Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kenya 2.24.12-3.9.12


Kenya 2.24.12-3.9.12, a set on Flickr.

As promised, here are all of my Kenya photos.

Life unfolds in some pretty spectacular ways. As you know, I had the brilliant opportunity to travel to Kenya a few weeks ago. What resulted was two of the best weeks of my life! Myself and two friends from grad school embarked on an incredible journey and along the way had some of the most amazing experiences. If you've never been to Africa, Kenya was amazing and gets high ratings in my book, the people were incredible, the vistas breathtaking and the food tasty as hell. I have not had a chance to label the photos but basically here is a recap of the trip:

We arrived and spent a night in Nairobi before waking early and heading to safari. We were on safari for 3 days where we then journeyed back to Nairobi for an overnight bus ride to Kisumu which is on Lake Victoria and in Western Kenya. We spent some time in Kisumu on the Lake, eating fresh tilapia and street food, we visited Kisumu's museum and the large market (Obama's father grew up not far from Kisumu so we were received like royalty in the area). We then took an in country flight from Kisumu to Mombasa on the eastern coast and Indian Ocean. On the flight we were able to see Mt. Kilimanjaro which was absolutely breath taking. From Mombasa we headed north up the coast and spent some time at Bamburi beach, a beautiful resort right on the Indian Ocean where days were spent on the water and nights were spent in the pool looking up at Orion, my favorite. Following the beach resort we headed further north to Mida Eco Camp where we camped out and took a canoe ride and long walk in the African midday sun to check out the Gedi ruins from the 13th century - spectacular. We then headed back to Mombasa to check out the spice markets and some additional street food and historic towns. We also hit up this incredible woodworking collective! From Mombasa we took a long bus ride back to Nairobi where we spent some time in the capital and had one spectacular meal in one of the countries top 5 restaurants, called Tamarind. We indulged in some serious seafood, including 26 oysters (shared between Christina and myself)! And on our last day we took in the National museum, relaxed and then made our way to the airport for our long journey back to Brooklyn.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Years ago, in the Pittsburgh magic truck days I dreamed up a lil art project. Now, if I only knew who owned this truck so I could have the pallets, had a big ol blank wall and some extra time on my hands - I'd make it happen. Also, my initials are on it, so it's mine right :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stoney Tangawizi

If there is one beverage that I suggest you try when in East Africa, it is hands down Stoney Tangawizi! I don't drink soda but good god, I could drink about 48 of these and be happy as a clam! And I'm not the only one, it's an internet sensation.

The go to beer was Tusker, a tasty little brew and so nice on a hot day and coming off the water.

My mission, bringing the Stoney Tangawizi to the BK, and I'll do it too so I'll see ya soon with a 'wizi in hand!!!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Saving Grace!

After months of no coffee, a combination of jet lag and only a couple hours sleep on account of too much fun, this will get me through a long Monday.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley was one of the first jaw dropping vistas I saw in Kenya. As we were driving to the safari in Maasi Mara on the first day, we drove along the Great Rift Valley, a 3700+ mile continuous "trench" cutting through virtually the entire length of Africa. Here we were 2140 meters altitude, which is approximately 7020 feet.

The view of the valley was incredible! It went on forever, we were able to see villages in the valley - amazing. Driving along side the valley was a whole other story. Kenya doesn't have posted speed limits on all roads, there aren't speed traps or cops staked out writing speeding tickets; the highway was paved but had no lines painted on it, passing was at your discretion. Needless to say the ride along the valley was an adventure!

And here I am, this is post 8 hour flight to Istanbul, a few hour lay over, 8 hour flight to Nairobi, ride from the airport and a quick nap at the Terminal Hotel at 3am, oh and the 8 hour time difference!

Kenya 2.24.12 - 3.9.12

It seems like ages ago that I ran into my friend Christina while out with another friend one evening for happy hour. I hadn't seen Christina in quite sometime so we caught up a bit, small talk and what not, that is until she mentioned that she and Jaclyn were planning a trip to Kenya and that I should consider joining. It sounded perfect and having always wanted to go to Africa, it was simply a matter of figuring out financial and other logistics. Then one day I bought a ticket and the wheels were set into motion. There was no turning back, unless of course I wanted to lose out on the great airfare deal I found. So there it was, I was going to Kenya!

The weeks that followed were filled with reading and research and planning out the perfect 2 week trip. Our time in Kenya included a great spattering of the country:

camping safari in Maasi Mara National Reserve
Kisumu and Lake Victoria
an in-country flight to Mombasa
time at a beach resort
touring Mombasa
some time in Nairobi

Close to 1500 photos and a journal of memories, it was a phenomenal way to spend two weeks and what great friends to do it with.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sidebar on being 'poo-free

You may recall a post a few months ago about not using shampoo anymore, the impetus being plastic...well let me give you an update. I've not used bath products that come in plastic since about August and it's great! My whale soap cozy is the best, perfectly exfoliant and provides some nice suds. The pine tar soap and rosemary hair oil has been great as well, but I'll tell what I've used regularly, and love: Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil (Spectrum because it comes in glass). The reason for this came about from some research on treating eczema. I have forever dealt with super sensitive skin but in the last year I've finally tackled the problem thanks to the Earth Clinic - yeah, yeah, some hippie sh*t. But you know what, IT WORKS! Apple Cider Vinegar is pretty much a wonder cure for just about anything, read here. The reason for this whole post is that a good friend has been talking about her new discovery of using Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda instead of shampoo after reading this article. I figured like doing a little post about it because I've enjoyed the shampoo-free time I've had and I thought my friend's hair look particularly good, so I wanted to be a maven and pass it on...

An Ironic Cab Ride and Jet lag

Greetings from Brooklyn, bright and early.

I landed yesterday at 2:45pm, got through customs without a hitch and headed to catch a cab home. I almost always take the subway to/from the airport so when the driver asked how to get to my apartment, I only barely knew the answer :-) Go figure, I'd been traveling for almost 24 hours straight from halfway around the world, and in the home stretch there's a hiccup. I chuckled when the driver asked if my phone had GPS - I had of course been without a smart phone for two weeks. After one of the more frustrating conversations I'd had in the last two weeks, we were on our way :-) (I mean, really...who can't get to the LIE from JFK?!?!)

My plan was to stay awake til 11pm in an attempt to outwit jet lag so I had some time to kill since I got to my apt around 4:30pm. Me being me, I unpacked immediately and besides the various gifts that needs to be given, it would appear that I never went to Kenya. After getting some loads of laundry going I set out to deliver some gifts. Um, holy coldness batman!!! It was nice to be on my bike again though.

I headed to deliver some new friends to my favorite 2 and a half year old and share some stories about all the animals I met in Kenya. I spent some time telling short stories of my adventures, mostly because I was so tired I could barely focus, but also incredibly stimulated by being "back" - so much going on.

After some time I headed back to my apartment and ordered in Thai food and cozied up with a movie, trying my hardest to keep my eyes open. Friday officially was the longest day of my life. We left the hotel in Nairobi at midnight Thursday and got to the airport by 12:30am on Friday.

I woke up this morning bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 5:30am with no hope of falling back asleep. Now I can't tell if that is a matter of jet lag or my "Kenya" schedule where we'd be up by 6 and in bed by 10. In the days to come, I will be uploading all of my photos to flickr and blogging about my journeys. Since I had relatively no internet access there was no live blogging the adventures, instead I resorted to the much preferred pen and paper. Every adventure, meal, mode of transport was documented. In the days, the stories will be posted and you can revisit this incredibly amazing journey with me.

Until then, today will be spent celebrating my friend's one-year anniversary of her store's opening, uploading photos, writing essays (because apparently I like 40% odds and have gone 2 for 2 in my favor), spending time with Stu!, adjusting to this cold - I thought Nairobi was cold after getting back from Mombasa, but this is real cold :-) and of course, dinner with friends.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am in love with Kisumu on Lake Victoria! We dipped into an internet cafe when the sky opened up. We are headed to dinner, but honestly nothing can top yesterday's lunch. After a 3 hour boat ride on the lake we came back to the biggest talapia with greens and ugali. So delicious!!!

More soon.