My Writings. My Thoughts.
Most travelers find themselves, at one point or another, amongst other travelers discussing near-death experiences. I’ve been pretty fortunate. I usually tell a story of a ‘rock climbing’ experience in Wyoming. I came out completely unharmed but it was one of those ‘oh my god I’m on the side of this rock and think I might fall to my death’ type of moments. It was not really a near death experience in the least. Even being robbed at gun point in Nairobi, I (stupidly) had no fear that they were actually going to shoot me, despite the fact that a foreigner and a security guard were shot on my street two weeks earlier.
But this time was different. I hope that I never have that feeling again, that I am truly in my final moments of living. Click to Continue Reading
While in Rwanda for two weeks to escape the elections, visit artisans, and visit friends, I had plans to take a little trip. You see, my friend Fidele is a tour guide and owns D’Tours Africa. Not only is he perhaps the funniest person I have met on the entire continent of Africa and sure to keep you entertained on a safari, but he happens to be really good at his job! I met Fidele three years ago when he was working for another tour company in Rwanda. He had lost his passport so since he was unable to work until he received his replacement, we hung out in Gisenyi during the few days I was there between trips. Fidele left that company shortly after we met, as the guy he was working for was cheating some clients (I stayed with the owner and his family three years ago and now he is the journalist and website developer for the M23 rebel group in Congo- oh life is interesting sometimes). Click to Continue Reading
It’s no secret- I love Africa travel. But being here in East Africa for the past four months has me itching to see interesting architecture again. On occasion, I see nice hospitality interiors from chain restaurants… and that’s about it. Here in Kenya and Rwanda, I don’t get excited about architecture in the cities.
A few weeks ago, As We Travel posted a view of Florence’s Duomo on their Facebook page. Suddenly, I was itching… okay like practically dying, to be back in Italy and spending countless hours wandering old streets and imagining what life was like during Michelangelo’s time. I tasted gelato on my tongue and felt the crisp spring air on my face. I even recalled the old Romanian woman I shared a hostel room with in Florence, and despite her eating tuna out of a can (the smell of tuna makes me gag) while sitting in her little white nightgown, I remember how much I admired her passion. She saved for several years for a one-week trip to Florence, and spent countless hours in the art museums day after day. Then a mosquito bit me, and I was brought back to my Nairobi reality. As Spring settles upon us, I wanted to mention some of my favorite places in Europe. While I haven’t traveled extensively in Europe, I have discovered some pretty special spots in my limited travels there (and yes, I use the word discover as in, I discovered for myself… I realize these are quite well known!). I think the idea of place has become so important to me… a hyper-awareness of my surroundings. Place and space are a huge part of why I travel.
1. Hagia Sophia: Once a church, then a mosque, now a museum. However I would just call it: absolutely stunning. Click to Continue Reading
I’ve been quiet for the past week. Mainly, because Amsha’s Pre-Launch Sale started the 21st and while I am thrilled with the feedback and interest, it’s kept me busy! In addition to giving my attention to the sale, today the Supreme Court rules on whether the election outcome stands here in Kenya, whether there will be a run-off, or whether a fresh election will be held. We are anxiously awaiting the verdict here, but this meant I would not be allowed to go to the slum this weekend so I needed to get orders placed this past week.
I thought I would share some updates from the week on life here in Kenya.
1. A week ago, we issued an interest-free loan to our brass artisan to buy his own equipment. He has been renting from others, but by having his own equipment he can save money and time on transport. It was an exciting day for us at Amsha to see his sheer joy and smiles all around. We had a meeting to discuss our next order and he showed up lugging three of the tools/machines with him. We had a good laugh but he wanted to show us what he had purchased!
It has been an interesting, and sometimes seemingly long, road. Though the idea for running a social enterprise has been churning for several years, I feel like I am starting to see the fruit of our labors and couldn’t be more excited.
Our very first shipment for Amsha goes on sale today. Click to Continue Reading
I actually wrote an entire blog about my apartment getting broken into but never hit the publish button. Now I find myself in a similar situation, wondering this time if I should share the incident of getting robbed at gunpoint. What it really boils down to is that I’m kind of embarrassed about it. It was stupid and on the cusp of the time when I really should not have been walking. I should have taken a taxi. It also coincided with a very bizarre incident that happened earlier in the day, and I’m quite frankly just not really sure what to think. Click to Continue Reading