Friday, January 18, 2008


On December 27th, 2007 Kenya, one of the more developed and stable countries in Africa, became a country of political violence, ethnic cleansing and has left over 250,000 people homeless due to their political elections that ended up being rigged. My youngest sister Lydia was living in Nairobi, the capitol of Kenya, where most of the violence is occurring, for the past four months, studying health and development as a human rights major at Duke. Just a week before this violence my parents and I and a great friend of mine were in Nairobi. People were living their daily lives, stores were open, businesses running and people walking peacefully in the street, or as Lydia calls is "cheza dancing in the streets." Exactly a week after we left, the violence started. Over 600 people had been killed, people hiding in churches were burned, businesses and shopping centers completely demolished, due to political differences and the rigged presidential election. The small market my sister took us to for lunch, where we sat in the Miracle Cafe, and saw where she ate daily and shopped for small goods, those today do not exist, everything was burnt down. It hit me hard when I was looking through some of my pictures and saw one of Lydia and I at the table inside Miracle Cafe, a very local spot that serves whatever they cooked for the day. A few days later, Lydia emailed me a photo she had received of the market. Everything was leveled and the place was still in flames. This affects everyone. This was peoples only income. People didn't leave their homes in fear of being killed by machetes, stones, or being burned. Businesses closed in this fear. Lydia has been in contact with her host family and they expressed their need of food and water. No one could get any of this for the first week of the violence.
Thankfully, things have started to slow down, but are definitely not over. I ask you to please keep Kenya in your thoughts and just add your name to the petition below, where a pre-typed note (if you don't have time to write your own) will be sent to Condoleezza Rice. The number of messages sent to our government will be an ad in a Kenyan newspaper.
Kenya relies on tourism. This violence has hurt their economy and not only in Kenya but in Tanzania as well. I have been in touch with my great friend Simbo (in Tanzania), who was my guide for Kilimanjaro and he has expressed that all of the clients he had for the next few climbs up Kilimanjaro have all canceled due to Kenya's violence. No clients, no pay check, no food. Lets try and do something as we sit half a world away and the first and easiest thing is to sign this petition.
The site is:

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