Thursday, June 18, 2009

JAMBO - Kenya Living

Hello all. I feel strange for not being able to blog this excursion up, but my connections have been a bit slow. Oh well. It's nice to be able to touch base here.

I'm sure I'll tweet this when we hit the road again, but if I had two words to describe the Kenyan countryside, they would be: "carelessly verdant." Seriously, everything is either a strange mass of strange trees or a field of plants. Lots of farmers around here. We drove out to Western Kenya last week, almost to Lake Victoria, and slept under bed nets in an orphanage where one of our partners works.

In case you don't know, I'm here with The 1010 Project, a Denver-based humanitarian organization that partners with social entrepreneurs in the developing world to break the cycle of poverty. Aside from two organizations that are based in the rural west, we have a number scattered across the slums of Nairobi. I'll be heading to Korogocho and Kibera and Kayole and Matopeni in the coming days.

It's amazing here, it really is, and I'm super-glad to be with The 1010 Project. I'm our Fundraising Coordinator, and part of our trip involves me implementing a grant that I wrote a few months back. Our partners are VERY happy to work with us on some specific income-generating projects.

Some highlights: Helped a 4 year old Luhya girl carry a 20-liter jerrycan of water through a cornfield to her home. She smiled. I addressed a crowd of what looked to be 40,000 street children in Matopeni, singing songs and dancing and telling stories. I thanked a baboon for laying the groundwork for the internet and Twitter. Got bit by a mosquito, which means a LOT more here than it does in America (check out previous posts, which I can't link to now, about my work with the Interfaith Youth Core and Tony Blair Faith Foundation).

I'm likely to spend the first week of July writing a bunch of impassioned posts about these and other things and putting them up, but for now, I just wanted to check in and thank you all for following along with my work. You folks are a big part of the work I do - I see it in the congratulatory tweets as much as I see it in the smiling faces of orphans and entrepreneurs that we work with in Kenya. See you all soon.