Sunday, March 2, 2014

A few deep breaths

I am finding it extremely difficult
to know where to begin.
So I'll just start with
my most sincere, heart-felt
for your thoughts, support,
and well-wishes.
I arrived at the airport on Friday
prepared for departure
on a twenty-two hour trek to Kenya.
Within minutes I encountered issues
with my passport,
leading to issues obtaining
my boarding passes.
My passport expires within six months
of travel, so I was not permitted
to travel to Kenya.
After picking my jaw up off the floor,
and catapulting my mind into
"FIX THIS NOW!" mode,
I exhausted all reasonable options regarding renewal
and explored every available avenue to rectify
the situation...
there is just not a timely solution.
I considered the possibility of driving
from Cincinnati to Detroit (where passports can be renewed in person)
to catch a delayed flight, but this proved to not be
a feasible option either.

I am devastated and hugely disappointed,
but I do realize that sometimes these things
happen for a reason.
I am choosing to keep a positive perspective...
trying to find the silver lining.

I will make every effort to follow the other folks this week
as they offer hope to the central Kenyan villages
and I will try to share with you
the updates and links as they become available.

Thank you again for all the
interest, concern, and continued support.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

here we go...

here we go.
here i go, again.
and i hope you'll join me!

this time

follow along, won't you?
share this experience with me!

i'll try to update daily
with photos
and reports from the
four villages in central Kenya
that we'll be visiting
and encouraging.

the assistance offered by
GHNI (Global Hope Network International)
to the rural villagers is empowering.
constantly coaching the people
to champion their own success
by offering low-cost, low-tech
and locally available methods.
Transformational Community Development (TCD)
envelopes, teaches, and enables
the people to help themselves out of poverty.


it's hard for me to comprehend that
so much time has passed.
(two years!)
since my last African excursion.
the experience changed me.
it altered my perception of life
and transformed my
we will offer help to the people in
these drought-stricken villages
in the form of
and continual guidance
toward self-sustenance.

i'll be checking in again soon...from Kenya

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

big time

an article on the front page 
of the local, hometown newpaper
may not be a really big deal

but it is
for me
the people of
will reap the benefits.

see the article
in the Daily Standard

go on.
run. do not walk.
go ahead.
pass go and collect $200.
check it out
and let me know what you think.

if you'd like to know more
or if you'd like to become part of
the extended village
for Megaladi
click this link
or visit the
ghni website.

read my earlier posts
to see more pictures
and learn more about
my incredible experience.

Friday, April 6, 2012

still here

I'm still here.
sort of.
since the week after
my knee surgery
(for those of you who don't know,
I had ACL reconstruction surgery
the week after I returned from
i have been trying to put
together a really
my thoughts are not
even to me
(many thanks to the
pain meds)
but I still have so many
wonderful stories
to share about my
for now just a few pictures
until i can shake the
cobwebs from my brain.

i know
with certainty that the
 tiny, rural villages
the people
and the relationships i developed
on this short
now have an
distinct niche
 in my heart
in my life.

and i miss them all like crazy.

more to come, soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

still in the process of processing...

i don't want to forget anything
that i learned or experienced
on this amazing journey. 
i feel a strange anxiety,
a sense of urgency
so as not to dismiss even one tiny detail.
not a single sensation.
not a solitary emotion
or scenario.

and certainly not this shining face.

i think back at me pointing to myself and saying my name, then motioning to her as a signal for her to tell me her name, but she would merely repeat my name.  i'm no genius, but i'm pretty sure her name isn't 'hez-uh'.  after several failed attempts at this game of gestures (and lots of giggles), we were rescued by someone who understood my objective.  a few inquiries and translations later, he revealed to me that her name is Keltun (kel-toon).  Keltun is 7 or 8 years old...i can't recall exactly, but i remember thinking she is Zander's age.  she is full of energy and laughter, despite being hungry and thirsty.  she is cordial and affectionate, in spite of difficult circumstances.

within minutes of seeing one another for the first time, she reached for my hand as we began walking down the dirt road to get a look at the well and generator for her village. another child wanted to hold my hand too, but Keltun was reluctant to share even one of my fingers, so i put my camera down and offered my left hand to the other little girl. we strolled along not speaking a word. i would glance at Keltun every few steps and she would cast me that beaming grin...smiling even with her eyes.

eyes that are full of promise and unlimited potential. Keltun's health, education, and opportunities depend on her village, Megaladi, navigating the path of TCD (transformational community development) with the guidance of the local GHNI representatives.

this program works...i've seen it. 
     there is hope...Megaladi sees it.      

Musa, Keltun's father, is a TCD committee member in Megaladi. in our meeting with the committees, Musa (moo-say) was insistent and eager, yet softly spoken and incredibly wise (even through triple translation!). he made a reference to the village of Megaladi being a small, stagnant pond and GHNI being a teeming river. as the river rushes into the pond, he described, the two bodies of water become one. the momentum of the river encompasses the pond and together they flow along the course of the river.  so eloquent.  so accurate.  he "gets it".  the people of Megaladi understand that they need some momentum.  their village can become self-sustaining and prolific with this surge of knowledge and encouragement offered by GHNI. 

this man is Musa

thank you for continuing to follow my journey...

you, too, can be part of the extended village network for Megaladi.

or you can go to the Megaladi blog page to learn more and check out their progress.

i'll be back soon...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

new normal...

worlds away.  i feel like i am worlds away.  distanced not from Ethiopia, but from all the things i've returned to.  i am wrestling with many emotions and trying to make sense of how all the pieces will fit together...certainly this puzzle will make a remarkable picture.

i am trying to re-acclimate.  it may take some time.  please bear with me.  i am tired when i shouldn't be.  and awake when i shouldn't be...hello 3am! 

i am pining for tastes that can't be found in ohio (we grew very fond of the papaya, mango, avacado mixed juice..."spreese" juice, anyone?).

i have so much more to share about my experience, but i need to organize my thoughts first.  i need to process some raw and powerful emotions tugging at my heart.  

i need to embrace this new normal.

life goes on...but my course has been altered.  my perspective of the world has changed. 

the relationships and experiences are now part of me. 

i am
beyond measure.

so please 
excuse me
as i focus on what
matters most.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


along the dirt road beyond Megaladi, is Garmaam which became a sponsored village just a year ago. we drove into the center of the village where the road is lined with some trees providing shade and a few small shops.  just off the road is the health post (clinic).  i am absolutely amazed by the information and services provided by Yusuf...he is the chairman of the wellness committee.  the clinic, partially subsidized by the government, offers vaccinations, information on communicable disease prevention, personal hygiene awareness, prenatal and obstetric care, infant wellness, malaria prevention, nutrition information, and family planning information.  charts, graphs, and informational posters cover the walls of the clinic.  that is progress.  

Yusuf, third from left, operates the health post 

Garmaam is developing agricultural fields and has planted mango trees. 
they are plowing and tilling the land.
the village has access to an irrigation ditch system
for personal use and for watering crops.

look closely...crop rows
most of the school-aged children attend classes.
the villagers understand that educating their children
is the key to making the village successful into the future.

Garmaam has a long journey ahead of them on the
TCD path to a healthy community, but they have
made astounding progress and they are
the perfect role models for

a home in Megaladi
taking wood to town to sell

dry river bed

given knowledge, leadership, and a helping hand
the people of Megaladi can thrive, too.
you can be a part of their success.
click and check out the Megaladi blog.

learn about their projects.
celebrate their accomplishments.
share their passion.
be inspired as they smile in the face of adversity.
be amazed by their wisdom and vision.