In Summary
  • For almost a year, Ms Karanja had been living in Canada, where she had gone to help her daughter, Caroline Karanja, who had just given birth and had two other young children to take care of.

  • And so, Sunday, March 10, would be the day Ms Karanja, their daughter Caroline and her children — Ryan Njoroge, 7, Kelly Paul, 5, and Ruby Paul, 9 months — would be returning home.

Neighbours moved in a solemn single file into the home of John Quindos Karanja on Monday. The tragic news had changed the mood of the day.

The initial plan was to slaughter three goats to celebrate the return of his wife, Ann Wangui Quindos Karanja, who would be bringing home her grandchildren. Many relatives had never met the youngest, who was born in Canada.

WHATSAPP GROUP

For almost a year, Ms Karanja had been living in Canada, where she had gone to help her daughter, Caroline Karanja, who had just given birth and had two other young children to take care of.

And so, Sunday, March 10, would be the day Ms Karanja, their daughter Caroline and her children — Ryan Njoroge, 7, Kelly Paul, 5, and Ruby Paul, 9 months — would be returning home to Kwa Amos village, Kabatini, in Bahati, Nakuru County, where a feast was awaiting.

But that was not to be. The five perished in the Ethiopian Airlines ET302 crash on Sunday at Bishoftu, formerly known as Debre-Zeit. The plane, which was destined for Nairobi, went down just six minutes after taking off at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.

Mr Quindos, 61, broke the news in a WhatsApp group at 21:39 hrs: “I have lost my wife, my daughter and three grandchildren in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.”

The news hit members of the ward like a bullet.

And even as they passed messages of condolences to him, many could not fathom the loss that had befallen the family.

FAINT HOPE

Mr Quindos had travelled to Nairobi on Sunday, to wait for his family to land so that they could travel to Nakuru together for the surprise celebration.

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