In July, 2008, I, Princess Rachella, Intrepid African American Girl International Journalism Consultant, pulled up stakes once again and headed to Nairobi, Kenya. Through my various adventures, I've concluded that if I get any MORE explosively fabulous in these prequel years to "THE BIG 5-0," I will have to register myself with the Pentagon as a thermonuclear incendiary device.
Friday, August 28, 2009
The aforementioned woman is named Kelly, and she's fast becoming one of the coolest people I've ever met....and I only just met her about 6 months ago! She'd been a friend and newspaper design colleague of my Zanzi-buddy Ron for years when we finally met in, of all places, Nairobi.
Anyway, once again it's like the Universe knew to send her my way. Kelly spent 3 years doing newspaper consulting in Mexico City, so she knows what it's like to live and work outside the US in, er, "challenging circumstances." She's also a food and wine connoisseur, so I considered it a major coup to introduce her to the feta cheese and coriander samosas at one of my favorite Nairobi restaurants, and to have my own insane fetish for them affirmed. But here's the best thing...Kelly will be coming back to Nairobi frequently over the next year for projects, and is more than willing to ferry stuff over for me! Health and beauty products galore, a French coffee press, whatever I have a craving for, she's more than happy to be my "mule" because she knows what it's like to long for those little slices of home!
But the best thing about Kelly is something I mentioned a few posts ago...she's as dangerously fun as me and Ron! When I try to boil it down, I guess I've always been drawn to people who retain a measure of youthful joie de vivre no matter how old they are. It's always been fairly easy for me to be immature and resistant to the shackles of responsible adulthood because I never married or had children, or owned property, or run a business, or spent a lot of time doing anything that required sober, measured concentration and commitment.
So it's always a kick for me to meet people who HAVE done those things successfully and who STILL are a hoot to hang out with! People who don't walk around with big neon signs on their foreheads that blare, "I am A BIG FRAKKIN' DEAL, AND YOU NEED TO TAKE ME EVEN MORE SERIOUSLY THAN I TAKE MYSELF."
People like that give me a ginormously honkin' buttache, and I usually avoid them like the plague unless absolutely necessary. And then I wind up mocking them behind their backs and soon as is remotely convenient. Kelly and Ron are like that, too, which makes it really cool to hang out with them. And that worldview REALLY came in handy last Friday night, when we were both having dinner with this...
But wait, I'm not going to go there. We both decided that episode brought a short burst of chaotic energy into our lives that is best left unexplored. Kelly even had travel plans for a side trip to South Africa completely derailed after that ill-fated rendezvous. I secretly feared I would be obliterated by a matatu or something, but the negative energy soon passed.
In fact, today is Kelly's birthday, and she's at home with the Love of Her Life and their 3 year old cherub, and this photo reminds me to stay focused on the good stuff, too. And to remember to laugh as much as possible. For example, Ron came up with this nickname for us:
"Blonde Ambition and Dark Desires." Ron is one sick puppy, but at least he's funny. And as long as you can laugh, you're ahead of the game.
Happy Birthday, Kelly! See you next time you're in Nairobi! That is, if you're still willing to come back...
Monday, August 24, 2009
I'm children from KIBAGABAGA Hospital , I wans found your email but I happy to send to you my adreess email.
Name is RUGWIRO Didier from Remara- Kigali
I'm student in 5eme primaire at REMERA Catholic B
I have 13 years olds . My Father's number is ------. if you want you can colled my father on this number. and send to me a messege .
thank for your answer.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
When you think about it, I've had a pretty good run. The past few weeks have been really exhilarating, even with all the travel and work. Vacation was glorious. And I've truly enjoyed the past few days with my Zanzi-buddy Ron and our friend Kelly, who's in town doing some consultant work with the Daily Nation.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
All-righty-THEN! Today's Kenyan newspapers offered me just the bracing dose of reality I need to climb back on board the Crazy Train called "Life in Nairobi" tomorrow morning.
Monday, August 17, 2009
It's getting to the point where I'm mixing rainbows with sunsets these days. Every time I see one or the other, I'm always looking for a sign of some sort. Usually, I'm hoping that sign will be from my sister Julie.
I am so happy that I totally got to indulge my "Dhow Jones" last week. I am unapologetically
This is how I spent most of the past week on Lamu Island, off the coast of Kenya. That is why there's been no activity on the blog lately. But I'm back in Nairobi, savoring these last few days of vacation and steeling myself to climb back on the out-of-control rollercoaster of life here on Wednesday.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This is what I'm starting to feel like. The car in the Monopoly game. After just being home from Rwanda only 36 hours, in another 6 hours I'm off to Lamu, an island near the coast of Kenya. It's vacation time, and my Zanzi-buddy Ron just flew in from Lagos where he was doing design and newsroom trainings. We're launching another leg of our Fabulous World Tour--at least of the islands near the coast of Kenya, anyway.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I was in the absolute worst mood in recorded human history last Friday night, after checking into the the Ki-Whozit Death Lodge in Northern Rwanda (NOTE 1: I made that name up, but somehow, it's ever so much more accurate.) This after a harrowing 3 hour drive through absolutely breathtaking scenery which I didn't get to focus too much on because of the Formula One reject assigned as my driver.
The next time I go to Kigali, I hope to get a chance to sit in on a session of Parliament. Yeah, I know I sound like the typical Imperialist American, thinking she can saunter in off the streets and chill with the local political ruling class just because she's American.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
The wireless at the Kigali Serena was down all weekend, so I'm a bit behind in my postings. I'm playing catch-up a bit today, because tomorrow my vacation starts. A much needed, well deserved, LONG OVERDUE VACATION, I might add.
Friday, August 7, 2009
...because I'm always standing in the sun somewhere lecturing African journalists. In fact, this morning, the Rwandan reporters started calling me "Teacher."
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Couldn't stay awake last night, after having a terrific Indian meal at Khana Khazana Restaurant in Kigali. I was so stuffed, not even the stuffy heat in the room prevented sleep.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
To paraphrase a sentiment from Angelina Jolie, "I am SOOO in love with my Mac Book right now!" But since I'm not referring to a biological sibling, it just sounds a lot less creepy.