2013 Fall and Winter in Africa

ICANN Durban
Airline View-Winter in Addis
Not much to say, I traveled in my favorite airline,Lufthansa via Addis, spent a lovely day with Mom and took the midnight flight to Nairobi. After few days left for Durban. My trip to Durban was short and measured. Just an ICANN meeting, that is all.  Beautiful place for sure, nothing like Cape town for me, although some swear it is better. For me Capetown is very cosmopolitan and international.
Getish and Lily- Love u!
Click, click, just got a shot of our employee
bus on the highway for one of our business
-Rainy season !

Once at JNB, there was a sense of relief that I was close to my destination, which was to go back to Addis and spend some more time in Addis.

I love Addis, have good friends, love meditating in our Penthouse at the BET and spending time talking with Mom,we spontaneously go to lunch, out for coffee or gym, or visit family friends, or I will be browsing the net or snuggle with a book.
Famous Bole Avenue
With my local friends, I like going to Hilton, Sheraton, Ramada, and  the Intercontinental hotel where I do lunches and drinks catching up with my diaspora friends.

I also like going to the art shows and house gatherings.  Night is not my favorite,  unless  I must make an appearance somewhere.  I want to go home after 6 pm I have no idea why.  Not the nite owl I used to be, also the roads are also under construction and is not so comfortable to move around, although safe.  Although the famous Bole Road coming off the airport somehow has been enlarged so much seem like Fifth Ave NY.
AU Visit w/ Amb
AU Building

One of my trips I got to visit the AU and so got to see the new building and wow was it fabulous. I gave two thumbs up for our late  PM Meles Zenawi.  This was a historic land mark and a very impressive one.

FM Visit w/ Amb
FM Visit w/ Amb

And of course I like to keep in touch with my government for good governance;)

Then bk to Nairobi, my second home, where I spend much of my time working and entertaining visiting friends.
I am a member at an excellent health Club that comes with Personal Trainers and many classes, where I continue to keep fit and maintain a life style.
I then did a stint in the neighboring countries like Rwanda for some meetings, a Heads of State meeting, pretty chaotic, stayed in same  hotel like many of them - Serena Hotel, I would not stay in any lesser one  Watching the national security drama,  I swore I will never come to a Head of State meeting again unless I am one;).  The ADD is I suffered I tell you not  was painful. You can read our PR here.  After few more round-trips to Addis for business, then Zurich Switzerland and back to Cali.

This whole  2 flrs went down
Having fun@ WestGate Mall
2 weeks prior tragedy
Most highlight of my stay, also my low point in Kenya was the tragedy of the West Gate mall, a mall I frequent during the weekends, as well as when I have visitors.  In  fact a 2 weeks before the attack by said terrorists, I had taken a friend from US to celebrate his birthday at the most popular Art Cafe.  It was Gods will , that we missed to be the victims.  My heart goes out to each and everyone who were victimized.  The terror come all the way to our lives daily and our homes.  I could not sleep for days in my place.
Daily breakfast with Mom w/ skyview of city
from our penthouse - Treasured moments

I flew to Addis  to find my refuge where of course the country is known for its highest security in such regards and safety.  I took calm with my Mom and family there and mourned the people of Kenya.  
Of course spending time with  my Sister's kids who visit on weekends and her children is therapeutic.  Her kids are to die for beautiful, so I love messing around with them.

On the good side of course, Karen where I stay is supposedly the safest neighborhood.
Mo keeps my Modeling Pics;)
The restaurants upped their securities I recall except Karen Blixen  who seem to live by the "faith of God", as they keep telling me. The Manager Fred, my very good friend I insisted that he closes his gates, to up his security.  But people seem to live by the faith of God and we all learn to do that at some-point, particularly in Africa, so I stopped complaining;).

Salmon at Hemmingways
The Wine Collection
Hemmingway  is another story, built by the British with land belonging to Moi, the past President of Kenya, the owners spent over 50 mill to build it and the security was amazing, it was like the medieval palaces, they did not joke.  One cannot even go without reservation and identity known to the hotel.
The fountain!
Private Cigar dining
 I am the usual personality , as my Swiss friend in Addis says that I live by exception, but not really true,  I realize it was my connection with people that made that happen.
Hemmingway loved me as much as I loved it.  I spent  a lot of time when I was in town and bring in guests a well.

View from Top Bar
The Ora and elegance is what I had wanted in small town of Karen and I felt at home with it.  The writing on the wall is enough to mesmerize one to want to sit and have a dining experience gazing at the famous quotes from the like of Karen herself and others, more of a poetry I must say.  I frequented the restaurants and enjoyed the most elegant spa.  The entire place was built for the one who wants to get away from people and it gave one a sense of meditation and a spirit that was so open and tranquil.

The Poetry;)

As a new restaurant, I always gave my candid feedback to the Chef and the waiters or to the hotel on how things can be improved and  I note it was well received,  and I find that everyone gets accustomed to my expectations and we became good friends with the staff, who they will always welcome me by my first name and a treatment of a Princess is rendered to me.  People I take there often get delightfully excited to be in my company, but I can say that everywhere in Karen BTW.   Now you know what I call Karen home!

It is home away from home,  I love spending time in Karen in Kenya and I love calling it a second home. Look at the adventured even as I drive home,  where do u see beautiful white ducks simply running your way on the street.
I am writing a book on Africa, so do not want to reveal all the mystery of this wonderful place and the adventures I have  been having, simply on this blog. So I will stop.

I had to be here in Cali for xmas for sure, so I am writing my blog.  It is where I feel happiness during this time of year, of course in Walnut Creek,  the most charming town I have ever lived in, globally I must say.

I did a stint to Buenos Aires, Argentina for 10 days before coming home for xmas and I will cover that trip in my next blog.

Pat and Kate, Barry's Sister and her hubby (pic left) were visiting SF after a great vacation in Mexico and hopping around the world, which they do all year round it seem,  and came over to WC to see me and we had a blast!