Dear Diary: 2015

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Dear Diary (or, I guess, dear Internet),

This year I: finally graduated, moved back home, turned down my admissions to Columbia’s MS in Journalism program, wondered if I’d made a mistake on both of these, floundered as I tried to figure out what to do next, applied for a bunch of things, got rejected for a bunch of things, got a job in consulting as well as a research fellowship, ended up stranded in Kenya due to visa issues, and then I (and this was where/ when the magic truly started to happen): made my sisters and friends do things for me and for this blog.

Lovestruck: Notes from Kigali

KIG_8993Photos: Kevin Mutonga.

I’m writing this from Kigali, Rwanda. I’m actually kind of cheating, so we’ll call this is a teaser post for a more photo-filled post in a few days, but I just couldn’t hold it in. You see, in a couple of days I’ve been forced to reconsider a grossly mistaken belief I’d previously held, which was that Nairobi was the best city in Africa. Nairobi, I’m deeply deeply sorry– it appears that my city loyalty was fickle and fleeting, despite everything you have given me all these twenty something years.Continue Reading

Shrinking Spaces

 I spent Christmas with extended family at my Cucu’s (grandmother’s) in the Aberdares. It was over really far too soon, but while it lasted we ate a lot of chapatis and meat, took family pictures using a selfie stick, and walked off all the chapatis and meat from lunch. Many of my cousins are really young, and it often feels like history is on repeat; when my sisters and I were young children we would visit our grandparents every December, and spend days on days running about in the endless fields of green, yelling across the hills– “Hello!”– and waiting to receive an echo of our message in return– “Hello-o-o-o”.Continue Reading


Kleine4Photos by Kevin Tosh.

Two things: if unusual shots of little items removed from their context and disembodied hands are your thing, then boy oh boy do I have a treat for you. As I discovered while taking these photos, playing around with different arrangements of miniature baskets and little items can be a very therapeutic experience and a good antidote to stressing about your own life or about choices that other people are making that have nothing to do with you or about all of the things in this universe that you have no control over.Continue Reading

A Girl Walks into a Bookstore…

BookstopHeader Photos by Kevin Tosh.

Did you hear the one about the girl who asked to take pictures in a bookstore for her blog? The bookstore’s owner’s face turned pale in shock, then red in anger. He dragged her by the sleeve of her jacket, shouting: “This is a bookstore! How dare you?” And from that day onward, whenever The Girl tried to enter a bookstore it suddenly would be no longer open for business. Because don’t you know? Bookstore owners share information amongst themselves along the bookstore grapevine. And The Girl forever regretted her actions and spent the rest of her life wandering sadly in the streets of the city and peering wistfully through windows at volumes and volumes that she could only desire from the outside looking in. The End. 

Luckily, my story has a happier ending. Continue Reading

Dear Diary: (Mid-)December 2015

MidDecPC: Kevin Tosh.

One of my favorite Sara Bareilles’s songs is Brave. But really, any song by Sara Bareilles is a favorite of mine. To steal my sister’s words: “Sara Bareilles is my spirit animal.” Right now, I’m obsessing over and listening to She Used to Be Mine as I write this. (Before I go on any further, I feel that it is necessary to send a shoutout to my friend J who’s been making fun of me and my relative musical illiteracy, yes, J, I do listen to and know a few songs here and there. :p )

Continue Reading

Dear Diary: November 2015

Clockwise from top left: 1.Thanksgiving in Nairobi OR #Friendsgiving OR “the night before the morning when leftovers accidentally ended up in the trash and we almost cried because of baked Turkey” , 2.Raining Pink Blossoms, 3. Praying for #Everywhere, 4.Sister Sister (Sister). 

Still in a quiet mood, so I’m going to do this with lots of photos and a short listicle instead of a free form paragraphs like the last one.

Reflecting on my own privilege after the photo exhibition this past weekend by Food for Education. Follow them on Instagram to see how you can support their work during the month of December.

Wishing that open borders were a thing. And kind of related to that– if you’ve seen her TED talk you’ll know what I mean– I am… Continue Reading