In a nutshell: I traveled to Kenya in April of 2010 to do a freelance newspaper project. I was reporting about the work that a couple from Greeley, Colorado was doing in Kenya. This couple, from the Network Beyond Foundation (started out of Christ Community Church), partners with Christian Mission Aid (CMA) in Kenya to run the Olooloitikoshi Girl’s Rescue Center in the Kajiado District of Kenya(…it’s a mouthful). The center was built to house and sponsor girls that run away from home to avoid female circumcision and early marriage. I skipped college for two and a half weeks, drained my bank account- I literally had $30 and $1,000 credit limit when I got on the plane- and got lost in rural Kenya. Africa is a place I never, ever, ever in a million years thought that I would go, but it turns out I got a little lost in the Maasai culture (one of Kenya’s many tribes) and in some of their pressing women’s issues, namely female circumcision and early marriage. I completed my package of newspaper stories and headed to Yellowstone to work and play for the summer of 2010. But I could not get the OGRC girls off my mind, and I could not forget about female circumcision (I know, this sounds weird). So, here I am, two years later with a plane ticket back to Kenya to research, write, volunteer, and..well, you know…get lost! This trip will be a little different than the last one. Since I’ve graduated college and lingered in the masses of miserable twenty-somethings working in restaurants, I currently have nothing better to do than spend 2 months in East Africa (after quitting my restaurant job, of course). My boyfriend, Alex, will be on this trip too and I’m thrilled to show him this enchanting area of the world as I’ve experienced it once before! Our trip will start at the OGRC where we will be teaching computer skills and job interviewing skills and working on some construction projects. This is also where a large chunk of my formal research and interviewing will take place. We will then travel to Samburu in northern Kenya where we will visit the Umoja Women’s Village and go on safari for a few days. Next, we will bus it across the southern border to Tanzania, spending one night near Kilimanjaro and possibly visiting a school for Maasai girls. From there, we go south to visit our dear friend Sarah, near Iringa, where she is in her final year as a Peace Corps volunteer. Lastly, we will visit Zanzibar (sounds so exotic I can hardly wait!) where we will be a little touristy for a while and visit some women’s cooperatives on the east coast while we’re at it! So, that’s the plan. But you never can tell what will happen!
That’s one big nutshell! Stay posted for updates on trip planning and travelling, once we get going.