Mkuru Maasai Training Camp

The Face of the Maasai

Last July, I spent two days with a Maasai community at The Mkuru Training Camp in Uwiro Village, about a three-hour drive away from Moshi. The Mkuru Training Camp is located at the foothills of Mount Meru, just outside Arusha National Park, within one of the most important biodiversity areas of Tanzania: the Maasai Steppe.

My visit still remains one of the most spectacular cultural experiences of my life. I was literally the only guest there and had the thrill of doing a four-hour tour on foot with one of the Maasai warriors and a taking a one-on-one beading class with his mother. Despite modernization and the threat to their way of life, the Maasai still continue to live the way they have for centuries. Their beautiful dress and faces are unforgettable.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Mkuru Maasai Training Camp

Jacobo’s mother


On Being Connected

“What I know now is that we’re all interconnected and that’s a really beautiful thing. We have links to everyone else in our lives and in the world. Different people have different journeys for different reasons. You can’t judge, but you can celebrate that there are connections everywhere”. – Jane Seymour

One of the things I love most about traveling is the connections I make around the world. Being connected to other human beings is essential to understanding the ever-changing world we live in today. As our world becomes more connected, it is critical that we understand other cultures, people, religions and beliefs. I find that the more connected I feel to my community and the world, the happier I am.

Connections can happen near or far. In fact, you don’t even have to travel to be connected to someone. You can read a blog post and connect online, you can connect with friends and strangers in your own community or you can simply pick up the phone and talk to someone. Everything you do in life is about connecting. Even stepping outside your door, makes you connect with other people. It is all a matter of paying attention to the connections we make with others and how they make us feel.

Here are some of the best connections I have made in my life. Connections that have made me who I am and what I stand for. There is always room for growth and expansion. The more I venture out into the world, whether it be physically or even through my blog the more connections I will make. It is incredible how large and how small are world has become.

Connections with family

Connections with strangers or new friends

Mosebo Village, Ethiopia

The Meaning of Humanity

Today I have the honor of hosting the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. When asked to come up with a theme, without skipping a beat I decided upon Humanity. Here is my own answer to the question and challenge below. To see the official WordPress Photo Challenge: Humanity and to respond, please click here. 

There is so much conflict and heartbreak in the today’s world: Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Gaza, Ukraine and the raw memories of 9/11 to name a few. Sometimes it makes me wonder what on earth has happened to humanity and compassion for others. Has it all disappeared?

The more I see the world, the more I realize that although people are all different, we are also very much the same. We may speak different languages, have different cultures, religions, values and physical traits, yet we all share common hopes and dreams of love, family and survival.

When I travel, I am inspired to take photographs that show the common humanity of us all. I aim to capture images of everyday people around the world hoping to provoke compassion for others and an understanding of their differences. My favorite photos are the rare ones that capture the raw emotions of others and spark a curiosity about their lives. For me, these images reflect the common humanity the human race shares and creates a connection between us.

Some of my favorite photos of humanity are the ones where I feel as if my photograph is touching their souls like these ones below. 


I met these two girls inside an unauthorized slum in the heart of New Delhi. Although their clothing was tattered and torn, their eyes were full of joy, innocence and curiosity about the  outside world and a tall, blond-haired blue-eyed woman asking to take their photo. They reminded me of my own children.


I met this woman in southern Ethiopia at Project Mercy, a not-for-profit relief and development agency working to alleviate human suffering and poverty in Ethiopia. Although she could not read or write or speak the same language, her pride at her handiwork was evident. 

Faces of Ethiopia

The Faces of Ethiopia: A Photoblog

Ethiopia, a magical land of over 90 million people, is one of the most diverse nations in the world with over 83 distinct languages and 200 dialects. What stunned me the most about Ethiopians is how such a diverse group of people live in peace and harmony. Over half the population is Orthodox Christian and the next largest religious group is Muslims making up around 45% of the population. Despite their different religious beliefs, Muslims and Christians live side by side and oftentimes there can be a mixture of religions within families due to marriage. The main eight ethnic groups also live together peacefully which says a lot about this poverty-stricken nation in the heart of Africa.

While I was in Ethiopia these past two weeks, Oxford University released The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), ranking Ethiopia as the second poorest country in the world just ahead of Niger. The report claims that although Ethiopia has made some progress, Ethiopia is still home to more than 76 million poor people, the fifth largest number in the world after India, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The report also claims that the highest percentage of poor live within the rural areas which is no surprise given the fact that over 85% of Ethiopians earn a living off the land.

Despite the often heartbreaking, overwhelming poverty of the Ethiopian people, the one thing they all seemed to have in common is resilience and resolve with their place in this world. I had never seen so many genuine, welcoming smiles upon their faces despite the hardships they face. I was always greeted with curiosity, warmth and kindness by the Ethiopians I met. Here are some of my favorite faces of Ethiopia.

Faces of Ethiopia

Africa Child Labor, Marriage, Education and Survival Ethiopia Global Health Global Issues Poverty SOCIAL GOOD TRAVEL TRAVEL BY REGION Women and Girls

The World Through My Eyes

Traveling the world with a third-eye has always been the way I prefer to experience life. It means to view life openly and see everything – good or bad- with an open mind and heart. The world through my eyes can be contradictory and complex. Seeing both good and bad can bring so much immense joy and happiness while also such deep sadness that it makes your heart ache. Yet in my humble opinion, you cannot go through life with a blind eye. Otherwise nothing will change.

On my most recent trip through the Delhi slums as part of Mom Bloggers for Social Good, I saw a tremendous amount through my eyes. If I could look beyond the immense poverty, destruction, destitution and disease, I could also find beauty and hope. Beauty in the lovely warm smiles across the children’s eager faces whenever I pulled my camera out to snap their photo. Hope among the innocent faces of the girls in schools finally being given a chance to learn.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The world through my eyes sees so incredibly much.








This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through My Eyes. To view more entries, click here.

Global Issues India Poverty SOCIAL GOOD TRAVEL BY REGION

Finding beauty in La Ceiba, Honduras

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read past posts on Honduras, click here.

La Ceiba is not known as the most beautiful city in the world. In fact, it is known for being well, rather ugly. I had been warned about the unattractiveness of the city several times through my research in Lonely Planet and other noteworthy travel sites. But La Ceiba was where my volunteer project was based so I was going to make the best of it and be sure to use that good old “third-eye” (i.e. open-minded approach). Ugly or not, I would find the beauty of it.


Honduras is a diverse country with lots of jungle and mountains. La Ceiba is located on the Caribbean Sea not far from the famous Bay Islands. Photo credit: Wikipedia.