My Writings. My Thoughts.

30: A Year of Settling In

// July 27th, 2015 // 2 Comments » // Oregon

As I approach my anniversary of moving to Portland and just coming off an incredibly amazing birthday, I have so many thoughts flowing. Click to Continue Reading

Thirty One.

// July 11th, 2015 // 2 Comments » // Kenya

My birthday this year really snuck up on me. I can’t even believe that I’m 31 today. I actually wouldn’t have given it much thought, except that my mother asked me last weekend over the phone, “What do you want for your birthday?” I told her I didn’t want anything… my parents do enough for me and I have everything I could possibly need. But after a few moments, I recanted my statement. “I take that back- you can donate towards John’s surgery.” That’s what gave me the idea. In lieu of birthday high fives and gifts I don’t need, I would instead persuade, coerce, sweet talk, and convince people that what they most wanted to do for my birthday was give the best donation they could ever give to save a young man’s hand.  Click to Continue Reading

Love for Mt. Hood

// July 7th, 2015 // 5 Comments » // Oregon

Timothy Lake by Mt. Hood

I figured an eight-month hiatus from this blog was long enough and that I might shock many of you by actually writing again!… or just posting pretty photos. I have enough content to write for days, but it’s always a balance of time. Now that it’s summer in Oregon, the days are long and my weekends are full. When I’m not working (my job requires me to drive), then I’m taking advantage of the weather and biking where I need to go. The next three months are an outdoor lover’s paradise. The summers in Oregon cause me to momentarily forget how cold I think the winters are and remind me that Portland is AMAZING. Click to Continue Reading

A Visa Worth a Thousand Words

// October 28th, 2014 // 4 Comments » // Kenya

John gets his Kenyan passport

I rushed out of the house last Friday with a million things running through my head. An unusually hectic schedule for a Friday, I had new clients coming in, clients starting jobs, and interviews to attend. I knew I’d be in and out of the office all day. Click to Continue Reading

Oh, Kenya (& Rwanda!)

// October 3rd, 2014 // 1 Comment » // Kenya

Recently, I returned home from a two-week trip to Kenya and Rwanda. I went primarily for Amsha (new designs coming!), as well as for Stahili, and squeezed in time with friends and a tiny bit of sightseeing. Trying to sift through photos and organize my thoughts, I realized it’s kind of crazy how much I managed to do in just two weeks. For example, I was only in Rwanda for 3 days, and yet I traversed the country, visiting the capital, the lake to the west, and a city down south. In Kenya, I averaged about 4 hours of sleep each night, because there was simply so much to be done.

I have a few posts coming up on more in-depth happenings from my trip, but I thought I’d open with a quick intro of what it’s like to travel in Kenya. A few days after arriving, I sent this message to a friend:

Yesterday I traveled back to Nairobi from up north via minibus. As we are driving down the highway, the trunk pops open and my bag goes tumbling down the highway. As if the driver didn’t think twice about the fact that maybe the latch is broken, he shoves it back in. 30 minutes later, we come to a sharp halt on the shoulder and I turn around to see my bag laying in the highway once again and cars veering to miss it. Ah, the joys of travel in Kenya.

Even though Kenya and Rwanda fall under the umbrella of East Africa, they couldn’t be more different. While Rwanda is organized, orderly, safe, and clean, Kenya is virtually its opposite. The streets of Nairobi are insanely crowded, petty theft is rampant, and public transportation is a death trap. I usually try to laugh things off when things go wrong in Kenya, because otherwise, I just find myself frustrated and defeated. And to be honest, Kenya frustrates the hell out of me. But as you will soon read, I cannot keep myself away. I have so much love for people there and for Kenya’s stunning beauty, that I’ve learned to shake my head and not dwell on the difficulties. After all, where else are you going to find baby elephants that are this cute??

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi



// July 30th, 2014 // 8 Comments » // Kenya

Mwangi & the piglets

Mwangi’s spirit shines bright. A mischievous little boy with a naughty grin, his chuckle can be heard from across the field. His facial expressions can change at the drop of a hat. He’s not afraid to show his stubborn streak, but he has a big heart.

And yet, he also humanizes the realities of child abuse. He’s a poster child for enterprising orphanages in Kenya.

I met a rambunctious toddler named Mwangi four years ago in the highlands of Kenya. One of my very first sightings of him was him trying to let the little piglets escape from the pig pen. My next encounter with him was catching him drawing across a wall with lipstick, flashing his ‘I’m up to no good but I’m so cute’ smile when he got caught. Obviously, all the children from Stahili have captured my heart, but Mwangi had a curious spark in him and a mischievous spirit that resonated with me.  Click to Continue Reading

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