Ticket to Ride
June 10, 2010, 7:48 AM
Filed under: PRE-TRIP JITTERS (Kenya 2010)

Hey friends.

So, yes. I bit the bullet and joined the blogosphere. The fact that I think I used ‘blogosphere’ correctly in a sentence makes me cringe a little bit, but sorry I’m not sorry I guess. Anyway, welcome to my attempt at a blog.

The idea for this blog stemmed from some initial family anxiety over contacting me this summer (that has since toned down, I think), mainly because I am going off the grid. Like really off the grid. I figured a blog was a step in the right direction to broadcast the fact that I was in one piece somehow.

Off the grid? Well, yeah. And I cannot wait. I am traveling to Kenya this summer, leaving on June 14th and arriving back stateside on August 9th. More specifically, I am interning with a small social entrepreneurship organization called ThinkImpact, working on asset-based community development (ABCD) projects in the rural community of Kayafungo (see below). As I see it, ABCD involves utilizing unique local assets as the foundation for sustainable development. ABCD’s main focus incorporates and recognizes the power of local community associations and institutions, acknowledging community strengths in order to organize effective development projects that the community members identify as necessary. Obviously, this is all a little vague. Expect a more detailed post on ABCD and my role as an intern eventually.

The internship immerses us (meaning myself and some other interns) within the Kayafungo community by working directly with community members and placing us in homestays with various Kenyan families. This opportunity is, to me, the most appealing part of my entire summer and what looks to be an incredible experience. Kayafungo as a community possesses numerous developmental challenges operating in a variety of different spheres: social, economic, political, you name it. I’m sure deconstructing these challenges with members of the community and my host family will enrich my perspective in ways that could not have been accomplished in the classroom (sorry SFS).

Kayafungo is located in the Kaloleni District of Coast Province, about 52 km northwest of Mombasa. Here’s a map so you have a better spatial ideal of where I’ll be…

Kayafungo, Kenya (indicated with the red star)

I have all these really ambitious plans for keeping this blog updated over the summer, but realistically, I doubt that it’ll happen. My internet access will be spotty and sketchy at best, so if I can’t post, I’ll be sure to type up some entries from my travel journal upon my return. I guess that slightly defeats my original purpose for writing this blog in the first place. Whatever. I’ll try writing more before I leave about where I’m going, what I’m doing, and my goals, etc. Also, I leave this Monday to fly to DC for training, and my flight to Kenya departs June 16th. I hope to hear from you before I leave pleeaaaseeee.

And, obviously, I wish that all of you have an amazing, amazing summer! I look forward to hearing all of your crazy stories when I get back.




1 Comment so far
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Ari! You are SO cool :))) I hope you get to update the blog because I want to hear about everything! You’re so inspiring 🙂 Hamily love forever, xo, jess

Comment by Jess L

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