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God is moving, can you see it?
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

M&D 48

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!!

Brownlees2012_02

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