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). (more…)
Archive for Africa
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
Rwanda was fantastic. I am so, so, so glad I decided to go. I traversed the country for two weeks in search of artisans and took a little trip with friends to the rainforest along the way (and also ate some fantastic food). I feel like I have so much to blog about, and yet it’s almost like ‘Where do I begin? (more…)
Today is Election Day in Kenya. The local and international communities are holding their breaths and waiting anxiously in hopes of a peaceful day. You may recall that in 2007/2008, post-election violence broke out as a result of an allegedly rigged election. Raila Odinga (who is a major contender this time around as well) had a significant lead in the last election. Then, the power went out across the country. When the power came back on, suddenly Kibaki was in the lead. The violence lasted nearly three months and many innocent people lost their lives as a result. This time Raila Odinga is up against Uhuru Kenyatta who is going on trial in the ICC for instituting violence in the last election. He and his running mate are both accused of being ring leaders in the violence, but ironically were on opposing sides. Now they have teamed up to try to run the country despite the fact that they will spend part of their time in the Hague. Why anyone would vote for someone that is facing charges in the ICC, I have no idea, but don’t get me started on talking Kenyan politics or I will sound like a broken record. (more…)