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God is moving, can you see it?
February 7, 2014 12:43 am
Published in: Post-Field Tags:

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I am home.  Whew, that’s a loaded phrase now.  Montana, of course is my home… for goodness sake, I was born and raised here.  But now I have a home in Nairobi too.  Friends, favorite green grocers, a church, a community.  I have a home in two places, aren’t I the lucky one?

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Going away party with my small group from Church, miss this folks so much!  Nairobi // Oct. 2013

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Team mates and friends at my going away BBQ. Nairobi // Oct. 2013

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Henna and naan lessons with friends from church.  Nairobi // Oct. 2013

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Brunch with friends on a lazy Saturday.  Nairobi // July 3013

I took a meandering path home after departing from Kenya in October of 2013.  London for a day with Anna and Andy.  New York City with Courtney.  South Carolina with Taylor and Elisabeth.  Florida with Tana.  All Africa friends… all welcoming arms, listening ears, and good question-askers.  It was a good choice, it was the long way home.

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Andy & Anna in London // Nov. 2013

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Courtney in NYC // Nov. 2013

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Taylor & Elisabeth in South Carolina // Nov. 2013

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Tana in Florida // Nov. 2013

Leaving Kenya was tough.  Coming home was tough.  There is joy and love and frustration in both places.  I’m still figuring out what my next chapter is.  I wish I had some wonderful neat answers for all of you kind souls who have asked me “so, what’s next?”  But I don’t.  Right now is a season of abiding, trusting, of listening, and seeking.  It’s hard for me to do all of those things.  I want to GO, to DO, to SEE!  I want to make things happen.  But more than before, I trust that what God wants, and is, and has for me is best.

And so I lean in.  I tell my self over and over again, “trust, just trust.”

This is my life after Africa.  Thank you to all of you who have been with me on this journey, your prayers and love have left a lasting mark on me and upon a place that is now a home.  The last two years are unforgettable.  They were a gift.  Thank you so much.

 

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.

Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain:

faith, hope and love. 

But the greatest of these

is love.

1 Cor. 13:12-13

October 14, 2013 12:17 pm
Published in: On the Field Tags: , ,

Two whole years.

What?!  I’m sitting here at my house in Nairobi trying to wrap my mind around leaving.  It’s been an amazing ride, full of more discovery, worship, and growth than I ever imagined.  It would be foolish to try to sum it all up in a single little blog post, so I’m defaulting to my normal medium, photos.   Let me show you some of the things I’ve learned…

I’ve learned that this world is vast, multi-faceted, beautiful, and diverse… just like it’s occupants, and just like the body of Christ.

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I’ve learned that experiences are better when shared with those you love.

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I’ve learned that God is at work EVERYWHERE, we just need to pray for the eyes to see.

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I’ve learned that it is possible to have a home in two places, and it’s ok to long for both.

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searching for filming locations in downtown Nairobi

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These trouble makers made sure I got soaked!  My Kenyan brothers: Phil, Ezekiel, and Jacktone

Chai tea and hospitality at Pastor Peter's house

 

I’ve learned above all, that He is good, that He is love, and that He is faithful to fulfill His promises.

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Thank you for taking this journey with me.  For praying tirelessly.  For taking time out of your day to send me love and encouraging words.  But thank you most of all for joining God in what He is doing on the continent of Africa.  His Spirit is moving here… it always has been.


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“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count,

from every nation, tribe, people and language,

standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”

-Revelation 7:9

 

August 25, 2013 2:22 am
Published in: On the Field Tags: , ,

Here’s a few videos and articles that have stirred up my little heart lately.  I love feeling stirred.  At first it’s a little panicky, like “whooooooa wait I was so comfortable”, but then its that satisfying feeling of a whirring brain and a pondering heart.  So here yah go…

 

Judah Smith, of The City Church in Seattle, talks about Jesus encountering us and making everything new.  He uses the event of healing the lame man at the pool as a BEAUTIFUL in John 5.  It made me cry.

 

Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

Jamie’s writing always makes me laugh, cringe, and most importantly THINK deeply about my life and my faith.  This is one blog post that I loved recently, but really her whole archive is FULL of gems.  This one is entitled “Fortune Cookie Faith.” In our culture of Tweets and short attention spans, we have less and less patience and attention for things that require immense time and effort… like reading our Bibles.  Here is a little excerpt from the post.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a life changing tweet. Not one. And I’m certain I’ve never written one. That’s because the fullness of the Gospel will never be captured in a single sentence. Or a paragraph. Or a clever blog post. Or even a tacky three page Bible tract. Instead, it lays itself out over a lifetime; threading its way between morning and night, quietly abiding our self created chaos and gently bearing our indiscretions. It seeps into our bones over time. It nurtures us slowly, whispering light into our dark places and shoring up our weak spots. Grace doesn’t fit in a fortune cookie.”

 

Happy Sunday.

July 29, 2013 1:57 pm

I guess it is technically winter here in Kenya, but only just.  While 60 degrees is on the chilly side for us here at the equator, it’s nothing to those Montana winters!

So much has been going on (uh, and I haven’t posted in almost three months!  Tut tut!), and it would take an age to write it all down, let alone for you to read it.  So let’s do a photo recap, shall we?  Righteo!

June was dominated by my trip to Rwanda to photograph for an NGO.  It was challenging, full of lessons, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be in such an interesting country and further push my photographic skills.

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Check out those giant arrow-roots!

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July brought departures.  My dear friends Ethan and David winged their way back to the states.  They always had me laughing, and I miss them hugely.  Below they are putting on brave faces before running a marathon!

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Ted, our fearless team leader, also made his way to the USA with his family to take care of their stateside relatives.  Before they left, we had a wonderful team retreat out in the countryside and a 4th of July bbq.

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Teammates relaxing.

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Chasing flamingos on Lake Bogoria

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Best seats in the house for a safari.

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We even had the privilege of witnessing Ted’s youngest son’s baptism.  What a special day!

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I’ve been keeping busy with a few personal photo projects.  From bees to awesome lady missionaries, I just can’t seem to stop clicking.  And that’s just how I like it!  (To keep up with my photo work, head to bessbrownleephoto.tumblr.com)

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Me and two Maasai mamas with our bee suits on!

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The golden magic of a honeycomb!  Learning the skills of beekeeping with new friends.

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Hannah is a fashion designer AND a missionary living in Liberia.  Pretty awesome!

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Virginia is a family practice doctor in a tough part of Nairobi.  She is also a missionary and a darn nice lady.

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We round out the review with a little visit from a wonderfully familiar face.  My dear friend Lauren spent ten days with me after a mission trip and we had a bucket-load of fun!

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We toured a cheese farm and did some tasting as well… YUM!!!

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Apparently we were quite close to a python nest in this picture… yipes!  We didn’t find out this information until we were back at the car.  (Insert scream of horror here!!!) I have searched all my photos and haven’t found conclusive evidence of a giant snake, but the mere possibility is enough to keep me away from Crescent Island for a while!

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Whew, I’m so glad we caught up.  Eat a ripe peach for me, and enjoy your summer wherever this post finds you!

May 6, 2013 12:59 am
Published in: On the Field Tags: , , , , ,
Checking out the Great Rift Valley

Checking out the Great Rift Valley

That’s right, my folks made the trek to AFRICA!!!!!!  I cannot even begin to tell you how special it was to share my world with two of the most important people in my life.  My parents were beyond troopers, they were adventurers!  Travel in Africa is not for the faint of heart and I’m proud to say that they took everything in stride and with open hearts.  Nairobi traffic and slums, unpredictable African airlines, learning the art of tucking in mosquito nets, wandering around bustling island spice market, it didn’t matter what the day held, they dove right in!   Since I’m better with photos than words, take a look-see at our time together…

Hippo spotting on Lake Naivasha

Hippo spotting on Lake Naivasha

Dad and I scoping out Crescent Island on my birthday

Dad and I scoping out Crescent Island on my birthday

Walking safari on Crescent Island

Walking safari on Crescent Island

Birthday fun!

Birthday fun!

Dad getting a smooch

Dad getting a smooch

Muah!

Muah!

Hanging out with Tony and Tito in Korogocho slum, just outside of Nairobi

Hanging out with Tony and Tito in Korogocho slum, just outside of Nairobi

My Kenyan host parents meeting my real parents... pretty amazing moment!

My Kenyan host parents meeting my real parents… pretty amazing moment!

Goofing around with the kiddos at Sanctuary of Hope (the homes that Holly works with!)

Goofing around with the kiddos at Sanctuary of Hope (the homes that Holly works with!)

Dad getting into the safari spirit

Dad getting into the safari spirit

First day on safari

First day on safari

Big guy!

Big guy!

Baby zebras!!

Baby zebras!!

Our awesome tent at the safari camp

Our awesome tent at the safari camp

Mama lion and her energetic babies

Mama lion and her energetic babies

Sunrise on safari

Sunrise on safari

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Yoga in the wild!

Yoga in the wild!

We all got into the stretchy-zone

We all got into the stretchy-zone

Mom and our VERY tall guide Moses

Mom and our VERY tall guide Moses

Sunset in Masaai Mara

Sunset in Masaai Mara

Dad learning all about whistling acacias from Moses

Dad learning all about whistling acacias from Moses

Our digs in Zanzibar

Our digs in Zanzibar

Fishermen in the Indian Ocean

Fishermen in the Indian Ocean

Mom and Dad found some great shells

Mom and Dad found some great shells

Relaxation time!

Relaxation time!

Spice market haggling

Spice market haggling

The basket dude

The basket dude

Shopping in Stone Town, Zanzibar

Shopping in Stone Town, Zanzibar

Serious conversations.

Serious conversations.

Mom making the kiddos smile, per usual!

Mom making the kiddos smile, per usual!

Dad and his leaf glasses

Dad and his leaf glasses

Spice farm royalty

Spice farm royalty

A yummy lunch to fuel us for snorkling

A yummy lunch to fuel us for snorkling

Learning about all the fish we were about to see

Learning about all the fish we were about to see

My buddy Ryan even made the trek out to Africa and joined us in Zanzibar.

My buddy Ryan even made the trek out to Africa and joined us in Zanzibar.

Setting sun in Zanzibar

Setting sun in Zanzibar

Dad greeting the morning

Dad greeting the morning

Little local kiddos

Little local kiddos

The ever beautiful Indian Ocean

The ever beautiful Indian Ocean

Naps under mosquito nets

Naps under mosquito nets

Mount Kilimanjaro peeking through the clouds on the flight home to Nairobi.

Mount Kilimanjaro peeking through the clouds on the flight home to Nairobi.

 

My heart is so full, this was a once in a lifetime experience that I will treasure forever.

March 11, 2013 5:58 am
Published in: On the Field Tags: , , , , ,

I barely had time to catch my breath upon returning from the States before life in Africa swept me up again. And I’m glad of it. So many great things are going on here, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. But I’m a little bashful that two months have gone by without a peep from me on this blog, whoops!  Let’s catch-up, shall we?

January saw the team and I back into the thick of the MOVIE.  Many brainstorming sessions and hours of editing later, we launched a trailer for The Distant Boat!!  Check it out HERE!

 

team brainstorm session

team brainstorm session

searching for filming locations in downtown Nairobi

searching for filming locations in downtown Nairobi

 

I had a great time catching up with friends after the holidays, both in Nairobi and up in the mountains of Kijabe, Kenya.  I even got to spend the weekend on my friend’s farm, enjoying some wonderful home-grown food and fresh air.

 

hanging out with chameleons and dogs

hanging out with chameleons and dogs

Japanese feast with friends

Japanese feast with friends

The Great Rift Valley, on the way to a friend's house

The Great Rift Valley, on the way to a friend’s house

Maize fields and forests out in the countryside

Maize fields and forests out in the countryside

delicious bounty from a friend's garden

delicious bounty from a friend’s garden

New friends!

New friends!

friends feeding chickens

friends feeding chickens

Jean picking some fresh mint for me

Jean picking some fresh mint for me

backyard marshmallow roast with my neighbors

backyard marshmallow roast with my neighbors

My international license expired and so I had to apply for my Kenya drivers license, now I'm official!

My international license expired and so I had to apply for my Kenya drivers license, now I’m official!

shopping in the local market with my friend Anna

shopping in the local market with my friend Ana

 

February was such a fun month, namely because it was chalk full of visitors!  Some of my dear friends converged on Nairobi for a conference, and I had the pleasure of hosting many of them at my house.  We cooked, laughed, played lots of Bananagrams, and soaked up this rare chunk of time in the same country together.  Below are some of our adventures.

 

Courtney, Andy, and Anna all came to visit, what fun!

Courtney, Andy, and Anna all came to visit, what fun!

glass-blowing demo

glass-blowing demo

country traffic jam

country traffic jam

My fellow Montanans, Anna and Andy!

My fellow Montanans, Anna and Andy!

 

church potluck to say goodbye to some great friends

church potluck to say goodbye to some great friends

 

A thrill and a photo assignment wrapped-up into one came my way at the end of February.  I got to photograph a family’s flight to their new home in rural Kenya for AIM Air.  I took two cameras along and snapped the morning away.  It was so great to see diverse land of Kenya fly by underneath me, from mountains and forests into rust colored scrubby deserts.  I even got to fly the plane for a while, that is until I started throwing up… ah motion- sickness, my old friend.

Flying high over Kurungu, Kenya

Flying high over Kurungu, Kenya

The men of the Callahan family on their way up to their new home in rural Kenya

The men of the Callahan family on their way up to their new home in rural Kenya

The acacia tree dotted land near the airstrip in Kurungu, Kenya

The acacia tree dotted land near the airstrip in Kurungu, Kenya

The Callahan family meeting their new neighbors in Kurungu, Kenya

The Callahan family meeting their new neighbors in Kurungu, Kenya

Kurungu is home to the Samburu tribe

Kurungu is home to the Samburu tribe

Flying the plane on the way back to Nairobi!

Flying the plane on the way back to Nairobi!

 

March brought the 2013 presidential elections with it.  We were on lock down for a few days, just incase things became insecure in the city.  But God was so faithful and peace reigned in the city, even amongst a lot of fear and anxiety of a repeat of the violence that occurred during the 2007/2008 elections.

waiting for election results to come out

waiting for election results to come out

I don’t pretend to understand Kenyan politics or tribalism, but nothing seems cut and dry here.  The new president and his running-mate are both expected to appear before the ICC in a few months to answer for charges of crimes against humanity relating to the 2007/2008 Kenyan elections.

Vice President Ruto, and President Kenyatta

Vice President Ruto, and President Kenyatta

 

But these are the men that are in the driver’s seat of this country now; Kenya has spoken.  Would you pray with me that justice, integrity, and solid leadership would prevail even through these confusing choices?  I have so much hope for Kenya, and I know that God is at work here.  Please continue to pray with me.

 

He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

Daniel 2:21

Whew, I’m glad we are all caught up!

January 3, 2013 10:55 pm
Published in: On the Field Tags: , , , ,

You guessed it, I’m home for the holidays!!

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4 airports, and 24 hours of travel later found me collapsing into the arms of my family in Missoula, Montana.  I have spent the last three+ weeks reading in my pajamas, eating things like cheese, big crunchy salads, and pomagranates, hugging friends, wrapping and unwrapping Christmas presents, and generally soaking in home.  It has been glorious!  There is snow outside, lights on the tree, and an exponential amount of warm fuzzies in my heart.

In other news… WE WRAPPED PRODUCTION ON THE DISTANT BOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Filming on the coast of Kenya.

Filming on the coast of Kenya.

 What a wild couple of months it was too!  I don’t think I have ever learned so much so fast, not even in college!  There is something about learning on the fly, on the field, that really sticks with you.  Becoming an art director was challenging, hilarious, wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-panicked-that-I-forgot-something, rewarding, and ultimately the most growing experience that I’ve ever been through.

Holding a light reflector during filming.

Holding a light reflector during filming.

Now that we are done with the actual filming part of the movie-making process we will begin the long and arduous task of editing.  This means that we will take hours and hours and HOURS of footage and begin chopping it up into our 90 minute movie.  Then comes color-grading, composing the score, subtitles, credits, promotion and distribution, among other things!  We are hoping and praying to have the finished film out in the world by August of 2013!

Filming at a fishing village.

Filming at a fishing village.

Don’t worry, I will keep you all updated along the way!  You can also check out some sweet behind the scenes footage and photos HERE.

Well I’m gonna get back to vacationing Montana style!  Thank you all for loving me, believing in and supporting the work of AIM and journeying with me thus far… here’s to a whole new slew of awesomeness in 2013!!

Here are some glimpses into my family/friend/animal/food/snow-filled time at home in Montana…

Sweet reunion with my gal pals!

Sweet reunion with my gal pals!

Quiet evenings in my childhood home with the fam, can't beat it!

Quiet evenings in my childhood home with the fam, can’t beat it!

My favorite lunch!

My favorite lunch from one of my favorite local Missoula restaurant!

Baking pies with my best friends on Christmas Eve!

Baking pies with my best friends on Christmas Eve!

The Bitterroots, Montana for the win!

The Bitterroots, Montana for the win!

Sassy walks with Mom and Sam.

Sassy walks with Mom and Sam

New Years charades with dear friends

New Years charades with dear friends

Lots of time with our (many) family pets, like PT the cat and Ollie the dog.

Lots of time with our (many) family pets, like PT the cat and Ollie the dog.

My dear and wonderful parents

My dear and wonderful parents

Rejoicing with our pregnant friend Jill!!

Rejoicing with our pregnant friend Jill!!

Soaking in the beauty of Montana, salve for the soul.

Soaking in the beauty of Montana, salve for the soul.

I pray that you and yours have a deeply rich and blessed holiday season, and a New Year full of unexpected wonders!

And God is able to bless you abundantly,

so that in all things at all times,

having all that you need,

you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8

November 3, 2012 11:42 am
Published in: On the Field

I’m sitting next to a stoic Kenyan guard holding an AK-47, and sweating in his military-esque fatigues.  It is close to 90 degrees, the air is heavy with humidity, and even the wind whipping through the windows isn’t enough to cool us.  We are zipping down a coastal road, and Ted is on the floor holding on for dear-life as he films out of the back of the open van.  Just another day on the set of The Distant Boat!  

Often these days I stop and shake my head, not quite believing the hilarious and amazing situations I am increasingly finding myself in.  I guess filming a feature-length movie in Africa is a recipe for such moments, served up almost daily.

Filming “b-cam” footage for The Distant Boat

What a WHIRLWIND this last month has been.  An actual tornado of busy-ness, awesomeness, and exhaustedness (yup it’s a word).   I don’t think I’ve ever learned so much in such a short amount of time!

Wrangling a pecking prop!

I’m an art director on a real movie set for the first time in my life… two months ago I didn’t even know what art directors did!  But that is just one of the cool things about living in Africa and working with On-Field Media… you never know what new adventure awaits you.

Check out the giant baobab (upside down tree) on one of our sets at the coast!

Since I’ve always been better with photos than with words, lets take a look at the last month on the movie set!

We have been shooting in a variety of locations in and around the city.  We even had to get some shots in downtown Nairobi… madness!  But praise the Lord, we AND all of our equipment survived.

Ted and Andy downtown

Our biggest shoot, cast-wise, happened at a church.  We filmed all day long using multiple cameras and lots of cool equipment like the crane pictured below.

Sam and Mike working the crane

We just returned from three packed weeks of filming on Kenya’s beautiful coast.  It was hot, sweaty, sandy, salty work, but what an experience!  We filmed everywhere, from right on the beach (like the photo below), to a fishing village, to a coconut palm tree grove, and even in the beautiful and mysterious ruins of an ancient Muslim settlement.

Jua, one of our little actors, waiting for “action” to be called

We put our equipment and bodies to the test during long days of filming in super hot and sticky weather and challenging locations.  Below, Andy and Ted venture out into the waves to get onto a dhow (a traditional swahili fishing boat) to film from the ocean looking towards the beach.

Testing out our waterproof case…

We were stunned by the beauty of the Gede Ruins, where we filmed part of an elaborate chase scene.  Nobody knows who built the stone settlement or why they left and it became a ruin, a history mystery!

Setting up to film at the Gede Ruins

The heat got to all of our heads at some point, which lead to lots of laughs and funny moments on set!  We have such a fun cast and crew, who all bring different talents and personalities to the table.

Andy, our Director, getting silly about something!

I have been learning so much about movie sets, and have SO much respect for all the people it takes to make a film happen!  It is a lot of work, and I know all of us have been wishing that we could clone ourselves a couple of time to spread out the load.  But none the less, we are getting it done!  We had a few child actors on set, and let me tell you, that is a whole different ball-game!  Note to self… always have candy on hand to bribe performances out of the little ones, haha… no, but really.  They did so great, and made us bust up laughing many times.

Max and Jua, two of our actors, sharing some laughs on set

I am awed by the places this job has taken me, and I feel so blessed to have seen so much beauty and met so many interesting and wonderful people.  I feel stretched and challenged everyday as art director, and I even though I get really tired, use “I don’t know” an extremely humbling amount of times, and constantly fly by the seat of my pants… I couldn’t be more grateful for this experience.

Not bad for a day at the office! The Indian Ocean at sunrise.

Only 4 more weeks until I am back home in Montana for Christmas… 4 WEEKS!  I am so excited at the thought of home and so overwhelmed by the amount of filming that is going to happen before I board the plane.  Keep us, the whole cast and crew, in your prayers as we seek to finish shooting this movie. We truly can’t do it with out your support.   If you would like to catch more glimpses of all the movie madness, and see some awesome behind the scenes footage that I have helped shoot, please visit http://distantboat.com/film-updates/.

Peace out, see yah stateside!

 

October 2, 2012 3:12 am
Published in: On the Field Tags: , ,
I can’t believe it, I just can’t believe it!
I have been living in Africa for ONE WHOLE YEAR!  How did that happen?!  Seems like I was just hugging all of you, cramming my stuff into 4 bags, and hopping on a plane.  365 days later I’m still here!

I wanted to start off by thanking all of you.  YOU are the reason I’m able to be here, having this incredible experience.  ASANTE SANA (thank you very much!)

How do I describe what this year has been like?  How can I bring you all into the wild ride it has been?  How about we try some TOP 10’s….

Top 10 favorite discoveries…

1.  North Africa, an entirely different world.  Beautiful, dark, vibrant, captivating.

2.  Learning how to do battle with slugs, ants, flying termites, and mosquitos… and realizing that I’m less scared of bugs!

3.  New City Fellowship, the church I call home here in Nairobi.  Their vision is racial reconciliation; so suffice it to say we have a super diverse congregation.  I absolutely love it.  Communion is my favorite, we all stand in a circle around the room and I just look about and think “this is what Heaven will be like, people of every nation and tongue…”

4.  Jaffry’s outdoor public track, the Muslim compound where I run.  It is free for the public, so tons of people from the city go there.  EXCELLENT people watching, AND real cricket games on Sundays!

5.  Cooking!  It isn’t so scary and I can do it!  I’m getting pretty good at scones, tagines, tortillas, soup.  Newest experiment: Yakiniku!

6.  Watamu, Northern coast of Kenya, a beautiful stretch of Kenyan coastline, a wonderful get-away.  We stayed in a glass tower of art and ate fresh crab!

7.  Kitengela Glass Studios, a weird yet wonderful art haven that specializes in creating beauty out of recycled glass

8.  Driving.  It was scary at first, but now I don’t think any city in the US will ever intimidate me while I’m behind the wheel.  I am also a voracious honker now.

9.  Diamond Plaza, and Indian shopping square full of flashing lights, crazy food, awesome deals, and the best tangerine juice I’ve ever had.  Below my friend John is trying out an Indian “milk shake” that has spaghetti noodles and tapioca balls in it!

10. Downton Abbey, my British-fix.  Love that show so much!

Top 10 favorite experiences…

1.     Attending a worship service in North Africa, the earnestness and passion of the people that have devoted their lives to that place was nothing short of inspiring

2.     Welcoming some of my dearest friends to Africa, having them stay and adventure all over the country with me

3.     Hearing “ACTION” called for the first time on the movie set

4.     Road tripping, riding camels, and drinking tea in North Africa with dear friends

5.     Rafting the Nile with some great friends

6.     Being a bridesmaid/emergency dress-sower for a friend tying the knot here in Nairobi

7.     Hiking a dormant volcano with two wonderful gal pals on Good Friday

8.     Spending Christmas with my dear friends, the Levanders

9.     Planting trees with my friend Tana in rural Kenya

10.  Driving to the lake and looking out the window only to see giraffes, zebra, gazelles, and warthogs runs through the woods.  Also, being able to drive only a few hours and be within a stones throw of amazing wildlife and beautiful national parks.

So there are some snippets into my year, I hope you enjoyed it! I have a feeling the following year will fly by even faster than this one.  We are in the thick of filming the MOVIE, and it is making time shift into hyper speed.  We are hoping to wrap filming by December, after which I will fly home for Christmas!!  I can’t wait to have time with my family, and to see some of you!!

Thank you for walking with me this far.  Here’s to the next 365 days!  Your prayers carry me through, trust me, so keep em’ coming.

Lots of love,

Bess

September 17, 2012 11:18 pm
Published in: On the Field

Hey faithful blog readers, or new stumble-upon-ers!

It’s been a while since I offered up a new slice of the “this is my life in Africa” pie… so I hope you’re hungry, because this is a big piece!

August began with a departure.  My best friend Mo had been in Kenya with me for a month and a half and saaaaaaaadly she had to get back to her life in the States.  Boo.  But before she left we had a few fantastic adventures.

 

First, a roadtrip to UGANDA to raft the NILE.  Pretty flippin’ sweet (haha, pun intended).  We, and our Scottish buddy Calum piled into my car Geraldine and made the 12 hour trek to Jinja, the source of the Nile.

We only had a smidge of drama at the border, but my sweet-talkin’ skills had us out of the police office, and back on the road in no time!  Winning (Scottish Calum’s favorite phrase)!!

We linked up with some dear friends from Nairobi and paddled and screamed all the way down the river.  No crocs, no whirlpools… and I only lost part of a toenail.

We decided that a river just wouldn’t cut it, and we needed to see more water!  The beach!  It was a much needed get away for me, and an extra special time with my Mo.

You see, Kenya has some fabulous beaches, and after being here for 10 months and not seeing them, it felt like high time.  I know what you might be thinking… “WHAT?!  Missionaries take vacations?!?!  Preposterous!!  Aren’t they supposed to be savin’ some souls instead of frolicking on the beach?!”  But I’m here to tell you that missionaries are indeed real people, and actually need breaks too!

Behold, Watamu!  A wonderful spot on the northern-ish coast.

 

We stayed in a CRAZY guesthouse that was actually a four-story tower of art!

We ate fresh seafood!

There were even baby ducks!

 

We even saw our fellow Montana friends there, small world!

They live in a remote place without Twix… so they were pumped to find some yummy chocolate at the beach!

After Mo left, I MOVED!  Into a new house!  It is blue and wonderful.  I’m house-sitting for some missionaries for a year, and get to take advantage of their sweet digs and standing mixer 🙂

I did a little photography for Kijabe Hospital, a missionary hospital located in the mountains of Kenya.  They are raising money to replace their water and septic systems and needed some visuals to help out.  It was awesome, I got to go everywhere from surgery to the preemie ward.  What a cool experience.

What’s the deal-e-o now?!  Well it’s MOVIE TIME!!  The On-Field Media team has taken on the task of helping produce a feature-length film that will stir the heart of the African church towards missions… aka Africans reaching Africans.  This is our first attempt to make a film aimed at an African audience, this is our first feature length, this firsts firsts firsts  for all of us.  It is called The Distant Boat and you can read more about it HERE.

 I’ve been put in charge of Art Direction (you guessed it, another first!), which means I’m knee-deep in wardrobe (would a 50 year old African woman wear a head-wrap?!), props (where do I find the perfect pair of granny-glasses for Sabine?!), sets (should those flowers go here or here?!), and visual continuity (which side of the plate did you have your chopsticks on during the last take?!).  I have three people answering to me, a make-up artist and two make up/hair assistants… and I’m trying really hard not to get whip lash from going in so many directions at once!  It is stressful but it is what I like to call FUN-stress!  I mean if I’m gonna go to bed frazzled at the end of the day I would rather have it be about wondering if we got over-charged for our Chinese food for the dinner scene than any other really serious kind of stress.

We are being stretched, we are growing, we are casting out into new waters… and it feels really good.  Pray for our sanity, pray for our team, pray for the whole production, pray that God would use this offering to stir so many hearts.

 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement

give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 

so that with one mind and one voice

you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Romans 15:5-6