Carr Educational Foundation’s director Mark Lukach told me last month about an interesting current that is running itself through the WorldWideWeb: the “6 word autobiography.” It’s not as easy as it sounds. How would you crush your entire life into six words? Moments ago I asked my father, who is visiting campus for the first time, that same question. Mind you, little thought and less reflection went into his answer. At the same time, at 71 I hope to God I can say the same.
“I would not change a day” – Jack Doherty
As I have been typing up the following installment of the Daraja Academy blog, the question has returned to me several times – how would I explain my life? The way I viewed my relationship to the world and my place in it, in only six words?
Though not my six-word autobiography, I am going to preface what is left of this blog, with a realization that has been surging through me in larger and larger swells of emotion…
I honestly believe that I would rather be dead, than live my life minus the feeling of gratitude.
Mind you, I miss my wife, friends and family. There are tastes, smells and things I often took for granted while back home in California that I deeply wish I had here in Kenya. Even so, the following phrase continues to circulate through my mind, often on a daily basis, “how did I get so lucky for this to be my life?” Continue reading “The Best Tickets Ever” »
Preface: Hello world. It’s been a while since my last posting and a month since I arrived in Kenya. For the first time thus far, I am on my own. Though extremely exciting, the past month has also been a bit on the strange side. Put simply, I’ve had to wear my share of “hats”. Though I have enjoyed wearing them all, it has been different. With the Daraja team members (Grey Brooks, Mark Lukach and Bob Bessin) I was in the “on-the-go-meet-Daraja-Academy-and-Kenya” hat. This had less to do with them, all three are easy to travel with, than it had to do with me and the nagging feeling that I wouldn’t be able to show/do/be and see enough during their allotted time in Kenya. I’ve worn the “meet-and-rally-the-staff” hat, which is now nicely transitioning into the “part-of-the-staff” hat. There has been the “dressed-up-becoming-acquainted-with-potential-benefactors, donors and bestowers of knowledge” fedora and many others.
But, during that time I never really got much of a chance to don the “wow-I-just-moved-to-Africa” hat. This is the hat I have been breaking in since Bob flew off the continent nearly one week ago. It is also the reason my blog has been silent. That and the fact that my cell phone, which also serves as my modem at campus, got wet and was out of action for 72 hours.
As I begin this update I am conflicted. In my first blog entry I vowed to be completely honest, reporting both the highs AND the lows that I encounter leading up to Daraja Academy’s commencement in January. My thinking was: the creation of a free, girls Secondary School in a developing nation, is if anything – a unique story. Tell it how it is and people will read. However, today I am remembering something… I’m human.
I’m human and Daraja Academy is my baby. I am so excited about its future; the beauty that is its mission and the degree of possibility that exists in the classrooms, campus and future, as well as the growing contingent of volunteers and donors. At times I find myself unintentionally protecting the story. I’ve learned that part of me is nervous about sharing the “other-than-positive” news, fearful of its effects on the school’s gathering momentum. Continue reading “Back in the Saddle Again” »