Arrival to Kenya

Greetings from the BeadWORKS office on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya!

After a full 2 days of travel to the other side of the world, I landed on a small dirt airstrip in the middle of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.  The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is located in northern Kenya near Isiolo.  Within seconds of getting in the car, I understood the beauty and biodiversity of this land.  I am staying in an over-flow guest house on the Conservancy for the next two weeks as I work with the BeadWORKS team to introduce leather goods to their line.  

The 15 minute commute to the office each day is on a private dirt road used for the Lewa Safari's.  The first day we passed elephants, dozens of zebra, a family of baboons, a giraffe, a mom and baby rhino, white storke, helmeted guineafowl, and more!  This is normal... ITS CRAZY! I will never get used to the magic of this place. 

BeadWORKS works with over 1000 women in 9 pastoralist communities to provide a sustainable income for women in an effort to prevent wildlife poaching. Wildlife is crucial to the Kenyan economy because it brings tourism which equals money and jobs.  In order to provide an alternative sustainable income, BeadWORKS has created a product line out of the traditional bead work.  Team members from the office travel to the field weekly to drop off materials and pick up completed orders.  This allows the women to carry on a nomadic lifestyle and work on their own time so they can continue to be active members of their community. The products are sold in Kenya, the US, UK, and Australia. 

The schedule for the next two weeks is this:

- Meet the BeadWORKS team
- Go to the field to meet the pastoralist women who do the beadwork
- Visit the Sagana leather tannery to source our leather
- Set up a work area for the workshops
- Educate the team about the basic principles of leather, introduce tools and techniques 
- Teach workshops for the new products: leather belt, dog collar, hat band, camera/binocular strap, tote bag, small clutch and decorative tassel 

Stay posted for more!


From the AirGrevy's ZebraElephantsMama rhino and baby through binoculars  

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