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Soldiers on Dollhouses

Quick link: Soldiers on the Dollhouse

Yesterday I had an article published by EthnoTraveler, a reflection on my visits to Kenya over the past few years. After Obama was elected president, after post-election violence, after a nervously peaceful election, after the airport burned down, and after the Westgate shopping mall terror attack.

nairobi skyline

I don’t know Kenya or Kenyans as well as I know Djibouti and Somalis, but I have a few friends there, have learned and seen a few things. So I’ll admit there are generalities in the piece but it is an honest picture of what I gather from taxi drivers and shopkeepers, maids, teachers, expatriates, coaches.

The piece also, subtly, looks at how children are affected by life in places of guns and violence.

Anyone else talk with their 8-year old this week about what they would do if a ‘bad guy’ came around?

Read Soldiers on the Dollhouse at EthnoTraveler here.


My other pieces about Westgate:

Whispers in the Dark

Terrorists and the Unshakeable Kingdom

5 Things to Do After Terrorists Attack a Shopping Mall

*image credit wikipedia

By |October 26th, 2013|Categories: africa|Tags: , , |2 Comments

After Terrorists Attack a Shopping Mall

Quick Links: 5 Things to Do After Terrorists Attack a Shopping Mall on Babble Voices.

And, Terrorists and the Unshakable Kingdom on A Life Overseas


In case you haven’t noticed by the now three pieces I have written about this, have felt quite shattered by the terrorist attack on Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Am coming out of the fog today, now that the standoff is over, now that I have a guest arriving and life marches onward with or without me.

Dear friends have been shattered by the bombing of a church in Peshawar, Pakistan. There are shattering events every week around the world but it is always these human-on-human horrors that shake to the core.

I don’t know what to do with pain that sucks breath away. And I don’t want to make light of this darkness with a simple 5-step list. But writing it up and finding images to illustrate it helped me breathe this morning and so I’ll share it with you. The upshot? Keep breathing and hold each other tight.

Babble Voices: 5 Things to Do After Terrorists Attack a Shopping Mall

And on A Life Overseas I write about the unshakable kingdom. Though I feel rattled, God holds firm:

A Life Overseas: Terrorists and the Unshakable Kingdom

And from Monday: Whispers in the Dark

By |September 25th, 2013|Categories: africa|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Whispers in the Dark

westgate mall, 2010

westgate mall, 2010

I had another post planned for today. A humorous, sarcastic post. Something light after last week’s heaviness of sexual harassment and race and poverty issues.

But then I spent the day in homes that had no food at lunchtime. I don’t mean they didn’t have food people felt like eating. I mean it was lunchtime and there was no food in the house.

I heard from girls who sleep in every pair of pants they own (1-2 on average) in the hopes that it might deter rape.

I wrote a check to CSW for Syrian refugees and read a book about a hostage in Somalia.

And then I checked Twitter.

And it all came crashing in. Nairobi. Westgate shopping mall.

I waited to confirm what I already knew – that my kids hadn’t been in Nairobi that day, and what I didn’t already know – that none of the other students were harmed at Westgate that day, that none of the other people we love were at the mall that day. I wanted to hear that no one was at the mall. But that’s not what I heard.

And so I just can’t post the sarcastic, prepared post today. My heart isn’t in it. My heart is barely in writing at all this week. Sometimes I write my way out of darkness but maybe this darkness needs to linger, heavy, while I cry and whisper, “Mercy.”

Today I cover my blog with my hands the way I covered my mouth this weekend.

Few words. Just whispers in the dark.


By |September 23rd, 2013|Categories: africa|Tags: , , |19 Comments
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