Thank you so much to the people that have been emailing me over the last couple months, reading and requesting me to continue with my blog. I heard you. And I will.
So much to tell about my second month spent in Africa, and what an experience I have had here in Vail, Colorado the last three months working as a ski instructor. People from all over the world, daily challenges a mountain high, a yearning for my old work in Chicago all while living in a crazy Real World: Vail Employee Housing reality show that I wouldn’t force upon anyone. It’s been a trip! But, first I want to tell you about a particular experience I had in Kenya before traveling down to South Africa.
I love people and their lives. Most simply, this is what drives me to travel. True, you might find the most real and heart warming or wrenching story meeting your local grocer. He could tell you of his 60+ years working for that one grocery store and having never regretting one day as he ever so slowly lead you with his 82 year old body to the exact location of what you desire. Your four minutes with this sincere gentleman could bring joy to your heart you never anticipated or for which you weren’t prepared. But, there is also something to be said for meeting this same type of fellow on the streets of Amsterdam, rock climbing in Hong Kong or like the story I want to tell about the man I met on the shores of a Kenyan beach. (By the way, if you want to meet the grocer, go to Siloam Springs, AR and stop in the local IGA on Highway 412.)
After Sudan, near the end of November 2009, I went back to Nairobi for a while with my brother, sister-in-law and niece. While in Kenya, we flew to Mumbasa and spent some time in a resort out there. I met a local water guide, part of the Kikambala Association named Tuli. This guy was super interesting. He was 24 and had such a thirst for the world, and being the oldest of 7 kids, felt significant pressure to help support his family. He had been to Nairobi for a concert earlier in the year and learned of some ways to study in the states, and ever since he had his sights set high. We talked a lot about my life and how we were alike and not. He introduced me to Rafiki, the art shop owner. Unfortunately this didn’t happen until the day before I had to leave. Big bummer, because I was invited to sit under the tree I show in the video and learn their craft. Can you imagine! the stories that would have been told sitting under the shade of the tree, whittling animals and talking about the lives of these Kenyans. You can see at the end of the video, there’s about 20 seconds worth of film showing the multitude of sculptures the men of Kikambula make.