I spent an amazing 6 days in Nairobi! I can't believe I am saying that as much as I dislike being there. I arrived on Friday and met a friend to see the Kenyan Archives which was a great look at Kenyan history. I later met more PCVs for a fine Indian dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Saturday and Sunday were meeting days to plan for Camp GLOW and iron out many details. We will have 30 campers from all over Kenya, 5 of which will be deaf, 10 counterparts to help out, 3 PCVs and 6 committee members. It will be held at the DEPOT in the outskirts of Nairobi. It is the site of the Rowallen Boy Scout Camp (which will be hosting an international scout event in June!). The camp is based on empowering young girls in Kenyan. Our chair woman, Tameisha, has been in contact with some incredible Kenyan women who will serve as presenters and mentors to the 30 campers. Two of which I had the pleasure to meet. Betty, who used to work in the corporate world has now become a well known Kenyan poet and has a troupe that performs her works through out Kenya. She has even traveled to London. This was one smart woman who has always been a feminist and leader. I was in awe of her.
Wanjiku was the other impressive woman I had the opportunity to spend time with. Tameisha and I were invited to her home for a visit and dinner. She was the provincial commissioner in Isiliyo (an upper level governmental position) and then with USAID for 16 years as their gender and development coordinator. Either of these women would put Oprah to shame they were so incredible.
The best part of the week was being invited to Ambassador Rannenberger's annual International Women's Day dinner. There were over 150 women of all walks and ages - what chance to meet some great people. I put on my best Junior League manners and met as many people as I could. There were several ex-pats who had served as PC volunteers years ago, an 84 year old American who has lived in Kenya for the better part of her life, an ambassador's secretary who has lived in at least a dozen different countries and so many more. It was a great opportunity to rub elbows with some pretty fancy folk, especially for Tameisha who would like to stay in Kenya after Peace Corps.
I have no pictures of this event to share - but the food was great, the wine was good and the evening delightful.