April 16th

peach pink wavies, blooms

For all my whining about not being able to go to Africa this summer, a good karma boomerang came flying my way to deliver a ticket and itinerary for a seven-week, six-country, three-continent adventure. It is a long story, but let’s just say I am the incredibly fortunate beneficiary of a great act of kindness.

My summer of travel starts late-May in Nicaragua, where I’ll work on a water project for several weeks. Then I have a 12-hour stop back home to swap luggage and laundry and grab another set of plane tickets. I’ll be off to London, Johannesburg, Blantyre, possibly Harare and eventually Beira. (US-Nicaragua-US-UK-South Africa-Malawi-Zimbabwe-Mozambique-South Africa-UK-US.)

Black star of fertility

Yep, I’m shaking I am so happy with the news. That sweet friend of mine who is working in Zambia will be meeting me in Mozambique for the last week too. I’ve got lots of work to do in both Nicaragua and Mozambique, but there is a fair amount of vacation mixed in too. I’ll be staying at a tea plantation in Malawi and hopefully seeing Victoria Falls. I’ll be working at the orphanage, walking the villages in Beira, working with an epidemiologist on the effectiveness of our malaria net projects, trying not to lose my cool at the sight of the hospital decay, etc.

drinking up the sunlight

I’ll get to check in and spend a good chunk of time with my friends Ken and Debby, who live in Mozambique on a cattle ranch. I crave time with this pair and needless to say, they live where the streets have no name. They don’t have electricity and laugh at the attempts I’ve made to get them to set up an email account in the city. There is no mail service in Mozambique. If it is truly an emergency, Ken can climb a hill, stand on a water tower and lean a certain direction to get cell reception. Frankly, booking a flight is about the most efficient way of catching up with the pair.

reminds me of a Georgia O'Keeffe

Debby can drink almost anyone under the table and Ken’s stories have this crazy former South-African military tint that make you wonder how he’s survived this long. I will be a wild time. And I know I’m a bit nuts to be so thrilled at the thought of another summer spent on the road, but the alternative is commuting 50 miles a day in the Phoenix heat.

orange, print

My love affair with Africa continues…

p.s. I know these Portland flower photos have nothing to do with Africa, but you can only post the cliche “kelli and the African kid” photo so many times before you make yourself sick.

Posted in
Africa, Journal, Public Health, Travel
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31 Responses

  1. Oh Kelli. W-O-W! Squeeee!

    And Zimbabwe? What a painful time to be visiting — but W-O-W! This post made my day!

  2. Wonderful news!! And I think the flowers express your joy, so they are perfect.

  3. This is an example of how good things happen to good people. I am so happy for you.

  4. Wow – your trip sounds amazing! We will miss you while you are traveling πŸ™‚

  5. WOW!! I am soo excited for you; that is going to be a blast..and the Portland flowers are beautiful..

  6. Woohoo! Your life is so exciting! Congrats. beautiful pictures too, by the way. me? I’m still waiting for the public pool to open. Life is so slower in these parts, hehe πŸ˜‰

  7. Oh my god that is so wonderful! And I am so jealous. Do you think you could stash me in your carry on?

  8. How exciting!! I agree with Rhonda, good things really do happen to good people. The flowers are are gorgeous!

  9. I know you love the travelling life. I know you love Africa and South America, but HOW ARE YOU EVER GOING TO HAVE A DOG IF YOU TRAVEL SO MUCH, let alone a little kid??

    Don’t be frightened by the caps…I’m just jealous! Have a safe and wonderful trip!

  10. Wow! Sending good travel vibes your way! We’re going to Nicaragua in November!

  11. Oh, how exciting for you! God is taking care of you, despite all of the backtalking bloggers this week. See? It all works out.

    I’ve had to put my plans for Africa on the back burner for now, but I’m excited for you and to read all about what you’ll be doing.

    Safe travels!

  12. In response to Jen in PA: if she has a dog I’d watch it while she’s gone and if she had a kid, the kid would be well traveled.

  13. I’m so happy for you – good karma indeed!
    I look forward to your posts from your summer adventure, especially the ones pertaining to TDH fellow…
    The flower photos are gorgeous, but I don’t get tired of your wonderful Africa photos with those beautiful children.

  14. The flowers have everything to do with Africa!!! Spring is in the air and good things are happening! πŸ™‚ (So, your “sweet friend” huh? I see sparks flying…maybe?!)

  15. I’m so happy for you, the trip sounds so awesome. Can’t wait to hear more later.

  16. Larissa Stretton April 16, 2008


    Just had to throw my two cents in too!! YEAH FOR YOU!!!!! Looking forward to pics and details upon your return!!

    Happy and Safe travels to you!

  17. woohoo! I’m so thrilled for you. Am I simply wonked out on pain meds (root canal here I come), or did you hint at this last week?

  18. Oh, Kelli!!! I’m so happy for you! Those countries are very lucky to have you visit them. It sounds like quite a wonderful adventure! Oh, jeeeez – May is right around the corner!

  19. So glad to hear you’ll be traveling this summer! It sounds like quite a whirlwind trip. πŸ™‚

  20. Sure you will have a busy summer! I hope you’ll have a safe trip, and a great time catching up with all your friends, but you will surely be greatly missed. Any chance you will stay in touch from time to time? The flowers are beautiful, but you don’t nedd to worry about those children pics, they are touching.

  21. Such warmth in these flowers:)

  22. That is such great news! Your community dinner friends will miss you, I am sure! This post has brightened my day both because of the news and the photos of flowers that just make my heart sing.

  23. How very exciting! I am really happy for you. Karma baby. Great things happen to great people. πŸ™‚

    Your tulip pictures are fantastic. Must remember to plant some in the fall.

  24. What an incredible opportunity you have been given to travel the world this summer. I know that you must be overwhelmed with joy right now. Also, your photos of the tulips are stunning. I just purchased a quilt book by Valori Wells, and in it she shows pictures exactly like yours and describes how she uses them to design fabric and quilts alike. You could design an entire room around the colors in that first photo. Who needs a color wheel when Mother Nature provides such perfection?

  25. That is cool!! What a great summer you will have!

  26. Congratulations. It sounds fabulous, especially the week with the “friend” (hee hee).
    Be safe!

  27. Oh – and lovely photos! Beauty abounds!

  28. I am so happy for you!!! I can’t wait to read about your adventures (hopefully you will be able to blog once in awhile while globe trekking).

    Gorgeous flower photos too! Made it feel like spring. πŸ™‚

  29. wow wow WOW!! it all sounds amazing. looking forward to reading about your adventures.

  30. This is absolutely FANTASTIC news, Kelli!! Congratulations on all of the travel plans! Ever consider writing a book about your African travels sort of like Eat, Pray, Love? πŸ™‚

    I am so looking forward to hearing about your trip and all the wonderful work that you will do!!

  31. Oh, Kelli, what a great blessing you’ve received. I am so thrilled for you–it is truly wonderful.