Water is Life

One of my favorite things about working in Kenya is the opportunity to go into the field and see how the projects work firsthand.  Fortunately for me, this past week was chock-full of opportunities to travel and see completed projects and get a handle on what it is exactly that I am fund raising for.  I visited four sites over two days throughout Laikipia West and was treated to great receptions at all of the locations, with program chairs happy to show off the completion of their projects.

Dating Dos and Don'ts: Take One

As mentioned in a previous post I have decided to venture into the dating world during Nairobi 2.0.  As my friends know, I tend to go for a specific "type" of guy, looks and personality wise, which I'm trying to steer clear of this time around.  I meet a ton of guys every time I go out (mostly due to the magical ratio of 8 million guys to 1 girl- I'm not complaining) which is not the best way to meet a potential date, but will lead to fun stories for you, my loyal readers.

No one got eaten by a hyena...

...though there was some thoughtful positioning during the ill-advised night time safari walk as to not be in the hyena bait position. 

To clarify, I went on my first "real" camping trip this weekend.  I qualify this because I'm fairly certain, though eventful, that my other forays into camping do not qualify me as experienced or even allowed beginner* status.  1) sleeping in my sister's new Care Bear pup tent in her upstairs bedroom at age 4, b) Girl Scout camp, iii) the 5th grade class camping trip to Camp Classen, D) church camp, 5) sleeping in my grandparents' camper in their backyard.  I rest my case.  So needless to say this was a whole new experience for me.

There's no place like somewhere to call home....

So after a long day of waiting my move did not occur once again.  This is becoming the never end saga of my failure to move into my flat.  As recounted in my previous post, I spent the entire weekend waiting and most of Monday until the hotel staff informed me they had someone checking into my room that evening and no other rooms to move me to.  The frantic search to get a hold of someone, anyone in my organization before I get kicked out the hotel ensues.

Hello, Monday, You Fickle Beast

This weekend was my first back in good old Nairobi.  After a day with my ever friendly Skillshare guide, Evans, going over induction material I had some delish Malaysian food at a friend's house before heading out to catch up with peeps at the always memorable Gipsys.  Proving once again that I have returned to an alternate universe where my charm knows no bounds, I was chatted up by a couple of guys.  On second thought, it might be the ratio of single men to women.  I think the odds are definitely working in my favor.  My foray into dating life may begin sooner than expected.  Thinking I had to move early the next morning I called it an early night (for Nbi anyway) and headed home.

Top Ten Things I Missed About Africa

10. monkeys
Picture taken in Nairobi National Park
9. weekend trips out of Nairobi
8. the smell of East Africa
7. baby ellies
Picture taken at David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi
6. authentic Ethiopian food at Lalibela, Habesha, and Abyssinia
Photo credit: http://www.wix.com/aladorgod/zembaba-2
5. Gipsys

Induction? You mean, orientation?

After arriving late in the evening in Nairobi on 1/11/11 (I just wanted a reason to mention the fun date) I spent the next day recovering from jet lag and lounging about the guest house and trying not to scare others with my lingering manly voice.  Eugene from the Nairobi Skillshare office came by on Thursday morning with Evans, my guide to the "induction" process.  This must be a Britishism* (look it up, I swear it's a word; if it's not it should be) because I laughed out loud (also a possible side effect from jetlag and being heavily medicated for a sinus infection) when he told me that I would spend the next few days getting inducted and he just looked at me strangely.  I refrained from asking what I was getting inducted into, the Hall of Fame for Awesomeness perhaps?  A cult?  Childbirth?  (*My theory was confirmed when I got a follow up email from the UK office wishing me a nice induction.)

The Misadventures of Captain Awesome: Going Out in Kenya

Upon my return to the States I was of course inundated by numerous get togethers with friends wanting to catch up over the last eight months.  Surprisingly, though it probably shouldn't be, the questions they asked me most about were not of all the exciting adventures I went on; instead they wanted to know about the guys I met and how the dating scene in Nairobi differs from that of Dallas.

Fanny packs...what were they thinking?

Is it the new cool travel accessory or the fad that should have stayed dead?  Seriously, I saw not one, not three, but numerous fanny packs while people watching at DFW and LHR.  Fanny packs; for my non-American, non-geeky friends; are belts with an unattractive pouch positioned over ones waist either facing behind, over one's fanny, or forward, on top of or below one's stomach, with the intent of making the bearer's essentials readily available.  It's a travel accessory targeted to geeks the world over.

The Eagle Has Landed

I have arrived (in one piece!) and am so happy to be back in Kenya.  East Africa is my home away from home. 

Goodbye, weekend!

This was my last weekend in the States for an unbeknownst amount of time.  Notice I'm not committing to return in October, but I'm not not committing either to those Dallasites who would like me to settle down already.

Will There Be Change?

Sudan has risen to the forefront of international news of late, mostly due to George Clooney's work with the Enough Project and Americans obsession with all things celebrity.  Clooney recognized the power this gave him and decided to use it for good.  He took Dateline's Ann Curry to Sudan on a fact finding mission with Enough Project's founder, John Prendergrast.  I admit, I stayed home the Friday night that aired to hear more about the developing situation in Southern Sudan from Mr. Clooney.

Back to Basics

Packing is always a nightmare.  I despise it almost as much as unpacking.  In fact, I only just finished unpacking the suitcases I returned home with in October about a month ago, to the distress of my parents numerous cats.  (They greatly enjoy having them laying about for their kitty games.) Fortunately I have already packed once for such an adventure and know a few things I can leave behind to leave space for  much more important items; such as tortillas.  And salsa.  Eight months without the joy of authentic Mexican food was long enough.  I wonder if customs confiscates such delicacies?

My cat, Fleur, overseeing the packing process

Life Is What You Make It: Updated

So as some of you might remember I made a bucket list of all the places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do in 2010.  So here's to new adventures and more great times in 2011! 

The Best of 2010

"So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good." Helen Keller

2010 was a rough year for many, myself included, but with the hardships and stress came great memories made with good friends.  So forget all the negative things that stressed you out over the last year and remember all of the fun times spent with old and new friends. Here's just a few of my memories of the past year and some of my favorite images: