(January 21, 2019) Miles on the Nile #2

This morning began with a little chaos as resident monkeys waited around the porch where we were

having breakfast, looking for a chance to steal our food. Ruth turned for a moment and a monkey

grabbed her banana off her plate and ran the length of the porch table, victoriously waving his banana.

Screaming and jumping to no avail, the banana was gone.

We left the Nile River Resort on foot, to trek for about 2 hours to the source of the Nile. Some of our

journey was along the waters edge, some through small villages with happy children waving us on, along

railroad tracks and under bridges. We arrived at last to the place where Speake and Livingstone first

told the world that they had found the source of the Nile. We boarded a boat and had a cruise on Lake

Victoria, ending at the Sailing Club for a delightful lunch. Some took the Jeeps and some walked back to

our Lodge, to swim, relax and even …. Write a blog!

(January 19 - 20 2019) Miles on the Nile #1

The eucalyptus and mist laden air settled over us as the Miles on the Nile team gathered on the terrace

of the Cassia Lodge with its spectacular view overlooking the city of Kampala and Lake Victoria. This was

our first evening with all 16 of us together.

Later as the evening settled in and I was falling asleep, we could hear the music of a nearby family

gathering, singing and dancing the birthday celebration of their elderly grandfather. Africa excels at

celebration. And then Sunday morning dawned with worship music wafting up from numerous churches

in the city below as congregations gathered to praise the King. Africa excels at worship.

Later on Sunday, Jon Blanc, our Hemmingway-esque travel planner said, “Travel and safaris must always

be inner as well as outer journeys -- or they are incomplete.

We set out on this 10 day journey as seekers looking for the outer awe of raw beauty and creation’s

excess, and also the inner journey of our souls. We will not return unchanged.

Refugee Mom on Mother's Day

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BY LOIS SHAW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


Refugee Mom, you’ve stood in long dusty lines holding your baby

Wondering if hope happens; worrying about a meal, any meal.

Does this day we celebrate confuse you?

Do you wonder what the fuss is all about, when you have never seen a bouquet of roses

Or gone out to dinner, or received a lovely card?

We do this. We celebrate our mothers. We celebrate you.

Collectively we have seen you on CNN and BBC, waiting for hope

Sometimes losing hope when children do not make it through the night.

Sometimes there is no water

Sometimes your husband is lost or gone.

Know that our tears mingle with yours and flow together in long rivulets

Along the dust, and join with other tears and become a river

And flow more urgently and significantly into the ocean of Mother-ness in which we are all the same.

Refugee Mom, you make us stronger.

 

International Women's Day 2018

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By Lois Shaw, Executive Director


On this 2018 International Women's Day, Africa By Design Safaris happens to be hosting a "can do" group of women from Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada. Each of the women are professional educators, spanning the field from early childhood up to the college level. They're here with a mission: to encourage and empower Kenyan women and girls to reach their goals and overcome obstacles.   

I love this group. They listen, and they come prepared to help, but not overtake. They're meeting with Kenyan women professionals and seeking to understand how best to be useful.

Holly, Jeannine, Carey, Gabby, Sheree and Marg have been planning, fundraising and mobilizing friends and colleagues in "The Sault" for over a year. This city of approximately 75,000 in northern Ontario has embraced the buzz these women have generated with their organization called Tumaini Afrika.

The women have collaborated with County Girls Caucus, an African organization that works with high school girls to coach them in setting goals, making wise decisions and writing personal mission statements. They also presented "Days for Girls," a program to help girls make reusable sanitary supplies so they don't miss days of school each month during their periods. They've raised money to provide goats as a kickstart for girls' financial independence. These women have worked in schools, taught educators and children and advocated for teachers in a small informal settlement school.

It has been a joy to watch these women who chose to give so much to girls and women in Kenya when they could have chosen to sit on a beach or go on a cruise for their vacation. They're role models for me. You can follow their adventures here.

Have an abundant day!

—Lois