Month: February 2017

Paul Ryan Needs Postcards

A note about Paul Ryan: Democratically elected U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has turned off all of his public telephones and fax machines due to overwhelming protests in favor of Obamacare/ACA, Planned Parenthood, and Medicare, other issues such as tax returns, etc. He is also turning away voters delivering signed petitions. And he refuses to hold any town hall meetings.  Please mail postcards to his HOME address: Paul Ryan 700 St. Lawrence Ave. Janesville, WI 53545 Please paste and copy this info and share. Let’s see what 67 million cards in the driveway looks like.

The Awkwardness of Saying Hello

I have friend back home. Let’s call her Kelly*. Kelly is originally from California. Kelly is a hugger. I am a New Yorker. I don’t touch people. It took a while to get used to greeting Kelly. My usual verbal greeting would not suffice. Handshakes, fist bumps, high fives, none of that would work. She went in for the hug. I mean real hugs, not the quick 5 second hugs. I used to joke that saying hello to her involved getting to second base. I do hug some people, close friends and family. Kelly is now a very good friend. I’ve accepted her cultural values of greeting people by West Coast Make Out Hug. Little did I know that this would be good practice for me. I now have to physically interact with people in order to say hello. There is touching. There is a lot of touching. I am not yet used to it. I’m trying. I’m really working on it. I think I can do the hug. I now know that I pretty …

Making a Shift

Moving to another another country is obviously a big life change. But, sometimes, along with that change are other changes that have nothing to do the move, yet are affected by it. I’m going through one of those changes. Work has not been the most important thing in my life, yet it has been pretty important and my career is what has always taken center stage and taken up the most time. When I first moved here my first step was to start looking for work—actually I started the job search even before I moved here. The thing is, even back in New York, I was at a point where I wanted to shift things a little in my career. That got put on the back burner once I moved. Now it’s coming back in the forefront. How I work through that shift here is different from how I would have handled it back home. Same issue, but it requires a different approach in a different environment. In New York, the change would have been more …

Moving House

We’re moving house soon. While the house we’re currently in is okay, we needed to move. The main reason is security (after a little over a year, the security for the estate/compound/community overall still did not meet UNHCR’s security requirements). So, we’re going to a safer place that meets the standards. We’ll still be in a gated community, but it’ll be a larger one and each house within the community is a stand-alone house. The overall compound is gated and has patrols. Plus, we’ll have a guard at our house. Also, the house itself is bigger and in much better condition. This is a good move. I know I gave a list of tips for renters a while back. Here’s a list of things I wish I knew before I moving into the first house: No matter the size of your yard, you’ll need a gardener. So why not go ahead an have a lovely garden? I’m looking forward to this in the new house. Being in a gated community isn’t necessarily safer than a …

An Activist Abroad

That fuzzy, gray square isn’t pretty. It’s hard to look at it. It’s uncomfortable. It’s unhappy. It’s how I feel. However, I can’t go on feeling like this every day. I need to find a way to cope with what is happening to America. Mind you, when I say cope I don’t mean normalize nor do I mean I’ll resign myself to what’s happening. I mean I need to deal with it, accept it, and then fight with all my might. I’m going to pull away from the Facebook political conversations and reposts (although I’m sure I’ll still like a bunch of political posts). I’m not changing anyone’s minds on there. I’ll save my energy for things that can actually make a difference. I’ll still use social media and I’ll post some politics on this blog. I’ll lose some readers, but that’s okay. This fight is more important. There will still be anecdotes of life in Kenya. There will still be reviews and travel posts. But I’ll be posting politics as well, from the view …