenya" written by Arianna Machancoses Da Gama Rose.
Kenya is a fun and beautiful country. It is the place that makes my heart warm. There is a particular part of Kenya where I feel the happiest and this is the beach and coastline of Kenya.
Whether you visit the north part of the coast or the southern part, the Kenyan coast is by far the most beautiful in the world. The beach has smooth, silky, fine, powdery light yellow sand. It is scattered with shells of many types: butterfly shells in rainbow colours; cowrie shells of different sizes which are curved, hard and shiny like an artist has dropped a blob of paint on each one; and other shells shaped as orange cucumbers or cones which are homes to the snails and sea slugs. The Indian Ocean which touches the Kenyan coast is a warm bath with gentle waves.
When the tide is low, I love sitting in the pools of warm crystal clear shallow water as it is the closest thing to paradise. The colour of the sea changes with the sky: starting with a dusty brown colour in the rain; and a turquoise, light blue colour which blends into the sky when the sun is out. On the horizon the reef is a line of white bubbles that separate the sky and sea. In the low tide, my sisters and I love walking out to the sandbars where there is a whole town of different sea animals to meet and discover. The starfish look like they have pointy noses with stripes of blood along each one. They come in different sizes and the pregnant ones look like bloated buns of bread, ready to pop out of their skins. Other types of starfish are spidery and wriggly hairy worms which tickle when they crawl up your arm and are a bit creepy. There are poisonous slugs are buried just below the sand close to the sandbar. They sleep quietly there so no one will notice them, but when poked or prodded, they let out a dark purple flow of poisonous ink that turns the water into Ribena.
The local Kenyan people who work and live near the beach are kind and warm towards us. They especially love children and want to tell us all the stories about the sea, the beach and the different animals that live there. Most of the people that live there are fishermen or earn their living by making handicrafts or jewellery and selling it.
I believe that Kenya is the best country in the world because it has lots of different experiences for everyone to enjoy. I especially love the beach, however my sister loves watching the animals during the migration. At all the times of the year, Kenya has exciting and fun places to enjoy.
In the Age category 8 - 11 years, Arianna's essay was chosen as one of the winning essay - as runner-up. She shares her fond memories of her favourite holidays in Kenya. Her story "Karibu Kenya" was such a pleasure to read as not only did it make every single one of us smiles as we read her beautiful descriptive essay, but her words also warmed our hearts as she describes the wildlife and people with such passion that we all want to book our next holiday to Kenya soon too!
Well done, Arianna! Thank you very much for your lovely story 'Karibu Kenya'! Congratulations!
Arianna attends Runnymede College in Madrid/Spain.
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