Monday, September 26, 2011


hey shoppers!

I have pretty, pretty things for sale:

we are actually building now (!!!!!!!) and so it's

a) much more motivating to beg people for money, knowing that every dollar gets us closer to finishing our building, and

b) much more important that we get money, SOON. those walls aren't gonna build themselves, guys.

so...introducing our new, pretty purses, direct from Kenya:

and our beautiful African jewelry:

and more details on purchasing them soon. (necklaces are $15, earrings $10, purses $25.)

we have a few of our new shirts left: buy them here

and even fewer of our old design, which are on SALE! (here)

in conclusion, has spending money every been this fun?

Monday, September 19, 2011

a start.

I started writing a story.

Carve a thin strip out of the jungle and throw down some tarmac. Add traffic: trucks, people, cars, animals. Cows, goats, donkeys. Monkeys who refuse to use the crosswalks and do not look both ways before crossing.

Toss four million people into houses on either side of the road. This is Nairobi.

There are four things I love unequivocally in this city. One is the giraffe center, where you can feed giraffe and stand right up next to their heads. They are peaceful, and beautiful.
Two: an American coffee house, complete with flushing toilets, drinkable water, wireless internet and polite wait staff. You can read there for hours undisturbed.
The third thing is the Ngong market when it is not market day. It is quiet and you can buy almost anything. Avocados the size of softballs. Papaya and mango. Flip flops and kitchen utensils. Fabric, used sweaters, pashminas and sugar cane. Eleven different kinds of beans.

Number four is the ten acres of land south of Kiserian registered under the name of Visible Grace.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

fewer and even further between.

I always promise myself that when I get back to Oregon, I'll blog more and catch up on stories here on my travel blog. and I remind myself that the stories and images from Kenya aren't going anywhere, that it's just as vivid in my head when I'm here as when I'm there, and that I'll be able to get it all written down, if I just sit down and do it.

then I get settled here in Portland, and I dream about Kenya and giraffes and Susan and Kims and babies and dirt and matatus, and I wake up and I fully intend to blog, and then my brain is all, 'wow, traffic was really bad today; Terry Gross has such good questions; I can't find my checkbook; New Seasons closes in 15 minutes' and it's just. so. hard. to bring Kenya back here to the world wide web.

which is weird because, as I said, it's all so clear to me and I have no problem thinking about Kenya, all the time all the time all the time. but I never seem to get around to articulating my thoughts and feelings into normal people words.

and maybe no one cares, and I know it's more exciting to read an update LIVE ON LOCATION IN KENYA then it is, you know, semi-live from my living room!, but I still feel obligated to keep momentum going here, and I think my writing improves with practice. at least, I hope it does.

so here's a semi-monthly update to say: I'm tryin, world.

and on that note- we freaking BROKE GROUND! and that's really all I ever want to talk about, ever.

what do YOU want to talk about?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I don't know how to describe my favourite things about Kenya, but I'll try. it's glimpses. it's the everyday things. the snapshots of a life lived in Africa.

it's the feeling of satisfaction when you wash your own laundry by hand, and it's finally hanging on the line to dry. it's when you've been there long enough to sleep through the donkey and rooster wake up calls; when you finally look right when crossing the street, instead of left. it's when you step inside the Ngong market to buy bananas and tomatoes and cilantro and it's perfectly, inexplicably quiet. it's when you are washing dishes, leaning over the sink, soap up to your elbows, listening to your neighbours' chatter and inhaling the smells of chai, charcoal and sunset. it's when you are stuck in traffic on the road from Rongai to Bomas, and you see baboons sticking their rears up at you as they retreat into the bush.

it's the sunset over the hills.

it's the subtle grasp of the culture and the language. the feel of the air early in the morning. the familiar beep of a matatu on the road. the particular way that children say 'how are you?' and the way they shake hands, with their left hand grasping their right forearm.

it's when a visitor knocks and you welcome them in, give them slippers and put water on for tea. it's when you and your sister finish each other's sentences. it's Friday nights with a bowl of popcorn, a litre of Coke and season two of Lost.

it's the little things, and the big ones.