Video: Finding Peace, Love and Hope at Amani ya Juu in Kenya

[Click on the image above to watch the video]

It’s just crazy how the universe unfolds sometimes, ain’t it?

A while back we were down in South America – far southern Chile to be exact – on a wild adventure in Patagonia and Chile’s famed Torres del Paine National Park, when we had the pleasure of running into a couple of fellow Texans (which is always cool).

Michael and Emily were from Dallas and were actually a few months away from their wedding day.  Sweet, sweet people. And we had a great time getting to know them and sharing our adventure together. As we talked over the course of several days we learned that Emily worked for the U.S. branch of an African organization called Amani ya Juu, which as she explained, was founded to help marginalized African women escape the harsh difficulties of life in many parts of the continent – poverty, conflict, disease – and build a new life for themselves and their families.

The more she talked about Amani the more we were touched. The story of Amani itself was itself a fascinating one, but the stories she told us of some of the women of Amani were especially moving.

Through the natural course of conversation we told her that we had our own video production company, and would at some point really enjoy the opportunity to help tell the story of Amani in whatever way we could.  And as conversations with fellow travelers typically go, we agreed that if we were to ever be so lucky as to visit Africa someday we’d give Emily a shout, and who knows? Maybe if the stars aligned we’d be able to actually visit Amani, shoot some video, and help spread the word about what they’re doing.

At that point though, we had no plans to visit Africa, and no idea that we’d ever actually get to go there. As far as we were concerned Africa was still one of those far-off places that would be stuck near the top of the ol’ bucket list for many, many more years at least.

And then the universe stepped in.

Turns out, within a couple of short months of that conversation with Emily in Patagonia, we quite coincidentally(?) found ourselves planning our first-ever trip to Africa! Working with our friends at Adventure Life and Tripfilms, we began planning for what would be our first ever African safari in Tanzania. And to make a long story a bit shorter, in working on the logistics of the trip and planning it all out, we were actually able to tack on a quick trip to Kenya on the end to visit Amani. How cool/wild/wonderful is that?

So here’s the video from our visit to Amani, and a little about the Amani story and the inspiring stories of the women who work there. And we’ll have much more about Amani in our next blog, but meantime click here to check out the Amani website, where you can find out more for yourself and check out some of their very cool products. We think you’ll agree, it’s pretty special. 🙂

Happy travels!

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