As I write this post from my favorite coffee shop in the East Village, New York, I am thinking about how it is always the case that a 6-month journey anywhere outside your home can feel like some type of dream:)
Before I start to post more locally throughout my next 8 weeks in New York (before I leave for Israel on February 13th, (b’h), I must share with you all some photos and profiles of just a few of the wonderful souls I met on my journey throughout Kenya/Uganda over the last 6 months that I didn’t get a chance to share with you while in Kenya.
I write Reflections (Part 1) as I feel that this post will definitely have follow up as I go through all my photos and videos.
My body might be here in the East Village and slowly but surely resurfacing, but my head and heart is still with these lovely smiles below:)
First, I never got to share that I ran the Nairobi Half Marathon on Oct 31st with a good friend, Steve Olet, who I already miss! Steve was a co-worker of mine at HIAS, who taught me what it really means to be a strong person and persevere through each challenge life brings. I enjoyed the short training we did for the marathon together, and the other times we had to talk.
Keisha Adams, another co-worker of mine, walked the 10K and I must give her credit as she just recovered from surgery on her foot. Keisha ran the Sexual and Gender based persecution program at HIAS (Kenya) and is a Women to Watch:) She continues to impress me with her passion for helping others, her knowledge of refugee and sexual/gender based violence issues, her unbelievable training abilities on these sensitive issues, and just because she is a tough chic:) Keisha, aka the office hero.
Will miss you both.
As you know from previous posts, Daniel was one of my best friends in Kenya and an extremely talented singer and performer.
What a star! I look forward to hearing his new song, ‘In Africa’, which should be finished in the next few weeks… Here we are posing @ HIAS a few weeks ago.
Sara is one of the most beautiful, hardworking, warm souls I have ever met. Sara worked in the house where I lived for two months, so we became very close. More important than the delicious food she made, she was a true friend and always there for me. She takes everyday in a positive way, laughs and smiles, and keeps a youthful energy. I know we will be friends for a long time.
Sara has two lovely children that I had the pleasure of meeting during my last week in Kenya in her village, Wangige. Meet Patience and Dennis below. And of course she made me delicious food when I came to visit her:)
Sara, thanks for everything.
Louisa, Helen, and Fareed were also my co-workers at HIAS, but they were more like my family in Kenya. Words can not explain my love for them, their spouses, and children. As much as day to day life can get boring and frustrating, just being together with these three brings joy and laughter. Thank you all so much for giving me strength and joy each day.
As Helen would say to me all the time, and I want to say back to everyone, thank you for your love.
Keep posted for part two!