Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 1 of 30 - Recent Pic & 15 Interesting Facts

Day 1 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge almost did not happen.  That would have been quite pathetic if I couldn't even make it through one day.  It's Saturday night, 9:00pm in Nairobi and I'm blogging.  Hmmm....I guess that might be an interesting fact.  

I chose this picture for its recentness.  I know that is not a word but it makes my point.  This morning I was out mountain biking with my friend Andrew, a Kenyan named Joseph and my Johnny Muzungu of Kenya, Ed.  Ed's Asian though so technically that would not make him a "muzungu", but in the eyes of rural Africans his skin is still "white".  Ed had just gotten off a plane from Mali at 5:30 this morning and still joined me for a ride through the Kenyan countryside.  Now, that's friendship.  I love this picture because I love everything bike, especially riding it.  I also chose it because I'm a true tomboy, always have been, always will be.  And, in the background the boys are fixing their flat tire, actually Andrew's two flat tires.  I was the smart girl running tubeless with Stans.  I had time for pictures!
Although the mandate of Day 1 was "one" recent picture, I had to put this one in too since I was talking about mountain biking in Kenya.  This is also from today.  As I came shooting out from the woods and around a bend this vista appeared like a mirage in the desert.  This is where I ride on the weekends.  The Rift Valley.  Not a bad set of trails!

So on to the 15 Interesting Facts (or at least perhaps not readily known facts, interesting is arbitrary)

1.  I have a hard time with rules as is witnessed from the two picture post.

2.  I believe in God.  In the world today when everyone is so skewed by the onslaught of political correctness and fear of stepping out and saying what they believe in fear of offending someone, I have no such sense of skewness.  I am a Christian I believe in God and I believe in the Gospel and thank God because I've had to repent for a lot of sins over the years.   I believe that the Muslims have the right to build a mosque anywhere they please due to our Bill of Rights Amendment Uno, but I think any Muslim group who would build a mosque at ground zero is insensitive.  I seriously don't think Allah would approve either.

3.  I have very strong opinions and am not afraid to express them.  See #2

4.  I grew up playing the piano and saxaphone.  Yes, I am proud to say I was a band geek.  Some of my best times in high school was with the band.

5.  I got the rule changed in the state of Kansas that stated Marching Bands could not compete in competition.  I wrote a letter to the newspaper, garnered an onslaught of publicity and eventually they changed the rule in the state....after I graduated.

6.  I worked to help pass a bill in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2001 which helped fund the State Missouri CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).  This group advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children in the foster care system in Missouri.  I was a CASA in Missouri and Nevada for 15 years up until I left for Africa.

7.  I love to cook.  This is a fairly recent development.

8.  If I could return to any decade it would definitely be the 80's.  I miss my lion's mane hair, great hair bands and bad jeans.

9.  I have no idea what I am going to do with my life after March.  

10.  I do something every day which I find scary.  Makes me feel alive.  I do not want to grow old and fearful.  See #9.

11.  I am a bookworm.  I read everything.  I especially like African history.  Lately though it has been every book Paulo Coelho has written.  Alchemist, Veronika Decides to Die, The Witch of Portobello...they all have lessons about life.

12.  I rarely stay up past 10:00pm and am a lousy partier.  I much prefer to go to bed early and get up early.  I love early morning.

13.  My best birthday was my 40th birthday.  I don't know if I can ever top that weekend.  I'd like to try.  Great friends, food, fun AND I stayed up until 4:00am!  My last big party.

14.  I cry a lot since I moved to Africa.  When you remove all the unnecessary distractions that take up wasted space in life, i.e., TV, and you have to face the quiet along with the assault on your senses of the vastness of the poverty and the need in Africa it taps into your core and shakes your soul.  You cry.

15.  I drive with "zeal".  A few days ago I had to follow a group in my truck out into the field for an event at a school.  It was 2 hours of driving through Nairobi traffic, slums, and 20km of dirt roads and I stayed with their two vans.  When we all got out at this school in the middle of nowhere, one of the Kenyan girls in the van I was following tells me how impressed everyone was (two American women who founded the NGO and their Kenyan staff) with my driving.  The girl said, "You drive with such zeal."  I guess it's better than some of the other descriptions I've heard!  Some days I even marvel at my ability to drive in this city. 

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