Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stone Town, Zanzibar

Z A N Z I B A R  has been #1 on my East African bucket list since we found out we were moving to Kenya. Our time here has flown by and being 30 weeks pregnant, we decided it's now or never. We better embark on our last vacation just the two of us. This trip felt different because the area felt so familiar with the pervasive Swahili culture, climate, and geography. Some people say the truest Kiswahili is spoken in Zanzibar/Tanzania. We spent our first two days in Stone Town, which is basically a bigger, quieter version of our favorite area in Mombasa.  We loved walking around the narrow streets, exploring the markets, and comparing it to Mombasa. Omani (Arab), Indian, Persian influences are a little stronger in Zanzibar, the food has more flavor (duh, spice island), it's more accommodating to tourists, and the island itself was enchanting.
The roof tops of Stone Town
Forodhani Gardens
Mtoni Palace Ruins

The Mtoni Palace was home to Sultan Seyyid Said and his many wives, concubines and children. He moved the capital of his Omani empire from Muscat to Zanzibar during the early 19th century and the palace was abandoned by the late 1890s. 

Swahili Door
Everyone wanted to sell Ben a Taqiyah
Who knew Freddy Mercury was born in Zanzibar? His home above
Prisoner Island
191 year old tortoise

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bamba at Ferry

The past two weeks we’ve been pushing Bamba Water at the ferry and it’s been encouraging. Sales are going up and most people in the area know the product. I am happy to see some of the attitudes of our employees change, too. Change is hard so seeing a positive response over a few days’ time has our employees thinking yes we can! I am also impressed with Ben, I think he is the only manager in Kenya who is willing to work side by side with our employees.

Meet Christian our 18-year old intern for 6 weeks 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pregnancy Panic and a Day in Takaungu

Waiting for high tide
6 months!
Zinj Leather Shop
He ate all three meals with us and his only response was "poa" which translates to "cool"
Guard donkeys work just as well as dogs
Takaungu Beach
Mango pit stop on the way home

We are at the 6-month mark and it's been the most eventful week in the pregnancy thus far. I bought my plane ticket to the USA and then panicked on Thursday when my ultrasound report moved my due date up two whole weeks! This was distressing because it threw off mine and Ben’s individual plans on heading back to the States. Visions of giving birth without Ben consumed my mind. I already feel like being apart from Ben for a month was a gamble and then this objectionable report brought on some serious anxiety. Hours later I met with Dr. Mahesh Chudasama, thank goodness, and he eased all my fears. He explained my ultrasound was done an older machine that gave an estimated due date and doesn't take into account all measurements and timelines. Panic subsided and now we are all on schedule – baby, Ben and I. I'll be arriving in Hotlanta, Georgia on August 31 while Ben and baby should be joining me in October, hopefully in that order.

Also, this week Delta offered some of the best service I've had in years. I never thought I’d give a good review of Delta, customer services agents, or any airlines for that matter; but I'd be on hold for another hour as long as Delta rendered the same superior service. Everyone was so helpful and patient. I must document these unique events. They are great reminders that things work out and I should spend more time appreciating this pregnancy, and less time worrying about the details. As everything slowly falls into place I am so grateful for the support I'm receiving from loved ones and strangers.

Friday night we headed to Takaungu with our two new interns Jeff and Jess. I failed to get a group picture but we had a great time on the creek, ocean, and visiting the local leather shop

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bamba Water at Utange Primary School

We made the front page!

A few weeks ago (I am behind on blogging) we went to Utange Primary School and donated Bamba Water. The kids were so excited and couldn't wait to get their hands on some maji Bamba. Getting out of the office and spending time with the children was a great change of pace. The special needs class was my favorite, I could have spent all day with them. I'm looking forward to any future donation event because I love events and its fun sharing great products with people.

One thing I want to mention is our mission at Motiis and Bamba Water is to create and build for-profit companies in Kenya. Our products are seldomly donated because, at the risk of sounding like Jack Donaghy, we need to make a profit in order to scale. On the flip side, our water is top quality and the most affordable. At 10 shillings everyone has to opportunity to purchase clean water.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ari and Behrus Take Mombasa

Visiting and home teaching turned into a work out. One of our branch members built this gym beside his home.
My visiting teaching companions for the evening
Arches at Fort Jesus
Fort Jesus
Spice Market
25th birthday and the day I like to mark as the day the belly popped! 
Ari at sunrise outside our apartment
Monsoons - our favorite restaurant and more crab please

I realized I don't have a lot of pictures of Behrus because he took all of our photos. I promise he was there and an awesome travel companion. Thank you Ari and Behrus from coming out, I loved every minute of your vacation (and the schnitzel!).