ORIGINAL: A couple of years ago, I started the Kenya Project. It was intended to assist Americans in understanding Kenya and, because of my heritage I felt that I was in a unique position to do it. Well now, the Republic of Kenya and I will actually meet in person for the first time.
Before, I felt that it was important for us to see what Kenya really is--especially the Luo tribe--since both President Obama and I stem from that ethnic group. And though his presidency will end in less than a year, I still think that I may be able to bring some truth to the distortions which still circle about regarding the country and its people.
I’m no trained travel writer or historian, to be sure, but I wasn’t a novelist when I set out to write my novel. So take those things into account.
I’ll be staying in the country for two weeks. I’m a bit apprehensive, since this will be the first time I’ve traveled abroad to a Third World country. Sure, I went to Germany and Japan at the behest of the USAF, but the military creates a huge safety net for its non-combatants in other countries and, to be honest, Germany and Japan are incredibly safe—well, at least Germany was safe back in the good old days of the Cold War. Now?
For those who don’t know, this trip and the lodging was a gift from a friend of my blogs whom I will name when he gives me permission. This gift is emblematic of how my life has gone in the past few years: great trials topped off with tremendous blessings.
So the Kenya Project is back on. Back when I started the Project, I had high aims, but they are more modest now. I just want to look, listen, take pictures, write about it, and pass it along to my small reading public. Of course, the most tremendous part if the trip will be to meet many members of my family for the first time, and to see my father, Philip Ochieng, face-to-face for the first time in almost 55 years.
There are some things that I will need to pay for while I’m there: food, transportation, and Internet time. There is Wi-Fi in my hotel, but it isn’t free and when I’m away from there, it’s only available in dedicated cafes, as my brother, Charles Otieno Ochieng, tells me. So please feel free to donate to my PayPal account. I also have a Kenya Wishlist on Amazon with a mere few items on it. The item I need most is a camera. Otherwise I'll have to settle for photos taken with my Coolpad phone.
UPDATE: I have restarted my Go Fund Me Campaign.
Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects: Kenya Trip, A Roof Over My Head, my new novel, this blog, and my Internet--to keep them going and to the COFFEE fund to keep me going!