For a few months now I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book. Now, my writing skills certainly need sharpening and to be very honest, I really don’t have the patience for writing. There is something though that drives me to write this book and that is the unique ability to relate to absolutely every thing (words separated on purpose). Somehow, someway, whether it be a person, animal, plant, or even my environment, I immediate gain a deep sense of connection with it/them. This paradoxical connection I like to call – relatability. Does this make sense to anyone else? It is the act of infinite connection with every layer around you – either one to one or one to many.
In this book I will try and deconstruct this ability into difference relatable pieces. For some reason a lot of the themes start with the letter C, so I’m going with that for now:
Communication – how do we communicate with other friends, strangers or even animals. Are there forms of communication that we are waiting to be discovered?
Connection – Feeling the energy of your surrounding and identifying where that energy is coming from.
Control – Either taking control, or relinquishing it. There is such a fine line on when to use each one.
Compassion – the most important aspect of relatability –
Contrast – Trying different experiences that are out of your comfort zone. WAAAYY out of your comfort zone. You need to explore the worst day of your life in order to know what the best day feels like.
Community – Understanding our ecological surroundings. How does a community form and knowing what impact we have on our communities.
Co-existence – If you were one of the last humans on earth, what would you do to survive?
Cooperation – Understanding that two heads are better than one – four hands are better than two – in working towards a common goal.
Collaboration – How to work together to solve problems. (Thanks for the suggestion Mark!)
OK OK OK…I get it. Life got a little hectic around here and we haven’t posted a blog in almost two weeks now. Our sincere apologies to all those fans who support us and enjoy the tales of “How’s my Hair? An African Adventure”. Hopefully this blog helps make up for our lack of posting and, well…procrastination at its finest. Even I don’t get washed everyday so you can imagine how much time old Mr. 600 gives to the blog posts. What a slacker!
As you can imagine a lot has happened in the last few weeks, between Kenyan Premier League football matches, visits to the Elephant orphanage, kissing Giraffes, enjoying a traditional Kiswahili dinner hosted in the home of our Kenyan ambassador to France, garbage cleanups deep in the slums of Mathare, and of course the most important aspect of the entire trip, helping students become entrepreneurs and developing their aspired businesses in Kibera.
First off a few Saturday’s ago was our good friend JC’s going away party. He graduated from university recently and decided to move away from “Ki-beach” to try his luck in a completely new surrounding. He honestly made such an impact with me in only a few short weeks, and I can only imagine what his spirit brings to those around Kibera that have known him for years. Godspeed my friend. You are truly missed and fiercely supported for your courage.
The initial week was a humbling experience. 32 of us struggled for space on a few wooden benches and old school patio chairs – sharing one blackboard, one light bulb, and one pencil sharpener. Just to paint the picture a little more, we share a room (and voices) in an education facility deep in the slums that hosts classes for children from ages 3 to 13. The walls, if any, are very thin and the children are more than excited to hear the recess bell…so often compete with who can be heard the most amongst the classes. It was near impossible to communicate effectively, so we had to improvise and split the class in two; one in the bigger room with the blackboard and the other in a smaller room across the hall that had the privy of daylight through a clear plastic roof sheet but no room for a blackboard. Huge props go out to Dawn, Fan Asha and Pato, who are teaching the entire course on flip chart paper that they rip off and tape to the wall.
After starting our first few days getting to know the students and discussing their potential businesses ideas, reality set in and the lights went out. Literally. Kibera was left for the next two days without power and our class was forced to move to an extremely small room (that did have a blackboard though) and work from candlelight. We could get half of the blackboard sort of lit if we rotated the window a certain way and picked up some reflection of daylight. Otherwise it was light by dancing candles, strategically balanced on pencils attached to support beams or dangerously flickering on a bookshelf, flirting the with reality that paper + wood + fire sometimes equal…well, let’s just say “not good”. For us, it was completely surreal in every aspect of life, and for the students, another day in paradise. We trenched our way through market analysis, battled through competitive advantage, and laughed the entire time during presentation skills. As soon as we were getting comfortable *POOF* – and then there was light.
The next weekend was a blast and we were treated to all kinds of native African adventures. First was a trip to see some Elephant orphans that they find in the wilderness and bring back to nest before returning to the wild. These are essentially elephants, under 3 years old that have no family, found abandoned and / or injured in the parks and in dire need of help; cute as a button for sure, with an attitude to boot. The best part of this was seeing a typical 50yr old Mzungo start ‘petting’ an elephant on the head while he was drinking. When I say petting, I mean forcefully slapping the elephant on the head like a whack-a-mole game. Obviously Babar didn’t take to kindly to the abuse so he blasted the guy with a full trunk load of water right in the face! I got a little wet with the backlash and Kreese almost pissed his pants. Silly Mzungo.
We parted ways and went to check out a Giraffe center where you can pet, feed and even kiss these enormous creatures. Not into making out with large creatures, we spent most of the time walking through a garden museum where they described the native use and purpose of all flora -my boy John Furryhead the botanist would have been in heaven.
Our final trip of the weekend finished off with a tribute to several native tribal dances and a tour of some moc-ups of local tribe villages. The primitive architecture was astonishing, and to think that families live so basically in such harmony is beyond anything a typical North American could understand…us included. Our team had fun imagining that we were Husbands, 1st / 2nd / or 3rd wives, building small fires inside our tiny huts, tending our cattle and caring for the little ones that would carry on our tribal traditions. Honestly, it’s hard to believe that people live so freely in this world…
Monday was upon us, and the kids from the Foundation of Hope were anxious to share with us their weekend stories and hear about our adventures in Kenya. On Friday, we actually challenged them to a competition on the weekend on who could make “something, out of nothing”. The theme was inspired by a common question that troubles most of the students in our group; “how are we supposed to start a business without money?” Honest question for sure and the response was equally as raw. “This is the essence of entrepreneurship my friends – how to start something, from nothing. With one single idea, a lot of passion, hope, faith and a little bit of luck, everyone here has the ability to be an entrepreneur.“ This message was inspired by the motto of Foundation of Hope, which hung proudly by the door of our classroom.
Monday’s stories consisted of several inspiring entrepreneurial movements:
1) Garbage collection, with a collection plate for people to donate
2) Homemade rosaries from random wooden articles found on the streets
3) Transporting 50 pound cement bricks over 2 km’s for 100ksh (1$) a piece
4) Door-to-door salon hair and manicure treatment
5) Winning a football tournament in which you put your cell phone up for collateral…woah!
It’s funny how much we are learning from these eager, intelligent, hard working entrepreneurs and definitely gives the utmost credibility to entrepreneurship.
We finished off Monday night with a bang…a Kenya Premier League football match: Gor Mahia vs. AFC Leopards. Our entire crew instantly become Gor Mahia fans and Val helps us out by sourcing us jerseys for the event. What we didn’t know was that Kreese was about to inherit yet another nickname – “Jamach”. This is a traditional Luo tribe word for….actually, no. I can’t say. It’s inappropriate for this blog, but lets just say it got LOTS of attention from the locals at the game. Even on Sunday upon our return from Massai Mara, “Jamach” met a shop owner who at first was trying to sell him traditional swag, ended up asking for a picture so that he could show his friends and remember that he met “Jamach”. After the picture Joseph actually gave him a necklace as a gift and wished him Karibu Kenya! Wait…I haven’t shared how absolutely stiff, dread-like dusty I got in the Massai Mara yet.
Holy frigen Zebra Batman! We are on our way to safari at the moment and everything is absolutely wild (literally…including the Massai people). Wait…let me back up and give the run down from the beginning.
After a long day of teaching cash flows and break even analysis, “Jamach” and I returned to the hotel to pack for our long awaiting safari trip – filled with promises of Lions, Zebras, Giraffes, Rhino’s, Crocodiles and whatever other wild animal we can find in the Serengeti desert of Massai Mara. An hour and a half behind schedule (it’s all good ‘cause it’s Africa time anyways) for a 6 hour drive, we finally got to board a badass matatu, equipped with adjustable leather (fake of course) seats and a pop up roof that lets us stand while driving. Unreal! After a quick fuel stop and a wonderful conversation with a local prostitute, we threw some raw meat in the cooler with ice and finally headed out for our adventure. I tell you, that Kreese really is a charmer…no wonder he got the nickname “Jamach”. I don’t know how he gets along with his terrible Canadian-Swahili accent, and I think I stole the show anyways with my beautiful dark curls and luscious volume.
The drive through Nairobi took a while but once we reached the Rift Valley everything was easy peaceful. We stopped off for some quick photos with the skinned sheep fur carpets and hats on the side of the road, grabbed a delicious Afia Mango juice and toured deep down into the valley. It was sooo beautiful with luscious greens, corn as far as the eye can see, and several herds of goats crossing the street – manned by Massai villager goat herders of course.
Then…nightfall. Oh, and we are still 3 hours away.
30 seconds before our beautiful paved highway ended our driver, Melito, whispered softly “are you ready for an African massage”? Curious as a Kat, Kreese replied “well, that depends by who” J Right about that time the highway ended, and he got the joke; we then started bouncing up and down more than a pimped out Eldorado on Miami Beach. On top of that Melito – our top notch safari driver showed his stealthy ad version tactics by hand-braking a tail twist to miss an oncoming Zebra…yes, that’s right…Zebra’s like to cross the road at night too. We don’t judge around here though, the poor Zebra was probably lost and couldn’t find his way home. The next 2 ½ hours were quite an adventure, showcased by Giraffes in the middle of the road, followed by random flashlights from the red-cloaked Massai watchmen guarding the moonlight night with vigilance.
The rest of the weekend was absolutely amazing and almost impossible to recount through a blog. Even the attached pictures do not do this place justice…only the found memories of Africa’s vast beauty and serene nature. I’m going to let these pictures do the talking here, since they really are worth more than a thousand words a piece. Our favorite was hanging out by a fire with some of the Massai Mara people, trying to communicate in broken English / Swahili. These are native villagers who live in the huts depicted above and share the land with Safari companies. We thank them graciously for their warm hospitality. At the end of the weekend good old Jamach had made friends with a few of “the boyz” from the Massai – Dixon and Agerli. A peace trade was made with Dixon; one UBC Sauder School of Business pen for a leather bead written Kenya bracelet. Agerli then presented Kreese with a “sa stone” carved as a lion’s tooth, which represents “fearless strength of family and culture”.
Beautiful times with beautiful people here in Kenya.
At some point during our last few days of haze the truth about business smacked us in the face…I was blown back and Kreeeese was “stunned” as a deer in headlights. There are lots of people here who have fun with the intimate understanding that business is the way in life – so you better love what your doing and makin’ people happy doin’ it! Everywhere I turn there are people who are so inspired with hope and uplifting ideas. In Kenya, to be self-employed means to provide for your family, and provide for the community that you live in.
This begs to wonder…does Canada do it for the love, not the money? As Entrepreneurs, as we always providing for the community that we live in?
Not to say that Canada doesn’t support their entrepreneurs, please don’t get me wrong. It’s just…sometimes lately, in the run of a day we can get caught up in how fast our turnover rates are, or what the ‘exit’ strategy looks like far beyond our calculation. Here in Kenya, Entrepreneurship means a sense of hope, a sense of joy, and a sense of community that everyone will benefit from – with long distance businesses in mind. These are businesses that will sustain itself through time because it is built brick by brick, shilling by shilling, with the intention to provide for the Entrepreneur, their families, and their community as a whole.
MR. 600 or “Otieno”, a Luo tribe name meaning “man of the night” -as he is known know – was in full force this weekend back at Galileo. We tackled the Brew Bistro first, pounding back another round of delightful sheesha on the dance floor. I must say…Hot Sauce took a vacation this weekend and a good old Dorrow was back in town. Still sweaty and full of energy, I had my usual French Canadian glisten as usual. We stomped around and had a great time, all in good fun of course. Sunday Funday was filled with a baby elephant show at the orphanage – upon which we witnessed an old man get massively trunk blasted with water in the face for patting the elephant violently on the head (dumbass), followed by a 13yr old kid passing out right on our feet. Wow…ok…on to the next show. We ended up at a frigen Giraffe center where the giraffes basically molested your face with a “kiss” just so they could get a hand of fake ass Captain Crunch pellets. Their tongues are huge black thick yoga mats that stick to anything in sight, and are the cleanest tongues in the world because they eat burs all day which causes them to have a massive anti biotic reacting agency. WTF.
The other day we started our teaching in Mathare, a ‘pressured community’ in the north East part of Nairobi. It’s basically like the East Side of any major city, or country that I’ve ever lived in. Where things are a little more hard to come by, a little more rough around the edges and a little more ‘real life’ in a good way. The first day was admittedly a little awkward, then after a few jokes and intro’s we were off on a good foot. There were a few students – of whom we won’t share any names – that didn’t have a business idea and needed a little inspiration, so Kreese decided to break out into a little ‘Design Thinking’ session.
As you may or may not be able to see in the accompanied picture there were two tools used to generate a couple of creative ideas. The first, which included the classic “think of a business, then an object in that business, what does that object make you think of, where else can we use that in business, what other businesses does that create, and what common elements do all of those last questions have in common”? Follow me?
Well, these commonalities ended up being a dog breeding business that spawned a discussion on hoe many words can we think of with the letters “D – O – G – S”. Once we gathered about five or six words for each, we tried to list a business that started with each one. The list included, but not limited to:
- Wheel cart / Rickshaw repair shop
- Water distribution
- Youth care and library
- Senor / youth care combination
- Diaper collector / recycling
- Towel makers, sewers and laundry
- Cereal and vegetable shop
- Barbor / hairdresser, manicures & massages
- Dog Breeder
- Non-Alchoholic bar for youth
Regardless of what businesses came up, one common theme pervaled – everyone was trying to start a business they loved, and money would always follow.
“slowly, gently, softly, quietly; be calm, take it quietly, don’t excite yourself, never mind”
Everything here takes longer. We take longer to walk, to eat, to talk and share stories…even the sheesha seems to burn longer in Africa. As it was well put by a new classmate and fellow Strathmore teacher this week.”Krrreeese…I.A.T. Brotha. It’s African Time :)” So aside from Mr. 600, the name Chris sounds nothing like it does in North America. ‘Ch’ turns into a ‘K’, the R’s roll more than a Frenchman (trust me, the grease in my hair, and dirty moustach proves I am one) and the ‘isss’ from piss turns into an ‘ease’ from crease. Now, honestly, who thought longer than 2 seconds on the ‘Ch’ to a “K’. Wicked.
We were whisked away to Kibera for the evenings festivities, where Val had arranged a party at his parents place with some close friends, a special bottle of champaign for Steph (classy move on his part) and some delicious nyama choma, prepared straight from the grill. We got to meet Val’s parents and were treated like guests of honour – laughing and playing with terrible Kiswahili sayings we’ve learned over the last few days and generally sharing good nature stories of our friends and family back home in Canada. For those of you who 1) know Dorrow, and 2) have had the pleasure of having him meet your parents, I can assure you he was as weird as ever, hugging and kissing everyone in sight.
Now a little on some other adventures that have transpired over the last few days. First, we are booked for Safari! Yay! Of course we went with our friend Raphel’s company (remember that marketing inspiration from before?) and he was so grateful that we chose to do so. Understandable that this is normal hustle and flow, we still appreciate his sincerity and friendliness to no end. Even better news is that after booking (very important) safari the manager of the place overheard that I was looking to climb Kilimanjero and asked me to quote him a price. What I thought was lowball at $1300, he said he could beat and would throw in some of the gear as well. Chris was very straight faced and insisted that the Sauder safari for our team went off without a hitch, at which point we would return and discuss. I personally was near wetting myself with joy (that’s sweat for those who didn’t catch on) because this knocked off almost $500 of what we were willing to pay. Glad Chris kept a straight face because I was in no shape to contain any kind of emotion. It’s a good thing I have no emotion because I’m hair, but if I did have emotion I think I would have jumped across the table and kissed that man’s bald little head – or tickled it, I don’t know…what would hair do?
We started classes today with some of the University of Strathmore students that will be helping us teach over the next few weeks, and I must say they really are amazing people. I can’t get over how humbled over how many amazing people we are meeting along the way that truly want to make a difference. One character, Pato, you would take at first as a bit of a less serious, almost joker type of person. Then, out of the blue we find out that he’s from Kibera and started not one, but TWO social enterprises in Kibera. The first is GrannyNanny, which is a support network for elder women in the slums. The second is an education centre that helps single mothers keep their kids educated and away from substance abuse. He’s finishing an MBA in Entrepreneurship right now and then going to do his Phd in Children Psychology. Once completed he wants to start another business as a social worker / doctor in therapy help and awareness for youths who are subject to drugs and substance abuse, specifically alcohol since that runs rampant in Kibera youth. In class, he’s fun and playfull – in life he’s a god. Beryl, Sam, Edwin, Marvin, and Ryan all have similar passions and interests…all wanting to make a difference in the “pressured communities”. Funny, I came here to teach, but I’m doing ALL the learning so far.
We visited Kibera during the day today to check out our classroom and met some pretty amazing people who have been part of the Sauder Africa program in the past. We also got to meet a few students who will be joining us this year which was really awesome. All in all, considering life and love, everyone was soooo happy and really positive to be around. The little kids are hilarious too! They run around saying “howareyouuuu…howareyouuu” shaking your hand and bashfully giggling away to tell their friends that we were here. It’s pretty funny when you respond to them in Kiswahili… “mzuri, sana! Habari yako?” (Fine, thank you! How are you?) The kids’ faces lighten with joy and immediately start making fun of Dorrow’s terrible Swahili accent, all in good fun of course. Looks like he needs a few more classes before the kids let him play in the playground. 😉
Finally, after three days with no water we finally got a chance to have a shower…and I even got washed with soap! Could you imagine??? Hot Sauce tends to sweat quite profusely in the hot, dusty sun and I certainly wasn’t having any fun playing hair twister. We had a fun 3 minute shower, dancing around in the light trickle, coming up with new dance moves to bring to the floor this Saturday.
Oh, speaking of Hot Sauce, he got a new nickname the other night while partying with the boyz, MR. 600! Nothing special really, just the boys all thought it was hilarious that we paid 600 ksh for a vodka and normally they are 200-250 tops. ***Silly Mzungo story #2, and it goes with a nickname now***
Stephi3, Val, Steve, JC, Cartoon (no that’s not his real name but he’s certainly animated and cracks jokes every single chance he gets…what a character) and I went out for a night in the Nairobi town, it was awesome! We started tipping a few at the “Brew Bistro” where they had a nice array of throw back 90’s hip hop, local reggae like beats and a good array of shishas if we were interested. (Reminds me of the good old days in ‘lil Jamaica eh Dale GT’s all ’round.
After a few pints we toured over to a local spot called Galileo’s to finish off the night, and man that place was BUMPIN!
Guess its time to bring the “A” game to the party…
to be continued…
First off, some very important housekeeping. I’ve received some feedback recently that my blog posts are hard to follow since they are written in the 3rd person from my hair’s perspective. So to clear the air, when I say “we”, I mean my hair and I and when I refer to nicknames, they are my nicknames received from all walks of life, and when I use each of them I’m probably referring to some inside joke for those people who call me that. Writing “I” in a blog doesn’t seem fun to me, so please bare with it, try to follow along and when in doubt ask yourself “what would YOUR hair do in similar situations?” As always, feel free to comment anytime.
Four days in and everything is getting settled nicely. The initial shock (and jet lag) seems to be passing over and we’ve certainly done our fair share of trekking around the streets. Shampoo / conditioner rations are low and I’m lucky to get a rub down every 2 days with Kenyan deluxe hotel soap so the wings are flowin’ and I can actually stay in a twisted unicorn shape now which resembles a Flock of Seagulls music video from the 80’s.
Downtown is a really busy place – always wheelin n dealin for sure. While on a random walk to nowhere we ran into a super nice guy Raphel, who’s main job was to walk the streets and find customers for a Safari company he was working for. Before long we were whisked away to a small office downtown with stories of Kenyan culture, politics and community history, immediately offered tea upon our arrival, and very strategically promoted the full line of service and offerings of the Safari company.
***Hidden Message #1: – From an entrepreneurship perspective, Raphel and his primary marketing skills is business at its finest. Brilliant! Makes you think how in N.A. we rely so much on digital media and marketing that we’ve lost the essential connection with our customers. OK, I agree, online promotion does wonders for delivering first time customers to businesses, but it certainly DOES NOT foster return customers and organic word of mouth advertising like Raphel and his Safari company. I feel that with the explosion of online media we have lost the intimate connection between our customers and if we are to truly sustain the viability of our businesses we need to get back to our roots, communicate face to face with our customers and find out what truly motivates them to use our products and services. ***
After leaving the Safari company with a full quote and nice cup of tea, Raphel insisted on touring us around downtown Nairobi to show us some of the great historic sites and monuments. You can see one of the pictures is Kenya’s parliament building, where they host their round table meetings to discuss governmental topics of issue. Being Ottawa natives we can certainly appreciate the importance of the buildings, although the shear size of the buildings were a tad puzzling. Finally, after several hours of dusty roaming and educational stories we parted ways from Raphel but not before learning an extremely valuable lesson. First, let me prelude the lesson here a little…in several other countries that we’ve been in the general “hustle” always included some type of immediate compensation for people’s troubles. If we were ever given this type of ‘touring’ service there was always an expectation that we would help them out and grease the palms a little. Being completely naive, this is how I expected the hustle to work in Kenya, but I was DEAD WRONG and very embarassed by my assumptions. Raphel explained to me that the best thing I could do to help him was to book a trip with his Safari company so that he would get his bonus. He didn’t want any tips or compensation at all for showing us around because we were friends and brothers with the same blood. Raphel explained “in Kenya, we want to welcome you and make you feel happy and comfortable because we care. Tell me Chris, if I was in Canada would you not want me to feel the same way?” Woah. Shell shock. Completely humbled. Message received. Thank you Raphel.
Oh and P.S. he texted the next day saying that he was very happy to have met and that his wife wanted to know if we would come and visit because she was excited to meet us!? We told him that when we were in Mathare we would be honoured to visit his home and meet his family. I ask you this….when was the last time you met a complete stranger on the street, befriended them, and invited them over for dinner to meet your family the next day???
Sasa is Swahili slang for jambo, which is hello in English. Essentially, saying sasa to a Kenyan is like saying ‘sup yo’ and a terrific way of confusing the locals in thinking you know how to jam. Silly Mzungo (or whiteboay).
The adventure to get to Kenya was epic, and we had an amazing time meeting all walks of life along the way. A big shout out to TonyPring for kickin us down a lift to the flight and living that last nervous breath of excitement with us. Apparently Dozza had that same feeling of being at the top of a rollercoaster, listening to the last few ‘clicks’ of the track before being released into the abyss. As for me, well I was hanging out the window flowing freely, enjoying my last few wind bursts of beautiful British Columbia.
Everything rolled like a marble at the airport; no line up, bag underweight, and we were even on time for once. We were chosen “randomly” for a physical search at security and given the option of having old school wand ‘n pat or being teleported to outer space by that redonkulous “let’s see everyone naked” machine. Me personally, don’t like those machines…they make my bell ends tickle. Much to the amazement of the extremely happy and confused security agent, neither did Dorrow so we got the full service. While feeling the bottom of his foot, Chris almost lost balance and took out the entire “isle 7” operation, but thankfully a chair was there to brace the impact. After four years of yoga you would think the kid would know how to stand on one foot??? Nope. He blamed it on the man touching his foot, I say he just finished a fat session with Tony 30 mins prior and had the balance of a 2yr old.
After a stupendous 8.5 hr red – to which we lucked out and got 4 seats in a row allowing us to stretch out like a bed – we arrived in London, couldn’t read English and took the wrong exit out. *Click – Stamp – “have a good trip”* and we were shown to the exit sign of Heathrow airport. Now with 7 hrs to kill in London we hopped on the “tube”, walked around Hyde park, went to Buckinham Palace, smashed down a pint with some fish n chips and jumped back on the plane for Red Eye Round Deux (deux = 2 for the confused). We can now say we’ve been in London now if anyone asks…which is the most exciting part of London. Obviously Dozza chirped his commonwealth counterparts and tell them London was dreary, uncultured and boring – much like his current British classmates – but honestly it was humbling to touch foot on historic soil and “bear” witness to the home of Lizzy and the Gang. Cool city, very energetic vibe and would love to spend a few nights “proper”.
As soon as we stepped off the plane we instantly knew we were faaaaaarrrr away from the comforts of the MBA lounge, triple-ply toilet paper and late night “tastey” sessions on Jericho beach. Then, after picking the wrong line in customs, getting the shakedown, finding our luggage (which thank god was all there) we were greeted by two of the most amazing guys on the planet; Val and Fred. They immediately took us under their wings and made sure we were WELL taken care of with local sim cards, calling plans, hotel reservations and transportation. They escorted us to our villa and waited patiently for us while we took a shower and changed into something less slimy. At this point I was dressed in FULL afro with a greasy, French Canadian shine…great way to meet someone for the first time. I can’t describe how amazingly humble, intelligent, friendly, funny and honest these two Kats are, and we are very lucky to have them as friends for this journey.
P.S> Silly Mzungo story #1: You need to read the mirrors in the bathroom to tell you that there is a water heater switch on the outside of the room to heat your water for a shower. If not, you are blessed with a bone shrinkingly (heh) wake up call.
I figured this blog should have a fun little twist on it, so for most of you that know how krazy thick, fro-ish hair can get, it’s about to be documented for 2 months while in Africa. Honestly, I write very little, and find it to be very frustrating. Maybe…just maybe, the fun of writing experiences from my hair’s perspective is a way to make writing a blog less boring.
So it begins…my first social venture in Africa is peaking its head around the corner, with all its dust and heat and glory. It’s going to be an interesting experience living on edge without fancy conditioner products and a healthy supply of hats. I know some people make fun of my hat collection, and don’t necessarily share the same style preferences but they don’t know what its like to walk around naked all the time and have Chris constantly molesting me on every occasion he can get his hands free. That kid touches “his hair” (or ME) more than any other place on his body. Trust me, I know.
On Tuesday I leave for what should the the most influential, life changing experiences I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Chris gets up to, who knows where that guy lands somedays. Looking forward to listening, learning, laughter and gettin’ the wings in good shape for the hike up Kilimanjaro. I can’t lie flat right now, its just too exciting! K, gotta go work out my James Dean for tonight. Peace on.