The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love...Kenya

The contents of this website are my own PERSONAL opinion. They do not reflect the opinions, policies, actions, feelings, or eating habits of the Peace Corps, the U.S. Government, any government, shadow governments, or anyone else, for that matter, but ME.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I've "Been So Lost"

That is what Kenyans say when they haven't seen you in awhile (and sometimes that "awhile" could be 20 minutes)...You've Been So Lost (or nimepotea I think in Kiswahili, though looking at it, it may mean I've been so lost and should be umepotea...sijui (who knows), I live with Lous and we don't need no stinkin' Kiswahili).  Either way...I'm back, of sorts at least.

I have really just been swapped beyond belief with work.  The Imani Design ladies have been at it like it is a sweatshop trying to get product ready for the big Peace Corps roll out which was last week.  The roll out was a success, though the ambitious American in me wanted it to be even more.  I will soon have pictures up on Flickr or some of the cool stuff they are making. 

It is actually so funny it is to be this busy.  When I first got to site, nearly two years ago, I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be this insanely busy and with a project and people I love so very much.  Despite the horrible upheaval in my assigned organization (which really will stay undescribed here until I return to the US), I am one lucky volunteer to be living in a place I love (most of the time) and working with people who really are committed to things.  Not everyone can say that. 

There is a lot going and some really big decisions I will be making in the next few weeks.  I am still torn as to when I will be coming home.  My original plan had me coming home for my birthday (hint hint....get the cards in the mail now).  I can still do that, but if I stay until July 4 (when I can get an early COS) I am thinking I will help Imani Rural Women's Action Group get on a sounder footing and be a more sustainable project.  I still haven't decided and a lot depends on the actions (or inaction) of my supervisor (sorry for the subterfuge for those that don't know, but it really isn't appropriate to talk about in such a public forum). 

I am basically putting off the decision until I return from Rwanda in two weeks.  I leave next week for a week in the beautiful Rwanda where I will be tromping through the volcanic rain forest with Dian Fossey's gorillas.  I think I am excited about that, but it is hard to overcome the mental hurdle of suffering through an 18 HOUR bus ride each way between Kigali and Kisumu...EACH WAY.  These gorillas better make me tea and play scrabble with me or something.


So, I have a request (another one) for those of you looking to help me and my projects out.  I would love for you to send along any Oprah (and other very colorful) magazines that may be laying round collecting dust.  Part of my project involves making jewelry from old magazines (I know, I am the last person you'd thought that would embark upon a craft), and the magazines need to be very colorful (full pages of color, like O, People, Cosmo etc).  This is the best recycling program imaginable.  You'll get to see examples of this cool and funky jewelry when I get back (if I know you personally I guess) or soon with pictures on Flickr.  Though, the pictures don't do it justice.

If you could M Bag these magazines to Kenya, you would be doing a world of good for the ladies of Pendo Letu (Our Love).  M Bag is a slow boat way to send any printed material, it costs about a dollar a pound and takes six months to get here.  Feel free to send it by faster means if you want such immediate satisfaction.  Since I will not be here in six months (still hard for me to believe) please send them to the following person.  She is a woman I have worked closely with throughout my service, and with whom I will continue to work closely.

Sophie R. A. Otieno
Box 193
Oyugis, Kenya 40222

(Seems the US post system is a little thrown by the zip code and keeps sending my mail first to Louisville instead of Africa...Kentucky/Kenya, I guess that could be confusing.)

Thanks so much in advance for being part this Peace Action.  Rest assured there will be more to follow.


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