As a disclaimer, the internet was not agreeing with my over here and I am unable to post new photos at this time. I will try to update as soon as I can, so check back!
We've arrived and it feels so good (mostly)! After around 36 hours in transit. we touched ground late Saturday night and after some trials and tribulations, found comfort at the ACK (Anglican Church of Kenya) Guest house. Situated up on top of a beautiful hill on the edge of town, we enjoyed walking down through the beautiful city centre park and into the city to do our errands. Our time in Nairobi was short and sweet, we visited some of mom's favourite places in town, spent many hours stuck in "the jam" (Nairobi's rush hour, known for up to 8 or 10 hours wait in the same spot!) and had a wonderful meal with Reverend Livingstone and his family. The food was fantastic and we got to spend some great time with his beautiful girls, including baby Sandy (named after my mom).
Tuesday morning we set out for Kakamega, a drive that can take 5 or up to ten hours, depending on the roads. Fortunate for us, we made it in around 7 hours with a few stops along the way to take in the Rift Valley and snap some photos of Zebras and baboons by the roadside.
I must admit, upon arrival of Kakamega and our little apartment at the Sheywe Guesthouse, I was overwhelmed with feelings. So many things were racing through my mind that I could not express them in words at the time or even now, upon reflection. Mom and I had a cup of tea outside under the stars and tried to reflect on the but my eyes welled up with tears and I was speechless. I spent the night writing in my journal, trying to pin point exactly what was happening but all I can say is, this is culture shock. It shocks your system so rapidly and so fast that all you can do is blink your eyes, shake your head and try to recover as wholly as possible. I was not ready for the experience I was taking in. I don't think I ever could have been.
Random acts of beauty are something I have tried to conceptualize and verbalize since my early days in University. It is a common theme in my artwork and creations and is something I try to embrace in my day to day life. I have never been successful in fully conveying these beliefs but I think this trip may help me on my road to understanding.
I believe there is unique beauty in everything we do, everywhere we go and everything we see. There are variables that are needed to help bring random acts of beauty come to be. The timing has to be right. The mood has to be right and your heart has to be open to accept the beauty in simplicity. It's when we are able to see the beauty in the small things that we are happiest. That is why I am drawn to eastern Africa and why I think I can grow as a person and as a artist here. I'm not just here to teach, I am here to learn. These people appreciate random acts of beauty every moment of every day. They are happy and carefree (for the most part) and are able to embrace the moment without worrying about the journey.
Some acts are more beautiful than others, some more random then the next but once you learn to open your eyes and SEE, your outlook on life can change.
When you walk through a park and see a beautiful thing, stop and take a moment to reflect on how wonderful it is and allow it to brighten your day. When you notice how beautiful the birds are singing and the flowers are shinning one bright morning, thank the rain that you were cursing the night before.
Do you every sit in a passenger seat on a hot and sunny day and for a moment close your eyes as the warm breeze whips past your face from the open window? That is a random act of beauty. Ever catch yourself staring off into nothing, lost in your thoughts and realize, damn these clouds are PERFECT clouds? That is a random act of beauty. How about wanting and needing things to work out so bad and nothing is working but as soon as you accept your fate and learn some patience, things start to fall into place? Random act of beauty.
It is these things that need to be celebrated more in our lives and are why I am here. The people here are so beautiful, kind, happy and friendly and I hope to convey that to you. There are many things we can learn from them.
I want to change the world with random acts of beauty.