Loving these shots from MerMagBlog !
Such fun and so beautiful. Thanks Mer for bringing a smile to my face! I love seeing other people’s interpretations of our stuff!
Its’ nearly a week now since the horrible incident at Westgate Mall began. I was at a neighbour’s birthday party when I heard something had happened. Sadly, the neighbours had been the victims of a horrible robbery only two weeks before in which the husband’s father was shot and killed. Since then, everyone has been a bit morose, measured and pensive about what it means to live in Kenya. By everyone, I am talking about our friends an neighbours- a mostly European community- whether fourth generation Kenyans with colonial roots or expats here on a two year contract with a big multinational like Nokia or Coke.
Indeed, the head of HR from Coke was at the party fielding calls from his colleagues, asking what they should do as they were trapped at Westgate. We thought it was a robbery and to be honest, I hoped it was because the truth, which seemed unlikely, would be much much worse. It was something I wasn’t going to admit until I couldn’t deny it any longer. I think this comes in large part from teh fact taht I was in New York during September 11 and watched the towers fall. I knew what it meant to have terrorists rip normal out of your hands, leaving you standing agape at what used to be and an uncertain future. I knew how it felt to be faced with the horrors of what humanity can be- the sickening reality of how people can hurt others. I knew how the effects of cruel and shocking deaths can reverberate through a community- how scarred and damaged it can leave families and individuals. I knew that survivors and victims alike would never be the same, their lives shadowed from seeing, hearing and experiencing terrorism.
So I’ve spent the last week seeking answers, hoping for rays of light. Being thankful that my family was safe and the people we knew who were in the shopping centre made it out safely. While some were heros others were jsut lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Mostly though I am struggling with how it’s been handled by the government and media. It’s been so frustrating watching government officials contradict themselves- ever the while giving the impresion of small children, getting caught and wanting to cover up. It seems immature and short sighted which in a way the government has proven itself to be.
So as the week has worn on, I have felt exhausted and drained, emotionally spent. Wanting our government to prove itself, show it’s mettle and falling disappointed, into bed every night. However, I am heartened and impressed by tech savvy Kenya- people are coming together, crowd sourcing their frustration to make it know that the government will not and should not get away with the shameful job they’ve done thus far. Showing that we as Kenyans are mature enough to handle the truth and in fact demand it. Yes- Kenyans have been wonderful in giving blood and donating money- this has been well documented by the media. For an intersting article on this written by Mike Planz read here. What has been most uplifting and inspiring this week has been the spirit that Kenyans have shown their readiness to speak up and get their message out. Using Twitter, Facebook and more Kenyans themselves are showing a maturity and savvy that their government has not shown. Bravo to that.
For the children it’s important to keep life going as usual. I know life as we know it won’t be the same going forward but I think it’s important they are not stressed or consumed with this as I have been, they probably won’t remember a time when goign tot he shops wasn’t fraught with the same security precautions as going to the airport. They haven’t lived a sheltered life and this isn’t the first time Al Shebab has been a topic of conversation for them but I’m hoping they wont’ be too damaged by this.
Tor seems to have maintained his sense of humour. He really didn’t mind at all when his new football jersey had his name spelled with a Kenyan accent!
The ongoing theme of the summer for Tor was NOT being photographed. I can’t remember what we bribed him with here for not covering his face with his hands… So we got the tongue instead. We didn’t even get off the ferry here in Portofino but kept going to a little beach in the next bay in front of a monastery. Magic!
The car wash was another highlight. Especially when Nana’s car began to leak! It was hot hot hot and the cool water was much appreciated!
The San Francisco Public Library turned out to be one of the major draws this summer. Mainly due to their Summer Reading Program- where if you read 10 hours, we won tickets to local attractions. The kids couldn’t believe these things were being GIVEN away! It’s so rare in Kenya to get anything for free. Each time we went back to the library there were more surprises in store. The kids were given tickets to a party at the main library on a Sunday morning. To our surprise, Nina’s favourite author Annie Barrows of Ivy and Bean fame gave a reading and then signed three books for Nina! She was as cute as she looks and it was such a wonderful surprise.
In all a lovely holiday and coming back is hard- but that’s life isn’t it??
Lucky sweaters- got to go to Italy! Wonder if they saw George Clooney???
Here are some fab shots of our knits in Italy at a craft fair at Lake Como. Yup- where Mr Clooney has a house.
Thanks to Sabina at Verde Pistakio for these!
We are back- almost in full effect- but let’s face it- not quite all the way there.
Luckily, the lovely Sherice over at Bad Ass Mama Chronicles is hosting a giveaway! Hurray!
Here are all the details- good luck!
We are offering up 25% off our cow sweaters in honour of Cow Appreciation Day! Here in Kenya, cows are revered and the Masai even use them as currency and to an extent, bank accounts.
Our darling girl cow sweater has little udder like pockets, spots, ears and a tail.
And our boy bull sweater- horns, spots, ears and tail!
It happens every year though I fell like this year was a bit more of a shock. Not so much the knit bombing- as I’d read it was the time of year for that! But the irony- oh the irony- of Brooklyn. So hip it hurts. I do recall past years laughing at the hipsters, wondering if I would look intentionally frumpy or ironically frumpy. This year there was no way any of the hipsters thought I was one of them. First off because I don’t have the ironic facial hair. Secondly, while riding my friends appropriately hand crafted, old fashioned, two tonne bicycle I was visibly struggling with it’s weight instead of gleefully pedaling without a care in the world like the rest of them.
But heck- if all you need is love then I fit in because I really do love that city. I love the mix of people, the unexpected twists when you turn a corner- in Brooklyn that comes to- will it be another run down out of business factory or a new bread/shaving soap/beer making studio crafting artisan products made lovingly by liberal arts graduates? Will it be a weed strewn lot with chunks of marble that Manhattanites will drive over to pick out for their refurbished apartments or a knitted wall of philosophy?
Manhattan – from whose loins I crept a mere 11 years ago, sheepishly escaping for what I thought would only be a year- it’s which celebrity look alike will I see? This was a game I played on the subway at first, inspired by this Donatella Versace lookalike. I then played it all day while rushing around. I saw, in no particular order- Beyonce, Imelda Marcos, Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep and quite a few attractive people who are not famous yet.
And back to this- if that doesn’t show the cultural discrepancy… (taken from brother in law’s Facebook page!)
Good to be back!
What a great article in the New Zealand Herald about our collaboration with G. Nancy! Thanks for this Georgia! Glad to hear they are selling well and can’t wait to see what Georgia comes up with for the next line!
Suanter on over and use coupon code SAUNTER for 20% off! Everything on our whole shop!
Not enough advice if you ask me- I’d like to know what I’m supposed to do if not running like a crazy woman away from the lion?!?! Our neighbourhood (called an ‘estate’ here) has three entrances and Monday morning there were three separate signs of this nature posted at each entry. I get the whole concept of playing hard to get but does that really work with lions?
Now this is even more confusing. Does this mean there is both a leopard and a lion in the ‘hood? Or that there is a large cat of indeterminate species roaming about? Whispers of a dog taken by a leopard recently would lead me to believe that there may be both!
Ah, suburban African life. Always exciting!