Aug 16

Through the Eyes of a Self-Proclaimed Fair Trade Fairy

Piper DesigningWe’re excited to introduce Piper Hays!  Everyone on The Leakey Collection Team who has met Piper, both in East Africa and Southern California, has been delighted by her passion and enthusiasm!  A deep mutual respect and friendship with the Maasai artisans developed during her 5 week visit with the Leakeys in the Rift Valley to learn about Fair Trade. Over the next month or so, we will be sharing Piper’s insights through her guest blog, as well as her perspective through photos and interview videos with the people whose lives are positively impacted by our Fair Trade partnership with them.  Piper even designed a special Zulugrass collection that we are featuring on our website! Check out the Pied Piper Collection here!  Prepare to be just as delighted as we are!

In her second year at the University of San Francisco, Piper is studying communications, anthropology, and German.  Along with her interest in travel and learning about different cultures, Piper is an accomplished musician! She sings and plays 4 instruments: guitar, mandolin, piano, and even the ukulele which she took to Kenya and used to bond musically with her new friends. She has a love for all-things-glitter and is never without her Fairy Glitter bottle, blessing those she meets with a little application because “everybody needs to shine.” She now proclaims herself the Fair Trade Fairy!  Make sure you check back each week to read her blogs and for a surprise contest!

Aug 11

Meet The Brooks

We recently had the distinct pleasure to share with renowned columnist, journalist, and author David Brooks and his family our Leakey Collection Enterprise in Kenya.  They were such troupers making the bumpy, dusty, 4 hour trek from Nairobi on the heels of jet-lag.  After a quick bite of lunch and no rest they toured our workshop, a women’s work site, and our micro-hydro project underway.  We even had time to take them in search of some archeological iron ore smelting sites that Philip has recently located.

A quick hike up the rock kopis for sunset overlooking the magnificent Rift Valley then back for bucket showers under the stars and dinner.  We talked long into the night before they fell into bed.

The next morning was great fun for all since Sarah, David’s wife, had brought a small printer that connected to her camera so she could print photos of the women on the spot.  We were all mesmerized as beautiful photos, one after another, whirred out of the compact device.  For several hours we laughed, posed, and visited while Sarah delighted us all with her ingenious addition to her luggage, which she generously left behind for future fun!

Philip and I were sad to say good-bye and hope they’ll come again for a longer stay as we thoroughly enjoyed our brief time together.  Safari ngema to David and his lovely family and we can’t wait to hear of their adventures during the rest of their travels in this beautiful and dynamic part of the world.

May 11

A glorious dust storm

Saturday was a glorious day when we watched in amazement the dust storm that was brewing in the Rift Valley Floor.