Monday, February 22, 2010

Guest Blogger: Cat Hawley

Cat arrived early Saturday morning for 3 glorious weeks in Kenya. As one of our shared loves is writing - she'll be guest blogging here during her stay.

Megan and I have literally followed each other around the world. She went to Vladivostok with her children’s choir, then I went on a good will tennis exchange. I went to Beijing and her trip came a few ears later. Megan studied abroad in Costa Rika and I joined my family the following December. I moved to Hong Kong and Megan visited. She went to Italy and then I got my chance. I lived in Ireland for two summers and she has been too. Although I'm well, traveled I'm a bit intimidated by Africa but couldn't be more pleased to follow Megan.

Kenya is a myriad of curiosities both in a personal and social, political and economic sense. On one level I miss Megs and I've been wondering what she is up to? I look forward to sharing in the rich context of her daily experience. Sights, sounds, smells and characters who I have heard much about but don't have much of a sense of how these things come together to make up her routine. I'm still wondering what its like to get from point A to B on a Matatu, visit a university with no set calendar and meet a variety of people and organizations that Megan has reached out to and grown to love. I'm curious to see Megan living the experience she took chances to have and in which she deeply believes. Threw our friendship I've seen her gracefully fill many roles, as daughter, student, girlfriend, auntie, friend, sibling, coworker, etc. I look forward to seeing Megan in new roles she has created in Kenya that I trust she is filling just as gracefully.

Then there is the larger marvel of Africa. In a weak attempt to gain some understanding, I read a " Biography of the Continent" by John Reader. It is comprehensive but did little to connect the dots in my head. A few years back I was attending a presentation titled "global investment update" or something to that extent. A world map was displaced that there were dots everywhere except Africa... not one dot? The lecture was not about Africa but in my mind that was the strongest statement. It has stuck with me along with various other associations: diamonds, AIDS, the great migration, female circumcision, and of course a certain song by Toto that won a 1982 Grammy. I don't know how any of that translates to the feeling, pace, attitude and sensations of being there . . . Megs and I will keep you posted. . .

The pictures in this come from our visit to the Mt. Olive Academy for girls where we helped deliver some tables as part of a joint Rotary project between Newport Sunrise and Megan's club in Hurlingham. In small world occurences, Fr. Henry is good friends with one of my college team mates father's, Terry Donahue - go fig!).

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