Saturday, August 26, 2006


A little video for you about Kenya.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I am protected from every bug... almost

"There is nothing that cannot be cured by sticking a huge freaking needle in your arm"

Today I finished up my prevention of "anything African." I am now immune to Hepatitis, Polio, Meningitis, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Typhoid, and Tetanus.

I am thankful that it is all over. I am a wuss when it comes to needles. So, this was a big deal for me. To protect myself, I had to go through the pain of a huge needle being lodged in my arm, the soreness that lasts four days after, and the side effects of having live viruses in my body. This better be worth it.

Apparently, this all will keep me safe and healthy while in Kenya. My mom has her doubts, however. I have been additionally advised not to touch anything or anyone or to go anywhere.

This will be a fun trip.

So any bug that tries to bite me will be very sorry at a futile attempt to spread, whatever it is they spread. Almost any bug that is.

Just days before leaving, I finally figure out why my cat, since we moved to San Fran, has been obsessively cleaning herself. She has fleas. Seeing as we spend every waking, and sleeping, moment together, I have fleas too.

I can treat my cat with Advantage to kill her fleas, but according to the directions, my skin should not come in to contact with the stuff.

Now, let us just put aside the fact that this makes me wonder how safe it is for my nine pound cat when it is not safe for my 100+ pound self. Putting that aside, how am I supposed to get rid of my fleas? There are shots to protect me from tons of little blood suckers in Kenya, but not the little blood suckers here in my home.

I wonder if they check for fleas at customs....

Monday, August 21, 2006

Inquiring minds... might not want to know

"Curiosity isn't as bad as they say. My cat and I are both still alive and scratching."

Following are answers to some questions I have been getting thrown at me. It is my own FAQ post! I feel so official.

When: I am leaving the states August 31st. I return October 15th.
Where: Nairobi, Kenya and surrounding areas
What: For the first four weeks of my adventure, I will be volunteering at the Hurumana Children's Home and spending time with children who have been orphaned by AIDS or otherwise. I will be staying on site at the orphanage in a cozy building with other female volunteers.

The great (and scary) thing about this project is it is very open ended. Apparently, the people who run the orphanage do not like to order around volunteers. So, it is up to me to get myself involved in a project, or to start my own. I can make what ever I want out of this opportunity. I can just join up with the coaching of sports or teaching in a classroom.

If I can get my butt in gear, I am thinking about arranging a project more focused around art. I do not know if I will have the supplies to make everything I think of happen, but I would like to try any way. These are things I should plan out before I leave. But, will I? (If you don't know the answer, see previous post.)
I have a few old cameras that I no longer use that I could probably bring and teach photography with. The cameras are all film and will be easier, I think, to get the results back to the children quicker than digital.

Here is the website of the place i will be:

For the rest of my stay, I will be working with lions. I do not really know what I will be doing exactly yet, but here is the website for that project.

I will, hopefully, not be too preoccupied to keep this site up to date so people can follow me through my projects.

And just so you know, yes Africa does have electricity. They do have internet. And, they have phone lines. So, I will be able to keep in contact when I find the time. Africa is not all wilderness, nor all desert, nor most things people like to think it is.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Be prepared to be unprepared

"I love deadlines... and the whooshing sound they make as they fly by"

So I leave for Kenya in 16 days. I JUST got my packet of information on how to get ready for my trip. This comes a few weeks late, in my opinion, seeing as I needed to get some immunizations 6 weeks prior to departure. I admit, I should have probably researched this on my own. But, if you know me, you know that pre preperation is just not my thing.

I am the queen of procrastination. I feel that anything worth doing can be done later. I have yet to plan a trip. My excursions to Ireland, Europe, Costa Rica, all were left unplanned.

I remember family vacations, going some where cool, Jamaica, England, Hawaii. But, by eight in the morning on the first morning of "vacation" we would have to be off doing something pre planned until the sunset. I am not much for the regular touristy sites. History, buildings, 'sights' just aren't my thing.

So, my vacations have been the exact opposite, so much so, I am lucky to have a plane ticket in time. Ok, maybe it has not been that unplanned. But, everything else on the trip was based on recomendations of people I meet when I get where i am going.

I am starting to realize, however, that maybe I should not have treated this trip to Africa the same as traveling to European destinations.

So, I have 16 days to get immunized, get a visa, get packed and get prepared.