Africa Meet America

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The travel to Africa was, as expected, quite a long flight but it was worth the start of what will be a multi-faceted adventure. As we become mature in age, friendships are a little more scarce to develop but in this case, life prevailed and the opportunity presented itself for familial relationships to develop during this journey. I spent 10 days in the Motherland with the following amazing people: Quinetha Frasier (CEO of The Global Foundation for Education and Economic Mobility – GFEEM the organization hosting the trip), Katisha Kinnebrew, Kenya Dunn, Rob Owens, Chenequa Mathis, and Tomeka Chappell. Of the six (6), I was only acquainted with two (2) but by the end that was no longer the case. We arrived at Palicina in the wee hours of the morning after sitting on a tarmac in Paris for nearly three hours. A period that I apparently slept through. This quaint little hotel tucked away just outside the busy streets of downtown Nairobi was the epitome of beautiful landscape, comfortable amenities and a sense of home while visiting a foreign land. Though we were all exhausted from the 20+ hour expedition, it became very clear that we had finally made it to our long awaited introduction to Nairobi, Kenya. My inability to sleep and decadence led me to draw a bath in the suites cozy jacuzzi. The fragrance of lemon grass and warm bubbles helped to ease my excitement so I could take a rest and awake to see Africa during normal daylight hours. Until then, ZZZzzzzzzzz….. 

My first breakfast in Nairobi consisted of fruit, eggs, sausage, toast, potatoes, and freshly squeezed mango juice. I didn’t see breakfast being a problem here at all! Our first stop on the adventure was at Pam oloo Couture, where owner, first lady and fashion extraordinaire Pam Oloo was there to greet our group. It is here that we found beautiful fabrics collected from all over the globe and a talented tailor, John who had individual consultations with each of us. From there he would fit us for the most fashion forward posh Kenyan pieces. Pam and her team are located in the most adorable storefront boutique. We had the best time modeling clothes, looking at Pam’s designs and getting measured for custom made clothing from Kenya. Check her out on the ‘gram, pamoloo_couture.

After our private fitting, we went to a local store called Carrefour, the equivalent to a CVS on steroids’ and got into a little retail trouble in Woolworths the equivalent to an H&M, which was located in a mini-shopping mall. Attached to the mall was a local restaurant chain called Java House. They had the best food, coffee and souvenir coffee mugs! Before we knew it, the day had come to an end. We took advantage of the jetlag by turning our temporary living quarters at Palacina into a hospitality suite. We talked, ate Kenyan KFC (yes, Africa has the equivalent to DoorDash too!), had a jam session compliments of Afrobeats and played cards until we could no longer keep our eyelids open. If today was this dope, I wonder what tomorrow will bring…

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