It's hard to believe we are already done two days in Kenya. It has been such a great visit and we (myself and my family) will try to share just a taste of what we have seen and done.
We landed in Kenya Monday around 2:45pm but by the time we got through customs (took over an hour and a half), luggage, found a taxi and fought the Nairobi traffic to our guest house it was nearly 6pm. We did not want to get to kibera slums in the dark but didn't want to wait one more minute to see our friends. We decided to go for it - we dropped our luggage and went! Wearing the same clothes we had wandered London in on all day Sunday and then wore all day and overnight on our flights. No time to freshen up! But the welcome was so worth it.
From my daughter Eden (age 12): It was great when the group came to welcome us. They were like one big family, welcoming back a long lost member. There was a lot of singing and dancing. I felt very welcomed, like I was home.
here's a little clip of some of the warm reception:
Then after many, many hugs and greetings we sat inside the workshop. As we sat visiting someone thurst a bundle of blankets into my arms. I was so surprised to look down and see baby Krista finally. As I've shared on social media, my dear friends Jack and Rose welcomed their third child in January and I was completely taken away with the honour of having her named after me. (Please ignore the dark circles under my eyes instead focus on the cute baby in my arms)
As the sun was starting to set we left for the night and were eager to return.
Today, we started at the workshop and visited there. Everyone got to see how the jewelry is made - they especially loved showing mark each part of the process.
From my husband Mark: it's hard to imagination be such fine jewelry coming from such a humble workshop. Four machines used for cutting, shaping, grinding, polishing and drilling. In the corner are several sacks of raw material... bone from cows, goats and sometimes camels. It's amazing to watch these artists cut, shape, grind and polish a piece of art that you would never guess was originally a bone cast aside from a butchers shop.
i watch as one artist takes a two inch square of bone and turns it into what will become an elephant medallion. He does things with his cutting wheel that I didn't think would be possible. Another artist takes the tiniest square of bone and grinds it into a smooth bead. Another artist sits for hours drilling holes in the centre of pieces of bone that will eventually become beads for bracelets and necklaces.
All of them will sit and perform their tasks hundreds of times throughout the day and are so proud to show me their artwork in process.
Its unbelievable the amount of detail, care and skill that goes into each piece of jewelry that these amazing people create.
I have been truly humbled.
Here is a photo of our daughter Madison (age 14) learning to hammer brass while getting instructions and cheers.
We will share more soon!