Day 1

September 30, 2007

We arrived very early this morning in Nairobi. Everything went so very smooth.

From the landing, to getting our visas, to getting all seven pieces of luggage… it all went very smoothly. It was almost 7am when I stepped outside and the air was cool and moist. It smelled like diesel. What amazed me was that it looked very similar to Guatemala and what I could remember of Manila. The buildings, the streets, the smells, they are all so similar. Third world country smells, sights and sounds are all the same.

Leaving The Airport

The road was bumpy and the van moved so very fast around the turns, weaving in and out of traffic. We arrived at the volunteer house, and the exterior just seemed magical to me. It’s all so green and there were handmade gray brick that made up the driveway. It started to rain and we quickly ran inside.

It’s a quaint house with a small kitchen. Tracy had told us stories about the possibility of no water or electricity. It has not happened yet, but then again, it is only Day 1. We will only be here for two more days before we head to St. Monicas orphanage for the rest of our stay.

Tracy took us to Nairobi Children’s Home and I met dozens of children today.

They are just so beautiful. It’s amazing how they all gravitated toward the camera. They all just wanted to be hugged and touched. They had just met me and all they wanted was for me to wrap my arms around them.

Some were shy, they didn’t want direct eye contact. Then I found out their history and that’s what stopped them from getting any closer. Some were just recently abandoned. I heard a story of one child and how her step-mother burned her badly, hoping to kill her. She survived, but not without the scars that will remind her for the rest of her life that she was not wanted.

It makes me so sad. But as I sit here now, and look at the photographs of all their smiling faces, their spirits are alive and their smiles are contagious. The word “amazing” just doesn’t describe it.

Trip Into The City

We went into the city for lunch and I had a typical African meal, which consisted of beef and rice. It was tasty, a bit chewy, but tasty. We then walked around Nairobi, running odd errand, like picking up bottled water and ingredients for Australian bicuits and a visit to the ATM machine.

I was exhausted. I am exhausted.

I just finished showering and I am off to bed.

Day 1 is over.

[dictated via phone to my husband... still no internet connection]

The Time Has Come

September 28, 2007

I will be in the air in less than 24 hours. Even though my journey to Africa started years ago, with the passion to make a difference, tomorrow, when I wake up, it will feel like a dream.

I am going to Africa.

I sit here in my home staring at five 50 lb boxes full of donations. Donations from friends, family, and mostly strangers. People who I have never met, but I feel like I have known forever. I figured out why.

It’s the kindred spirit of being a woman with the instinct to protect, to nurture, to love. Some were not “mothers” by definition, but have shown compassion and passion like I have never witnessed. And for who? Children. Children that we have never met. Children who have lost their parents for too many reasons that I could name. And these women have come together for one reason, and one reason only.

To make a difference in the life of a child.

Underwear For Africa was born to help, even in a silly way. Imagine the smile on the little girls face who receives her very first pair of underwear and it’s a beautiful shade of pink and it has stars, hearts, or even a pretty pink bow. My hope is to make her smile, to feel pretty, to feel special, and to feel valued. Can underwear do that? I guess I will see, and so will you.

I will be writing, taking photographs, doing a video diary daily on my journey. I am hoping I will be able to post at least twice a week. I will see what the Internet situation is. So I hope you will be able to follow me and be with me, experience with me, as I follow a dream that I truly believe is my destiny.

Much respect, gratitude and love to all of you,

Me

Three Weeks…

September 7, 2007

I am leaving in three weeks. WOW. I have received so many supplies from all the wonderful mommas on Cafemom. It is fantastic. I will start packing that bag next week. I have most of my supplies, deet, mosquito net, water purification tablets… Still need to get all of the emergency kit stuff though.

I need to figure out exactly what I need to wear. I know long sleeve light cotton, light colors…but then I was told NO WHITE!!! We shall see.