Thank you for Christmas donations!

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to VICDA’s Christmas drive! I’m happy to report that nearly $7,000 was raised to assist families at Lemolo A and B and other IDP’s in need. A note from Irene is below, outlining how the funds were used. We bought 157 pairs of  school shoes, 650 families received Christmas dinner, we paid bill for treatment of 4 … Continue reading Thank you for Christmas donations!

‘Tis the season to give

Christmas is a magical time of year. Where I come from, it’s a time of fairy lights twinkling in the brisk night, of snow falling quietly on the bustling city, of singing along to familiar carols, of glowing fires and laughter and general happiness. But it is also a time of giving, as is reflected in the red tins and ringing bells, toy drives and granting of … Continue reading ‘Tis the season to give

Laundry Day

On Sunday mornings, the house is mine.  The Waraos, my Kenyan family, are at church and I’m left with a jerry can of water, two plastic basins, a sack of Omo and an empty clothesline.  In a country where the notion of personal space is as foreign as my freckled nose, I welcome this solitary weekly ritual.  I squat, and prepare my laundry. The morning … Continue reading Laundry Day

#tbt Hell’s Gate National Park, Kenya

I’ve made numerous trips into the Rift Valley during my many months in Kenya but almost all of them are with VICDA, an NGO I’ve worked with since 2006. In October of 2009 my friend, Tami, and I worked in a day trip to Hell’s Gate National Park. Below are some of my notes and images. After spending the night at Naivasha Silver Hotel, Tami … Continue reading #tbt Hell’s Gate National Park, Kenya

#tbt Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Amboseli National Park in Kenya was my first ever safari experience, back in November 2006. Weyn, a fellow volunteer, was planning a solo visit to Amboseli  before heading home and when I got a call over breakfast letting me know that the school where I was volunteering would be closed for the next three days he suggested I join him. I think I thought about … Continue reading #tbt Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Thinking Warm Thoughts

Currently, as I sit cuddled under a blanket on my couch with my dog, it’s -15°F (-26ºC) with a windchill of -39ºF (-39ºC.) You know it’s really cold when the Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same. This little cold patch has been dubbed “Chiberia” here in Chicago. So what’s keeping me warm today? A cup of tea, a fleece blanket and a cuddly pup. And … Continue reading Thinking Warm Thoughts

Christmas Dinner for families at Manjani Mingi

Originally posted on Jenn Winter:
Volunteering in Kibera in 2006-7. Most of you who either know me personally or who have read this blog for a while know about my connection with Kenya. Seven years ago I left my marketing job, packed my bags and journeyed to Nairobi where I volunteered with VICDA for the better half of a year. Since that time I’ve stayed… Continue reading Christmas Dinner for families at Manjani Mingi

The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

A post about my favorite animal on World Elephant Day. Click any image to enlarge. A visit to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is just as adorable as it sounds. For less than $10 per person visitors can spend an hour (11am-noon daily) watching these precious baby pachyderms parade around, play with soccer balls, wrestle one another and suckle at enormous bottles. The smallest babies … Continue reading The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Confessions of a Place Dropper

Place Dropper? Guilty. I love the World Hum blog. The pieces speak to real, gritty, Therouxian travelers. Earlier I came across a brilliant and hysterical piece by Spud Hilton, discussing the “fine art” of place dropping. It’s like name dropping but instead of making yourself cool by association to a person, you subtly (or not so subtly) make yourself cool by association to far off places. For instance, … Continue reading Confessions of a Place Dropper

The Meaning of New Shoes

“Ah, Jenni,” Irene smiled as she picked up a small pair of the faux Converse All-Stars, “they are really going to remember this!” “Huh?”  I looked up from a long list of names and measurements in my little black notebook, “remember what?” “You know,” she continued, ignoring my question, “even me, I remember my first pair of shoes.  And they were not even new, they … Continue reading The Meaning of New Shoes