This week was primarily filled with work. As exciting as the status of my fellowship applications, the word count on my journal articles in progress, or the state of my burgeoning field of field notes are, I suspect the moments that I was actually out and about are of the most interest to the general public:
Excursion 1: One day this week, I was able to join a group of students on a service trip to a forest near the city. Along with a large team of park rangers, we worked to clear a lake from an aggressive waterweed. It was nice to get outdoors and do something constructive!
Excursion 2: I met a friend of a friend for dinner and a drink this week. I love how connected the world can be when people share their networks and link their friends! I know pretty great people, who in turn know pretty great people.
Excursion 3: Today I spent some time at Nairobi’s Storymoja festival. Storymoja is any English teacher’s dream! The festival brings together regional authors, artists, and creative to celebrate their work. I had the privilege of hearing the famous Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka speak this afternoon. He delivered a memorial lecture for Wangari Maathai, the first female African to with the Nobel Peace Prize for her sustainable development efforts. Soyinka also honored Kofi Awooner, the Ghanaian poet that was killed in last year’s Westgate attack. Soyinka’s lecture, entitled “The Parables of Wangari’s Trees” was both inspirational and thought-provoking. Soyinka spoke on a variety of political and touchy subjects including both terrorism and women’s rights. My favorite line from his speech was the following: “Just as one tree does not make a forest, so does one gender not make humanity.”
All-in-all, a good week.