Thursday, April 17, 2014

Exploring a New Corner of Africa

Sandwiched between two cancelled flights and quite a bit of drama, I had the opportunity to explore a new corner of Africa.  Back in February, I was checking out the International Christian Educator's Conference (ICEC) which was going to be held at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya.  Just recently, travel between east and west Africa has become much easier as Ethiopian Airways now flies into Niamey.  But still travelling in Africa can be sketchy and I didn't really want to go by myself so on a lark I asked my friend A if she would like to go.  I was shocked when she got excited and started looking into the cost of travel that very day!

Before long our group of two had turned into a group of six who wanted to participate in the conference and so we tried to make plans as we did want to see some of the sights in Kenya.  In the end, for a variety of reasons, we ended up with no plan.  That turned out to be a blessing when our departing flight was cancelled and we were rescheduled to fly a day later.

We stayed in the AIM guesthouse which is a wonderful place.  They were so flexible with all the last minute changes.  We were truly blessed.

One of our colleagues had a friend in Nairobi who came to visit us.  On the spot, he was able to connect us to a travel agent with whom we had begun to negotiate before our travel plans got disrupted.  So our first afternoon in Nairobi we went to see the Karen Blixen House, made famous by the movie "Out of Africa."  It was interesting, though not my favorite part of the trip.

Our party of 6 taking the tour.

The gardens were beautiful - a sight for sore eyes especially ones that don't see very much green in our own country.  I couldn't get over how tall the cactus in the background was.

 But one of my favorite things in Kenya were the curtains-blowing-in-the-breeze-no-screen windows.  Beautiful!

From the Karen Blixen House we went on to the Kazuri Bead Factory.  

This is an NGO that employs single mothers who create all kinds of beautiful works of art out of clay.  These beads, necklaces, earings and other items are then sent to places like Ten Thousand Villages in the U.S. and Canada to be sold.

Our guide showing us how the clay is pressed to remove as much moisture as possible.

The beads are shaped,



and waiting to be strung on a necklace.

This was definitely my favorite part of our first day in Nairobi.

1 comment:

  1. That's a lot of work to make those beads! They're beautiful.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...