Because we had no power all day Sunday we made a quick and decisive plan to escape the microwave oven our house becomes without the loud hum of fans running. We ventured out to a butterfly sanctuary here that we have heard about but until now had not made time to visit. Annikah loves butterflies (what 2 year old girl does not?) and learned the Kiswahili word for them early on because her favorite helper at school; Mama Theresa sings a song that includes the word “kipepeo” (butterfly, literally of the wind). We had the kindest tour guide named Juma who did our tour in Kiswahili and did not even mind repeating everything slowly as needed (we do not know the words for larvae and caterpillar yet, go figure!) so we learned a lot. The heat was insane especially inside the huge net they keep the butterflies in but Anni seemed unaffected as she ran in search of “more kipepeo.” The sanctuary was built by some Scottish folks who then taught locals how to raise the butterflies and protect the grounds. A group of locals run and maintain everything now and we were happy to support a program that is preserving wildlife and empowering locals.

On the ride home we stopped off to buy some fruit and veggies from along the road and wondered into a small cooperative that makes and sells amazing woven baskets, clothes, and table clothes. They were happy to open the workshop for us and tell us about the project. I am always blessed by how kind and welcoming people are here. They explained that they dye the thread and then weave it with a huge loom that was made here (the technology is from India). The artisans all sell from this one place and distribute to all over. “There is power together” the woman told me in Kiswahili so they formed a cooperative to make sure they can sell their art and goods at fair prices. Even though we really did not have the funds we bought one small basket to take home from the kindest woman who proudly showed off their work. Annikah got a chance to sit alongside and watch one weaver as he worked (see video); pretty cool for a last minute Sunday adventure

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love her imagination with showing her backpack monkey the butterflies, too. So darling and sweet. She will use any excuse to break into dance, won’t she?? Maybe we can go back when we come. A nice basket would be fun to bring home.