Jambo! As you know, I recently returned from Kenya (and have an impressive five words of Swahili to show for it). While I am still trying to process my weeks there (and combat the 10 hour time difference), I can say that the experience was, in a word, overwhelming. And I mean that in every sense. I have mentioned in previous posts that Africa is an emotional place for me. It is the continent that has brought me great joy and profound grief. My feelings for Africa are raw and close to the surface. The land is never far from my mind and I traveled to Kenya with great expectations. Though my time in Kenya was entirely different than the time I spent in South Africa, the journey did not disappoint. The people were warm, the terrain, lush, and the animals were abundant. If you kept up with my Instagram, you know that I kissed giraffes, played with refugee children and bathed in the open bush. I interacted with this new place and was allowed a window to a world so very different from my own. I felt amazed, honored, giddy and helpless, all at the same time. But that’s what Africa does to me. To put it in today’s terminology, it gives me all the feels. To walk a few feet from two of the three remaining Southern white rhino in Kenya was one of the greatest privileges I’ve ever known. To be embraced by groups of people where I was the minority was new and refreshing. To play with orphaned elephants and feed endangered giraffes had me non-stop giggling. And to sit with those children and share a bit of our lives was at once both heartwarming and devastating. If I sound all over the map, that’s because I am. I still haven’t sorted out the experiences in my head. So let’s just call this an intro post. In the next couple weeks, I’ll share my time in Nairobi, the Maasai Mara and the Kakuma refugee camp. Consider it Africa month on The LA Survival Guide. Because in my heart, every month is Africa month.
Photos by Michele LoBosco