In a little over an hour, I start my (nearly day) long journey to Nanyuki, Kenya to learn about the lives of teachers at Daraja Academy and also offer some professional development to the teachers there. I will be doing a formal study with teachers (questions below) and responding to the goals of the school in growth in offering support. It’s going to be a very quick 10 days, I know, especially since, with travel time, I really only have about 8 days there.
In the tween-time before this visit to Kenya, I have spent the past 10 days in Italy, visiting the family of my partner (and I think gaining at least 5 pounds, if not more, because of the daily miracles of his mother’s cooking). I played the clarinet, soprano saxophone, and piano with my partner who played the trumpet, bass, and electric guitar and his brother on alto saxophone, clarinet, piano, bass, electric guitar, and … well, what doesn’t Alessandro play? Obviously, we didn’t play these instruments all at the same time, but it was definitely a joy to learn how to listen to one another on whatever instruments we were playing, to improvise, and just to enjoy the successes of one another. I even sang for the in-laws over dinner.
Matteo and I also finally went to Milan for a beautiful and restful visit (we discovered at the top of the Duomo that we are both terrified of heights, but together we can do anything); we visited his friends; we had a small lunch with friends and family to celebrate our marriage after a cold and sparkling cruise on Lake Como. We enjoyed the magic of newlywed joy, and also the fattening pleasure of dishes like bresaola, fava bean sauces, Russian salad, and a million other dishes that I should have taken pictures of to share the wonder of seeing them set on the table. The delights of Natale!
This holiday I also did no work, none whatsoever, which, I’m sure will bite me later. I read a few books just for pleasure and enjoyed time with my husband and family. I always work to the extreme so it was a rare treat to have time to be in the space of others and enjoy sharing conversation and daily joys. I also recognize that I have two conference presentations, the teaching of a new class, teaching two other classes, taking two classes as a student, finishing the MFA in poetry, writing a thesis, and publicizing the new book (comes out in February), service on two task forces, on a Board, and multiple small committees, service as a Tech SIG co-chair at CCTE, and other commitments … it’s going to be a busy semester, which has me a little nervous as, with all I have done, I do not think I have ever done so much at the same time and within such a short time frame. And while that is occurring, I also recognize the toll of experiencing the world falling down around us all, it seems. Non-indictments, how many little justice there is and how much injustice there is, take a toll; they wear down … and the singular I here, I don’t have time to be worn down. So, I don’t feel remorse for taking a few days to regenerate.
From Berkeley to Como to Milan to Como and now on to Nanyuki, Kenya.
While in there, below are some of the questions.