The Beautiful Motherland

2018 will go down as a significant highlighted year so far in the 2010’s for Six10. Of all the opportunities to film, nothing compares with being offered a chance to capture footage in East Africa…Kenya to be exact.

Kenya is no stranger to me. I lived there for 2 years as a 9 year old, went to school and soaked up the culture. Also returned as a teen and stayed for 2 months. I have family members there. This opportunity to return was offered and I jumped on it. I was almost in tears as I walked off of that Lufthansa jet and onto the tarmac of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. I kissed the ground and stood up with a wide grin, said “jambo, habari? (hello, how are you? in Swahili) to a few ground crew workers, in which they returned “wazuri! karibu!” (we are fine! welcome!). As we made our way through the customs process, baggage claim and got our ride to the city, all the looks, smells and feelings of old hit my senses and reaffirmed the memories of my youth.

My mission was twofold: capture everyday of my stay there and see my Aunt Kathy, who raised me during my 2 year stay. She has been struck with progressive Dementia and I wanted to spend time with her before she totally shut down (which dementia and alzheimer victims tend to do as they start to realize over time that their conversations and thinking patterns aren’t clear to whoever they’re conversing with). One of my lesser missions was to envelope myself in the exceptional Kenyan culinary. My yearning for the tasty nyama choma (roast meat), chapati (flatbread), kachumbari (salsa), mashed maize and so many other dishes, has been stamped on my mental for decades. My mom attempted to make chapati and other African dishes for Kwanzaa years ago, but it didn’t have that specific flavor to it, but it was still delicious. That’s her in the pic by the way.

We spent a total of 32 days in Nairobi and in a coastal town called Watamu. I captured every possible interesting moment, sometimes at the risk of getting my camera swiped by a thief. while on the coast, we took a day trip 2 hours north of Watamu to a village called Marafa. And what I saw there was nothing short of breathtaking.

Here’s cellphone cam footage of the arrival at the site. I’m planning to edit a hour long feature of the whole trip from the view of my Canon C100 very soon and there’s extensive footage of this site and the tour guide giving detailed history of it:

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I can’t even express how beautifully satisfying this trip was. You’ll just have to wait for the feature video that I’ll post here!  Kwaheri (goodbye).

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