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african golden joys.





hello friends. lovers. other strangers...

here we are! off on an adventure - volunteering and travelling about. some brief skips through london, edinburgh and cairo - touring the sites and visiting friends and family.

next destination - east africa. more specifically elangata wuas - a small Maasai village, two hours south of nairobi, kenya. here, we will be living in an eco-camp for 2 months and volunteering with a small, canadian grassroots NGO called africa soma.

the word "soma" in swahili means to learn, study and read. the organization's mission - "a nonprofit organization that supports African youth in slums and remote regions through innovative educational initiatives." lots more info on the website - check out www.africasoma.org. we will be focussing most of our energy on the inner-city savannah exchange and community library project.

in the midst of all this fun we will be volunteering in the local primary school, hopefully making many new friends and settling into community life!

the last part of our trip will hopefully take us to some nearby countries - but more updates on this later.

we hope you enjoy the photos.
and post a message if you're so inclined!

we miss you all and hope you are healthy and happy.

peace and lots of love.
andrea & ktq

Diary Entries

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Location: Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada

Ahhh!!!!! **deep breath - sigh**

Finally, the time to sit back and rest my tired little legs. Right now, I'm using the tourist office in a small sleepy fishing village along the south shore of Nova Scotia. About halfway between Halifax and the southernmost tip. Suprisingly enough, this is our first official day off in the three weeks and arrives just in time for the local Founders Day celebration here in Shelburne. WOOOWEEE! Maybe I'll find some time to go join in the festivities at the Loyalist Reenactment Camp - I would really love to get my hands on one of those costumes!!

In all honesty though, I am a bit too exhausted to get up to much more than laundry, finding some way of drying off my wet gear and resting up for a 70 km ride tomorrow to get up to much.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for pleasant weather. Who would have thought that the Maritimes would be so wet! (Ah-ha-ha-hem!)
Since arriving in Halifax three weeks ago I'm approximating that we've experienced just as much sunshine as rain so far. The weather in Nova Scotia is quite unpredictable and the fishermen seem to agree that their most optimal summer weather arrives mid to late September rather than July and August like in Ontario. This was a surprise to me as I would have never imagined starting out this trip huddled under a tarp in the middle of a hail storm in early July.

Anyway, enough about the weather. When did I become so mundane! I'm going to blame it on the sleep deprivation. Exhaustion can certainly manifest itself in the strangest of ways. For instance, only hours after performing our play which encourages people to critically analyze their daily consumption choices (wrt water, clothing, food etc.) I absentmindedly purchased a scoop of ice cream from an unknown dairy producer in a styrofoam cup with a plastic spoon!!! So much for this environmental crusade man!!! I could not even venture to guess where my head is at right now. And along those lines, it is with this mindset that I am trying to compose this entry!

Needless to say this tour is much more demanding than I imagined. Because we are building our own intentional community that operates on consensus decision making, living by our own set community standards and making time for presentations, workshops and long, heavy loaded bike rides can be quite a lot of work (and very time consuming!) Because of the effort we have invested in practicing what we preach grocery shopping, washing and other seemingly simple tasks have become incredibly overwhelming and conflict laden. Nevertheless, it is a highly valued challenge in my mind and it's incredibly gratifying to wake up every morning knowing that almost every action that you make will have some sort of positive impact on the world. Right now, I am finding hope and empowerment in the small, simple changes and hopefully this will encourage me to be more mindful of my impact and footprint on the world.

As for our presentations and workshops, we have been extremely warmly welcomed in the communities we have visited. We have made concerted efforts to adapt our message to cater to the specific audiences we encounter so we don't sound too preachy. We have an exciting workshop we are hosting alongside the sierra club of canada and some other organizations that we will be facilitating in august. it's called ecotopia and it's going to focus on issues surrounding water (privitization, depletion of resources, local and global action ect.)

Anyway, I am hogging this computer and I'm about to get bumped off. In a nutshell. Living simply. Gratifying but hard work. Nova Scotia's south shore is beautiful and rainy. my positive energy is entirely outshined by this dynamic and intelligent group i have found myself in. And I can't wait to take the ferry Digby to Saint John in a couple of weeks. I don't have pictures to post yet (no extensive computer use as of yet) and I will post a link to our groups online journal.

http://www.otesha.ca/bike+tours/tours+2007/east...

lots of love.
miss you all and hope you are enjoying your summertime relaxing and adventures.

peace and love.
ktq

Friday, 29 June 2007

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

hi friendly followers.

i have asked andrea's permission to seize control of this site.
but only temporarily. no need to worry. you will only be exposed to my exclusive verbal dribble for nine weeks.

yep, nine weeks. that's how long it's going to take myself and fourteen other volunteers to bike across nova scotia and new brunswick and expose a whole lot of young people to local/lowkey environmental activism and the beauty of adopting sustainable consumption practices in our every day lives. i'm doing this work with a small canadian ngo called the otesha project. (www.otesha.ca) it's a wonderful organization - extremely well run and fuelled by hope!!! i encourage you guys to check it out if you have the chance. and for all the teachers out there, there are some great curriculum adaptations in the downloads section.

anythehoo, i've posted a copy of our route below if anyone's interested and plan on posting more entries and lots of pics in the coming days.

stick around kidz. it's going to be one happy happy ride!!!!

EAST COAST TOUR --
Nova Scotia
July 1-8: Halifax
July 9-10: Hubbards
July 10-11: Graves Island Provincial Park (Chester)
July 11: Mahone Bay
July 12-15: Bridgewater
July 15: Lunenburg
July 16: Rissers Beach PP (Petite-Rivière/Green Bay)
July 17-18: Thomas H Randall PP (Port l’Herbert/Port Joli)
July 18-22: Shelbourne
July 23: Argyle
July 24-25: Yarmouth
July 26-27: Pointe de L'Eglise
July 28: Digby

New Brunswick
July 29-Aug 1: Saint John
Aug 2: Sussex
Aug 3-4: Bay of Fundy Park
Aug 5: Hopewell Cape
Aug 6: Riverview
Aug 7: Brich Ridge
Aug 8-11: Harcourt ECOTOPIA Youth Gathering!
Aug 12-13: Richibucto
Aug 14-15: Miramichi
Aug 16-17: Doaktown
Aug 18: Nashwaak Bridge
Aug 19-21: Fredericton
Aug 22: Oromocto
Aug 23: Cole Island
Aug 24-25: Petitcodiac
Aug 26: Riverview
Aug 27-30: Parlee PP (Pointe-du-Chêne, Shediac)
Aug 31: Moncton

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

to all our loyal followers.

i have posted a selection of our copious amounts of pictures. in no way could this come even remotely close to capturing the whole picture but hopefully this will help feed some curiosity.

if you want to see more (oh and yes, there is more...lions and cheetas and goat oh my!!!) and you're in toronto for the next month or so, just give me a shout. i'm around.

thanks for following three installments of this adventure friends.

can't wait to see you all soon and share many a story!!!!

peace and love.
ktq

Thursday, 05 April 2007

Location: kampala, Uganda

kampala.

on a recent afternoon, less than 24 hours after leaving elangata wuas, kate and i found ourselves on the number 9 matatu headed for mathare - one of the three main slums in nairobi. we were on our way to visit MYSA - an youth sports organization based in mathare that we are working on partnering one of our projects with. still a bit out of sorts and overwhelmed after wrapping up our work in maasailand, the trip provived some stark constrasts to the kenya we have come to know up until this point, as well as a brief glimpse of one of the slums which we have heard so much about since being here. mathare vally is just east of the nairobi city centre - a sprawling and somewhat underfined area with about 700 000 (probably more) people living within its loose boundaries. most of the space is taken up by corregated iron sheet shelters and small wooden vendor stalls which line the roads. a few concrete appartment buildings rise above the densly populated streets - obviously just as packed themselves though, judging from the amount of clothing that hangs from the balconies on each level. the roads - which the matatus crawl along stopping and starting every couple of feet to let someone on or off - are more like dirt paths with more potholes than flat ground. the main market street is packed with people - vendors selling fruit, vegetables, bags, clothes, and other random goods; men pushing large carts of tires and bananas; women carrying children on their backs and baskets on their heads. piles of garbage and raw sewage are everywhere - not to mention that the biggest garbage dump in nairobi is within mathare valley. perhaps one of the more contrastingly beautiful and disgusting sights i've seen was the sun setting past the crest of a mound in this dump as we drove out of mathare that day. its a place that is difficult, even now, to picture and descibe. and my rambling attempts at description are just that - and a weak attempt at that. based only on a briefly glimpse - a scratch at the surface. i'm not sure very many outsiders ever really do see what lies beneath. needless to say, it left us with a mess of thoughts running through our already emotionally frazzled little heads.

the day earlier, we packed up our little home at kudu hills, said goodbye to our friends, and made a whole lory feel sufficiently awkward with our uncontrollable outward displays of emotion, as we drove away from our beloved elangata wuas. the 6 weeks we spent there were filled with so many incredible experiences and golden moments - surrounded by the most kind and warm people i have ever met. its amazing how quickly you can grow accustomed to and feel completely comfortable with the very sights and images which were so shockingly foreign just 6 weeks earlier. i think we both felt like we could have just carried on as the 'eco-friendly vagabonds' be have become and been perfectly content. as kate put it simply, it was a good life.
and here is where, i had the intention of launching into another rambling attempt to describe just what it is we've actually been doing in the middle of rural africa for the past month. but to be honest, i started this a week ago and already with the whirlwind of sights and experiences we have thrown ourselves into since then, i think it might be best left for another day. and a pint of beer back in canada. not to mention the fact that the heat in this internet cafe is making the screen start to blur and akon 'nobody wants to see us together' keeps playing over and over. my sanity is at stake here.

our travelling shoes are on though, as we attempt to see a bit more of east africa before our flight home at the end of the month. intended route this far: nairobi - kampala - kigali - nairobi.
then possibly out to the coast through tanzania.
we'll see where the wind blows.

hope this finds you all happy and healthy friends.
thanks for checking up on us.
we miss you all lots and can't wait to see you all soon - so soon!

sawa sawa.

peace and LOTs of love.
xoxo
andrea and katie.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

maasailand.

a conversation Caroline, one of our friends/founders of Africa Soma recently had with her doctor in Montreal went something like this.
after having gone to great lengths to try to give her family physician a glimpse of what a canadian cultural anthropology professor was doing researching one of the most isolated maasai communities in kenya, he came to what might seem a fairly obvious conclusion.
"so what you're trying to tell me is that you would be hard pressed to find any culture in this world that has been left untouched. well that's certainly a shame!"

when we heard this story, Andrea and I felt as though it did a pretty good job of capturing many of the thoughts, impressions and experiences we have been trying to digest upon arrival in elangata wuas. maybe I should start first by painting a little picture for you all. this picture I would like to entitle "sensory overload: the elangata wuas experience."
after having travelled for four hours from nairobi on a saturday morning, andrea and i were exhausted. the roads in kenya are horrible. if you are not stuck in terrible traffic in nairobi, you are bouncing around in the back of a pick up truck with a moaning goat at your feet hoping the vehicle won't topple over as it swerves to avoid huge boulders and potholes. we've even had to get out of a bus and help push it up a hill on a couple of occasions. needless to say, after this journey we were quite excited to drop off our bags and settle into our humble abode in kudu hills (the eco-camp where we're staying). anyway, this little rest lasted all of five minutes. we were immediately informed by our new found friend richard (who runs the kudu hills camp) that saturday was market day in elangata wuas and basically that everyone whose anyone in the kajiado district meets there to socialize, trade livestock, navigate the markets and so on. we were in!!!
the three of us hopped back on a matatu (since then andrea and i have made the personal choice to foot everywhere we can, which means we walk from an hour and a half daily in the hot savannah sun) and ventured to mile 46 (the hub centre that is 46 miles from the railroad). at this point, things get a little fuzzy as what we can recall is definitely tainted by a sense of being overwhelmed and entirely out of our element in every way possible.
as we stepped off the matatu we were faced with a scene almost taken directly out of national geographic. an arrid landscape peppered with low lying acacia trees. an enclosed town centre with a row of ramshackle corrugated iron stores and hotelis (restaurants) on one side and a bustling marketplace on the other. in the centre was a sea of maasai mingling and socializing. all decked out in their traditional attire. men decked out in lesos (like a sari) and walking sticks and women in dresses with the most large and colorful jewelry i have ever seen. plentiful earings dangling from their stretch earlobes and tons of beaded necklaces stacked upon eachother running up their necks. needless to say, andrea and i (the only 'mzungus' *white people* for a 150 mile radius) stuck out (and continue to) like sore thumbs.
in retrospect, i think it is hilarious to think about our first impressions. after having lived in the ilodookilani community and having learned bits and pieces of their cultural traditions, day to day living and so on, all of the above seems so normal and commonplace now. these people are no longer some "primitive" (this term infuriates us both) pastoral people living in the middle of nowhere -- they are now are friends. the warmest, kindest and most generous people we have met in all of our travels so far. aside from all of the cultural learnings they have offered us, they have also given so many lessons on what it means to give wholeheartedly - giving when you have so little and expect nothing in return. (by the way, apologies for getting all after school special on you guys)
anyway, the point of my incoherent ramblings that it really has been incredible being witness to the ways in which what is often stereotyped as an 'untouched' indigenous culture actually live their daily lives. all of the new configurations that are being born out of their attempts to hold on to their traditions while absorbing selective parts of modern kenyan life is pretty effing cool. for instance, today many massai boys choose to attend secondary school rather than go through the 5 year business of becoming a moran (massai warrior). and it really is a bizarre thing to see a massai man carrying a cell phone alongside his rungu and machete!!!

anyway, AS CLICHE AS IT SOUNDS this experience really has thrown so many of our strongly held views on their heads. what it means to be two western feminist advocating women's rights here? what actually constitutes poverty? most of the community live in tiny cow-dung huts and rely on livestock to generate income but they are happy and are finding ways to educate their children past the primary level...i could go on. and i will stop for all your sakes.

but generally, here's the down low friends. life is good. andrea and i are like two eco-friendly vagabonds living in our little sanctuary completely surrounded by intense vegetation and crazy wildlife (some of it NEATo some of it SCARY -- a couple of cobra sightings and a few scorpions) and so many stars!!!!!! but life is a bit draining. at the end of a full day of working at school or travelling to various communities to have meetings about the library, the curio shop and the exchange program, we are pretty pooped and sometimes don't feel like hauling our water, hand-washing our undies. but this makes you realize many a thing: our consumption habits in north america are completely out of control! secondly, if we actually lived here we would probably be waking up at four to help milk the cows before trekking for over an hour to school! and that's assuming that we're fortunate enough to be able to attend. we certainly can't complain!

on an entirely different note, i have to end this tree hugging hippy manifesto because andrea and i are in nairobi and going to go get a latte!!! for serious!!!!! now there's a good dose of silver spoon socialism for you. (farron i threw that one in there for you)

SO, we promise to write again soon with more updates on our projects and visits to kibera and mathare. also we apologize for the lack of photos - uploading is almost impossible to do unless you can devote a considerable amount of time and money to the cause.

we hope you are all healthy and happy.
can't wait to see you all soon.

peace and love.
XOXO.
andrea and ktq


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Recent Messages

From Mike J
Dont know me at all. im just a random stranger from the land of google. What a wonderful thing google is. would never have found your blog, pics and this planetranger site what so ever.
everything on your page here is so inspiring. i would love to be able to do the things you girls are doing. just from the photos i see so much beauty all over the world. must say you girls have been all over.

i have not even left ontario yet lol. one day. africa would be one of my top places to go, well i think through the euro regions first. ooo the thought of scorpions in my house... would take some adjusting and some well planning ahead for africa.
anyways im gonna take off for now. thanks so much for your stories and info you have here. I shall return soon to see if there has been more added. please take care of yourselves. peace. Mike J

Ottawa, Ontario
From Marcus
Is it odd that I tear up a little whenever I read your entries? Well done friends.

crying is cool friend. we're honoured that our minimal postings are having such an emotional effect on someone out there. just let those tears flow.
peace and love.
andrea.
ps. katie describes you as a 'truly wonderful and curious spirit'. you are also officially our blog's #1 fan - congratulations. rest assured, there will be a prize. looking forward to meeting you one day and perhaps communicating in a non-blog form.
From Hyppo
Hi Webber!

I'm glad that you are having such an amazing time! I can't wait to hear all about it when you are back. I miss you lots, but know that you are having a fabulous time.

Love Hyppo

P.S I know that this post is lame, but it feels funny to know other people will read it...I guess it's because I'm not a part of the facebook phenomenon. Love you.
kiboko.
GUESS what i saw up close & personal the other day. yes, thats right. africa's DEADLIST animal. so incredibly cool. just like you. made me think of and miss you lots too babe.
see you SO soon though - can't wait.
LOTS OF LOVING.
xo
web.
From Sarah
ani, my love...as i sit here studying the brain (yikes!), good ol' CHFI is blasting our song. Yes, my friend, it's whitney and her classic i will always love you...now, i'm not actually on TOP of the dining room chairs right now...but in spirit, i really am ;) what a perfect time to look at your blog and think of my ani! sending hugs...i know a tiny piece of that feeling of not being able to describe things you're experiencing a world away...but you did good babe :) miss you and can't wait to hear it all. xxoo Sar
i WILL always love YOU, my little brain genius you. i think it just might be about time for us to get up on the chairs and do that one all over again. thanks for the hugs babe. will be there to return them and tell you all about the things i struggle to adequately describe on the blog in person. keep those CHFI tunes rolling. love love love. xo.
From Jen
Hey sweetpea. Excellent posts, I miss you. Sounds like you're having incredible experiences, so happy for you. I can already the imagine the depth of our discussions when you return. Love, love, love, J
Response: can't wait. i miss, miss, miss you!
buckets full of peace and love.
ktq
From Uncle Tom
Katie-
Your and Andrea's travels are very exciting. I'm overwhelmed with your stories and experiences. I feel very ignorant about other cultures. Right on about the over consuming North Americans and I'm one of them, shame on me. It all seems so different but somehow it's so in sync. I have a work friend who is returning from Nairobi today. He was on on mission through his church. Best of experiences to both you and Andrea.
Be safe,
Uncle Tom
P.S. I hope you let Mike do his OWN paper. Sounds like he needs to "delegate work efficiently" by better time management. They also teach that in business management.
Response: i'm glad you are enjoying the minimal postings.
i can't wait to share more stories with all of you soon and see the new baby!!!
lots of love.
kate
From Jackie, John and Unc
When do you two sweethearts plan to return - any chance of a detour to 4 Brown's Place on the trip home? So much love to both of you!
Response: hot diggity damn.
oh man! we would REALLY love to but we aren't able to change any of our flights. we already tried to swing a flight through london to pick up a bunch of the shizz we left with caro but alas air canada managed to bite large chunks out of our asses once again.

hakuna matata though. we will be reunited once more. hopefully over a plate of imitation haggis.

and by the way. andrea and i managed to scramble up a new culinary delight.
it's a new-agey take on "ye olde meat" with textured vegetable protein. abso-friggin-lutely delightful!

miss you two lovelies!
hope you are swell.

peace and love.
andrea and ktq
From Kyle
Just wanted to say that I was thinking about you today for some reason. How do you make that NOT sound creepy? Not sure.

Good post.

Kyle
Response: only interpreted in the most lovely of ways friend...not creepy at all!

will post again soon. andrea and i left maasailand yesterday and are certainly feeling a big deep void. but today we will renew our spirits with a visit to mathare to see some of the youth from MYSA (mathare youth sports association an organization that africa soma often partners with) perform the sickest of dances. they are lovely performers and great kids. can't wait.

hope you are doing well on the west coast friend. any plans to visit onterrible in the near future???? i SURELY hope so.

From Heather
Hey Girls,
I am glad that you are enjoying E-Wuas so much. I just read your blog and it made me a little teary eyed. You described the exact sentiments I felt last year when first arriving to that wonderful place. I know several times I tried to explain to Andrea what it is like there but I think only the eyes can tell. Please, Please, Please give my love to Richard, Nixon , Ezeikel and everybody else. Tell them I think about them everyday. I hope your girls have a great time!
Love
Heather
supa friend.

so wonderful to hear from you. and happy that we were happy to bring back some warm memories of e.wuas. its true, you have to see it to understand - words don't really do it justice. back in nairobi now and missing it and everyone there so much. will definitely pass along the love to everyone. they all spoke of you fondly and miss you too - especially charity. hope all is going well out west. we'll have to get together and talk e.wuas when we get back. there are few others who will be able to understand i think.
until then...SERE!

From Marcus
Alonzo's post? On her blog? How do I find it?
Response: sorry...no, her post about kandalore on this site. she's gone and gotten crazay!
From e-way
oooeee ladies. sounds like you are having a real eye and heart-opener... that is wonderful. i miss you both. ps kater the alpal will be so excited to talk with you upon your return.. the blog entries you guys have both written are completely different of course but the sentiments and perceptions are at times similar.
i can´t wait to hit up that lovely continent someday too.
love out there
Response: thank you lover.
i have been thinking about you tons lately.
has sarah arrived yet?

i will certainly hang out with the al pal when i'm back in torontotown!

anyway love and miss. lots. trust.

XOXO
kate

p.s. the al pal - if you are reading this...set aside a date...doing the maritimes tour in july...hope you are happy and healthy too!
From Your Baby Brother
I'm currently gettin my butt kicked by that WMNS course. However, through my business courses, i've learned that all managers must possess the ability to delegate work efficiently. That said, your next assignment is to write my essay for me on any common cultural practice. 6-7 pages. don't go to crazy on the external sources.... and smart words, but don't get too fancy or she'll know its not me....lets keep a four syllable max. The assignment is due March 25th. Good luck! Oh yeah, hope all is well in Kenya. We did pub golf last night and it was pretty darn funny....except some weener went dressed in a forkin diaper.....what a crazy human! Otherwise life is still pretty good. They got a special deal on 1 L boxes of chocolate milk at the corner store for $1.19 which is pretty dang money. Gotta run tho. peaceee
Response: andrea totally agrees that the choco milk deal is dang exciting. her little tip - check the one at earl and albert. sweet deals to be had.
will shout back via email in a bit. the connection in kajiado is pretty dire at the moment. they are rationning electricity today so i've got to be selective and make rules about mixing business and pleasure.

LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!
XO
ktq
From Jackie
So wonderful to read your updates! The experiences you guys are having sound truly incredible! I miss you both - stay away from scorpions! I'm sending lots of love from Scotland to Kenya!
Response: apparently the scorpions aren't so bad. just bloody painful.
but we found out yesterday from our friends the "bug girls" (they do research on spiders) that the small scorpions with the large tails and small pincers are the worstest! they have to compensate for the size of their pincers by releasing very strong venom. aiya! and those are the ones we have been killing all over our living room floor.
but we're out of maasailand now so you don't have anything to worry about my sweet.

we miss you and john loads and hope you are both splendidly well.

XOXO
andrea and ktq
From Katherine
Katie, i love living vicariously through you and your travels. It sounds like an amazing experience and I can't wait to hear more upon your return.
Don't worry the tdot has remained cold for you and I continue to make lattes...oh nothing has changed. Although I think I'm going to UBC next year :)
I heart you...stay alert, stay safe
Response: jambo and congratulations rafiki!!!!
for film studies???
keep a sista posted.
missing you and your hot beverages!!!
From Cousin Em
KT- After hearing all the hype around our house about your travel blog, I thought I would check it out. I must say, your writings and pictures are amazing! My mom (Aunt Leslie) even showed Grandma some of your pictures on here. I hope you are truly enjoying this experience...and I would love to hear some of your stories! Be safe and savor the moments! ~L<3ve, Em
Response: thanks friend!
i can't believe grandma is getting all techie on us!
so nice to hear the fam is enjoying the site.
how are you these days?
From Marcus
YES!

How kick ass was that entry Katie? I feel culture shocked just reading that, thank you for spreading it to people who can't be there. That's what travelling is for. I'm linking this from my blog.
Response: sure sure sure.
that sounds fine fine fine marcoo!
i hope you are well these days and if you want another shock check out alonzo's post.
the nerdlinger in me wants to make a joke about a time travel machine but i will abstain...you can just imagine!!!!
From joe
you ladies reply to pretty much everyone! that's amazing!! (as ironic as it would be, you don't have to reply to this...)
Response: you set that one up nicely!
found a great book that you should borrow or try to get your hands on for your swahili studies.
swahili simplified by Peter M Wilson. trust. it's the best one out there.

tutaonana yoseph!
From The Fonz
1. I want to meet your masai boyfriend
2. I'll work at K-lore for the summer if you will
3. I can't believe you're in Africa
4. I can't believe you're in Africa

Much Love!!!!!!!!
Response: 1) come to maasailand and you can. 2) he might be imaginary. 3) kandalore for the summer??? you gone crazay!

love and miss miss miss.
sere (goodbye in kimaasai) friend!
From farron
wow, those egypt photogs are off the hook. straight up. i do hope that you are taking pictures at maximum resolution, and that this intrawebsite is the one that is downgrading the quality, and introducing all those image noise artifacts... enuff chop talk, back to enjoy the the san fran sun.
peace&love
Response: farron - wish you were here you nerdlinger you! can't say we're up to speed on all the techie stuff. what our internet cafe (the top of the mountain behind our camp) lacks in technological specs is certainly made up for with a lovely view of the rift valley! as you can see, getting any kind of reception is a bit of an issue. but nairobi is serving it's purpose as our current hub centre of correspondence.
From Rick & Gayle
I am really enjoying reading your diary entries and going through the pictures. The pictures are amasing. The stories of your adventures has really got my imagenation going. This will be an adventure of a life time. Be safe and I am hoping to see new entries soon.
Rick & Gayle
happy to hear that you are enjoying the blog guys. our internet access has been limited as of late (last week i had to climb a tree at the top of a mountain to try to get cell phone reception!) but we will hopefully have some new photos to post on our next visit to nairobi. hope all is well in ottawa and you aren't freezing. just picture us on the deck of the cottage with a gin & tonic and bruchetta. or mayb this summer i'll attempt some african culinary delights - i've been learning. only 3 more months!
From Sarah
ANI!!! Damn! I left a message a while ago, but I think maybe it didn't work??! I dunno! Friggin' stupid of me! I miss you...loooooving these pictures and looking forward to more updates. Excited to hear more about the Massai...I did a project on them last year! LOVE YOU!!! xxoo Sar
Response: no need to fret lovebug - both messages worked...we just have to being checking our site to post them & haven't had internet access for the past 2 weeks. so nice to hear from you not once but TWICE though. double the love. them maasai are pretty cool bunch eh - we've been learning of many a plant and natural remedies involvng lots of boiled roots, bark and goat fat. yet to use any of them...but must admit the idea of smearing goat fat on my skin is somewhat enticing. sould i be admitting this publically on the internet? perhaps not.
hope school and everything else in an around mt.p & ranleigh is going well babe. stop in and see mama webber if you are ever walking by - she would love it.
xo.
ani.
From aunt leslie
Katie, We are enjoying the info and pictures. I'm sure you are not able to update but I hope everything is well and you are safe. I think of you often and know that this is an adventure of a lifetime. I'm wondering about your teaching experience. Hope you find it as fulfilling as Ross and I do. Love always, Leslie
Response: So nice to hear from you!
The teaching experience is definitely different but a wonderful way for us to get immersed in the community and connect with the kids. Nevertheless, it is immensely difficult at times dealing with the infrastructure, lack of resources etc. So, we're helping out where we can and enjoying every minute of it.

How are you all doing? Much snow in Indiana? I hope you are all well and am sending sunshine and smiles from nairobi.

XOXO
kate
From The Marvins
Katie:
We just found out about your website...wow what fun you must be having! Aunt Elaine

Hi Katie! I's Suzi. Egypt looked sooo cool! I hope you had fun there!
Response: Hey guys! Looks like Babsie is passing is on the info to the whole fam. So glad you liked the pics Suz!
Maasailand is wonderful and beautiful and every sense of the word. The projects are starting to take shape and it's really exciting.
I think Suzi would be excited to hear that I saw some ostriches fighting on the way to school the other day. I became so attached that I named them Lovie 1 and Lovie 2!!!

miss you all loads and can't wait to see you all soon!

XOXO
kate
From Jen
how are you?? i've been thinking of you so much lately, but have no way to check in ... :) love you and miss you. hope all is well, that you're having fun and staying safe. courage cherie, j xo
From Sarah
Ani, my love! So I'm a little late on the blog train, but not because I haven't been thinking about you TONS! So good to hear about these nutty travel tales...sure as hell beats -20C Toronto tonight! Funny thing...I had to write a project for ethnobotany last yr on the Massai... fun times! Hope you girls are settling in. What a cool experience to be among such an ancient group of people...I'm jealous,not going to lie! Love you, and take care of each other :) xxoo Sar