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

Kleine

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 )

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Dear Diary: November 2015

DearDiaryNovHeader
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

Quiet

ShadowsPhotographs by Kevin Tosh.

  1. I initially wanted to name this post “Shadows” but in the final hours before posting, the one word “Quiet” won the auction in my head. So, here we are. Which makes sense, really because:
  2. Darkness and quiet go hand in hand on some occasions: the hours just before the sun starts rising and before the birds start chirping; when you’re just about to fall asleep at night, the “pregnant pause” before a stage performance.
  3. I’m in a quiet mood of late. Wanting to gather all of my thoughts close to me, and to express myself in ways that are not verbal. Writing and speaking take energy. Sometimes you need the refuge of stillness to regroup. Continue Reading

That Something Terrible That Happened Last Night.

IMG_1220Hello! A few days ago I was brainstorming on post ideas (since, yes, I’ve been quiet for a while) and as I was going through my pictures found a couple from the time I visited my mother and sister in Paris. I shared one of these on my Instagram as a #throwback, not knowing that a few days later social media would be full of pictures people had taken at the same place in solidarity with the families and friends of those affected in the wave of terrorist attacks in the city on Friday night. I really don’t think that words are enough, but they’re what I leaned on to make sense of everything that had happened this last week. The following piece is something that I wrote over the weekend while grappling with all of these thoughts.

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Dear Diary: October 2015


NAS_5712Photographs by Kevin Tosh.

It’s November, which means it’s almost December, which means it’s almost Christmas, which means it’s almost the end of 2015, which means I’m thinking a lot about the past year and about the future and what I want to do. When I was younger I used to imagine that by the time you got to this age, you’d have clearly figured out your destiny (whatever you take that to mean). But then as I’ve grown I’ve realized that you could be 16, 20, 40, 70 and still asking the same old questions. And while it’s a comfort to know that 60 year olds who seem to have it all figured out are also grappling with questions about their purpose on this earth and the future, it is also a little frightening to imagine that this uncertainty doesn’t end. Continue Reading

Reading List

 

AmXULAY7c4zhw9RnEkNgk27YevNCgECvD58q82DU7M8r“little events, ordinary things, smashed and reconstituted. Imbued with new meaning. Suddenly they became the bleached bones of a story.” Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

  1. Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. It’s such a powerful, beautiful book. Pressing red roses in this one, too.

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