Last Wednesday, December 10th, 2014, I boarded the plane to Kenya, with 7 bags in tow. This time it was not for a visit, but to relocate to Karen Nairobi, in Kenya. As I passed through immigration, I was greeted with a smile and told next time I should be in the residency line, this one was for visitors; I smiled back. I was excited to see all 7 bags, traveling around the carousel, within about 5 minutes of clearing immigration. The customs agent asked me a few questions and then waved me through. Alex, from Sunworld Safaris was there to greet me with a warm African smile. As aways, Sunworld rolled out the red carpet for me.
It was well after 10:00 PM or 22:00 when I arrived, “home.” Too excited to sleep, I began to unpack. First was the unwrapping of my 30” cinema Apple screen. It had arrived in great condition, but I held my breath as I pushed the on button. I was more than thrilled to see the wave of Mavericks light up the screen. As I began to pull out some of the treasures from my southern California home, I knew I had made the right choices. In those last few hours, sitting on the floor of my loft, I decided to take the items that gave me daily comfort and that could not be replaced because most of them were hand made; exotic tapestries, bedding, throw pillows, candle holders, pottery platters, drapery, and a few books (made by clients or myself).
I think I slept most of the first few days. I was so exhausted, not only by this move, but from an exhilarating 6 months of travel; mostly throughout East Africa. Although, this is a very exciting time, it is also one not without anxiety. I am now living half way around the world from friends and family. I have very little in my house, not even a plate. The internet I had installed, while I was in the US, is not working yet, as I suspect would be the case. There are moments of panic, “What was I thinking?” Then there are the moments of being reminded as I glance through the incredible imagery I am selecting for a special project. There were so many reasons for this move, but one of the main reasons, is to have more time for my work in wildlife, conservation, and culture throughout East Africa, Ethiopia, parts of South Africa and Namibia.
Africa is a magical place that is changing quickly. Being here now is important. The incredible wildlife that has roamed this continent for hundreds of years, is being poached at the highest rates in history, with no end in sight, yet. We will keep the hope. The beautiful tribes, that have lived nomadically off the land for hundreds of years, are modernizing. Experiencing this special corner of our world now, is a privilege that most future generations will not have the opportunity to experience, except through media. Think about placing a trip to Africa to the top of your bucket list; experience the magic and create beautiful imagery of one of the most exotic places on our planet.