We Love You All!

May 18, 2007 at 11:39 pm (Summer, Trip 2007)

Hello everyone,
Thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement in getting us here. We have had a very smooth start so far. Nyumbani was the first orphanage we visited, and we got to exchange music with the younger children. There was an intense hail storm later in the day, so we came back to the hotel and wrote what we feel will become the theme song of the trip “We Are One (World)”. It was a powerful experience, co-writing with so many compassionate and talented musicians, and it was great for getting the passion and energy focused and organized. We hope to have a recording to share with everyone soon. This is an amazing group of people, and I feel so blessed to be here.
We appreciate your comments and prayers. Tomorrow we go to Shangilia. We will be in touch.

(Next Day:)summer-playing-guitar.gif
Wow. What a day today! It is was the first day we saw the true slums of Nairobi. It was so intense. There is no pavement, and since it is the rainy season it is so muddy, with pot holes and big ditches. People have to walk through that in nice clothes, or whatever cloth they have. The houses and shops, (the stores that line the road) look like they came out of a junk yard with simple metal sheets on top, that go for only 5-15 dollars a month, which
is still hard to make for some. They sell all kinds of goods, most not
anything i would buy. They even had a shack for electronics and a beauty salon that was like one room smaller than the twin dorm rooms, with a couple stools.

We couldn’t take pictures because it is rude and they will get mad or demand money. A lot of people were excited to see foreigners and will give thumbs up or smile and wave. Others seemed upset at our privilege. When we drove back from the orphanage at rush hour when everyone got off work and school the streets were swarmed with people, so close you could touch them from the van, all walking. Right next to this area is the rich area of the city, with huge houses and acreage.

the orphanage was so amazing. two hundred children live in a tiny area, pretty much on top of each other. Wow, were they beautiful! I was taken by their openness and joy. The big ones take care of the little ones, and they form their own families. Shangilia is an orphanage for children on the street who either lost their parents or their parents can’t afford to take care of them.

They are SO TALENTED! they sang and danced for us, (moves that I could never do, and they were kids!) They have a brass band and percussion and sing and they are so alive. I feel like people here really look at you. They loved my hair, because it was so different and the girls quickly braided our hair and played with our jewelery. The boys could do these acrobatic moves that made their bodies look like they were made out of clay. It was as if their rough experiences melted away all the surface coverings that don’t matter and revealed the core soul of every child. They have great joy and great sorrow. They drink of life fully.

While there we sang for them as well, the “We Are One” song and they all got on stage and sang with us, and it was so powerful. An amazing energy was apparent to everyone. They are filming and taking pictures of all of this and I can’t wait to show you.

The children loved the guitars and all tried to play at once. They have to share everything, from the marbles they use to they soccer ball made from plastic bags to the roller blades, (each child wearing one.) They really make use of EVERYTHING. They are great climbers and I love it when they speak to us in Shang, (like slang Swahili.)

It was so special for everyone involved. At one point a child started crying and I held him and sang to him songs I learned at Susun Weed’s. The girls learned lullabies with me. They are so affectionate and touch seems to be very healing.

We also ran around and played tag and tickeled each other and sang call and response. It felt like we left too soon, but i passed out when we got to the hotel, awakeneing at 2 am. i am so off schedule here, because I woke up this morning to start my day at 5 am. so not like me.

I can’t wait to go back, even though it is very draining, in such a different way than working 19 hour shifts or writing a 20 page paper. I am so happy to share this experience with all of you.

Thank you so much for being here and reading.
I love you with all of my Self,

PS the mango juice here is TO DIE FOR (as mom would say) we have not had
local food yet, but we are going to tomorrow.
So much more to say, but I will save it for later.

Much love,


P.S. Jon, thank you so much for your comment. You have helped me so much in getting where I am today, and I think of you and miss you lots. Congratulations on your promotion. You deserve all the recognition you are getting and more! I love you! Wuggles.


  1. Erica said,


    Aw, it sounds like it’s a blast so far! I wish I were with you, sharing the experience. Your stories are wonderful– KEEP WRITING THEM! I loved the thought of you rocking a child in your arms, singing lullabys. It sounds like you’re really taking in life with them. Be safe and keep writing. I really enjoyed reading your blog.
    Miss you, Summer. I really, REALLY do.
    Take care,

  2. Nicole said,

    Summer, This moved me to tears. You are an amazing soul and I can’t wait to hear more about your trip to Africa. I will keep reading as you update.

  3. Mary Anne said,

    It sounds like an amazing experience! I am so happy for you–I think this was the perfect thing for you after graduation. I can’t wait to hear more. Love you slook!

  4. Jillian said,

    Awwwww Summer… this is the first opportunity I’ve had to read this blog since you told me about it. I am beyond THRILLED to hear how well this is going for you! (and also a tad bit jealous that I can’t be there sharing it with you…. ok, maybe more than a tad 😉 I hope this week is just as good as the last. Me? I’m overwhelmed at the apartment here at the moment… Ayo left yesterday and I leave Thursday. I have to start painting tomorrow and Jon actually offered to come over and help me paint! how sweet, huh? I’m sure they are mesmerized by you there Summer! Keep the loving energy going…. I’m living vicariously and I’m SO proud of you 🙂

    in joy and love,

  5. Brenda said,

    Hello to you all,

    I have been away for a few days away from all things electronic or electrical. I just returned to read of your adventure. My, I live vicariously through the richness of each of your words, thougths and experiences. It appears that all is just as it should be. Thank you to each of you for giving so much of yourself to those beautiful children. I visualize their smiles and their laughter. You plant beautiful seeds in their lives.


  6. Kim said,

    I keep reading this blog and tears just stream down my face. The pictures, also, tell a thousand words. I am so moved by what you are all experiencing and the way your lives and the lives of these beautiful children are being woven together. There is magic in this, strong magic, that can only come from bearing witness to devastating loss and suffering, but also to the resiliency of the human spirit, and to how the universal language of music can soothe the deepest pain. I know this will change you forever and words can never express how much I love you – for your great big heart, smile and spirit. You inspire me. I am here for you always, to listen and to hold quiet space for you when you need rest. And we will help in any way we can to support you in this work. Nothing is more important than what you are doing right now. Love, MOM

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