Sunday, April 10, 2011

Leaving for Africa

Tonight, after I put my boys to bed, I came downstairs to find the sunroom door cracked open, displaying my 6'3" husband, teaching himself to play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on ukulele. It kind of melted my heart. But knowing why he was learning a song on the ukulele was the real clencher. You see, this week, we're going on a trip to Kenya where we'll be doing music time with school kids and teaching business workshops to women. I asked him if he'd learn some songs on the uke to accompany me with. The lovely thing about my husband is that he can teach himself to do anything (and no, he's never picked up a uke before in his life).

Why and how did we get this opportunity? A very amazing company by the name of Basa Body is taking us on this adventure. Basa Body is a company that was established to provide economic wealth and opportunities to women in Kenya. The women harvest wild coconuts on the coast of Kenya and extract the oil by hand. With this organic, virgin coconut oil, Basa Body makes the most delicious lotions, soaps, lip butters and facial products, all with minimal and natural ingredients. They also donate a portion of the proceeds back to these women in Kenya. My hands crack easily and I have absolutely loved their lotion (Raspberry is my very favorite). I keep a bottle on my nightstand and rub it all over my hands before I go to bed every night.

As I prepare for this trip, I want to know if any of you have been to Kenya or anywhere in Africa, for that matter. What advice do you have for a girl who has never been? I would love to know how you survived the long trip over there.

Follow along with me here on my blog as I document my preparations to leave as well as my adventures during my time there.

Much Love,

P.S. I still have one show in L.A. on April 14th at the Hotel Cafe the day before I leave for Africa! (details HERE).

P.P.S. Right now, Basa Body is offering a 10% discount to my readers if you buy any of their yummy products online HERE. The coupon code is : mindy. Now, you can also buy Basa Body products at Cherry Lane Keepsakes Boutique on 500 N. and Univeristy Ave. in Provo, UT.


  1. Kim went on a humanitarian trip to Zambia a few years ago for about a month. Her three pieces of wisdom/advice:
    1. They will help/teach you more than you will help/teach them. Learn. Learn. Learn.
    2. Though you will want to, you won't be able to help every person you come in contact with, and that will hurt your heart to no end--particularly in Africa. But help who you can and know--you are making a difference. Even in the life of just one--you ARE making a difference.
    3. At times it will seem that it is a God-forsaken place. It is such an up-side-down world from what we know. The pain and sadness and poverty (at least in Zambia) is almost unbearable. And you might even question the notion that God really does love and know his children--ALL of His children--individually. In those moments, you have to dig deep into your faith, pray for reassurance, and remember that He does. God knows what's going on in Africa. He knows His children there. And He is with them.

  2. My advice is take me with you. At some point you're going to need a little plucky comic relief and I will do the Macarena ANYWHWERE. I can't help but think that will come in handy at some point.

  3. I spent 2 weeks with my father a couple of years ago in Ghana, West Africa. We were part of a neonatal resuscitation training group for mid-wives. Besides the usual dont drink the bagged water, take your own TP and make sure your "hover method" is perfected before using the bathroom.. I'd offer my suggestion to breath the air, feel the dirt, and soak in the sounds... Your life will be forever changed... Africa is a magical place... Once you have served our brothers and sisters there you will long to go back... Enjoy the magic.

  4. My advice is to sneak me in a suit case so I can play Mindy's PA in Africa! :) No. But have a wonderful time, I'm sure you'll have an amazing time that will enrich your growth as an artist and as an individual. Have a safe trip!

  5. Mindy,

    I hope you have an awesome time in Kenya!

    Have you ever considered having a tumblr? I just switched this week and it's pretty flippin' awesome. Thought of you.


  6. When I lived in Ghana for a summer, I learned a lot, but here are some practical words of advice I now know:
    1. Bring food with protein! Peanut butter, for example.
    2. Bring Gatorade packets! These will be a lifesaver, to restore electrolytes.
    3. It might have just been me, but my feet were SO swollen the whole time, from the humidity and the constant heat and weather changes. Bring your most comfortable and practical shoes.
    4. Be prepared for strange smells.
    5. Wash ALL your fruit, even the outside rind that you won't be eating anyways. Almost everyone I was traveling with got stomach worms because of unwashed fruit (especially mangoes).

    And as for the less practical advice:
    1. The African people will teach you more about love than you ever would have dreamed.
    2. If you're like me, you'll want to document everything. Definitely worth it, but remember to also put down your camera and just SEE everything.
    3. The weather and terrain and food may be difficult at times, but looking back on your experience, it will all be worth it.

  7. I've never been but my only piece of advice is to take a journal with you. Everyday find a quiet place and take a moment to write about everything that you experience. Like Kiera said "breath the air, feel the dirt, and soak in the sounds." What an amazing journey!

  8. Mindy,
    Enjoy the trip of a lifetime. My parents went years ago and it had a huge impact on their lives. What a neat thing you are doing. I love BASA body products. The coconut stick has really helped my daughter's eczema. I LOVE that your hubby is learning the ukelele for you:) I was sad to be ill and have to miss your Velour and Cherry Lane appearances after having them on my calender. So, hopefully you will sing again locally very soon. Happy travels!

  9. Wow, Mindy what an adventure, you are brave. My son is serving his mission in Uganda. I second the gateroaide packets ( G2 I think they are called) and the protein bars! Deet, it's wet season!

  10. Good luck at the Hotel Café. Knock their socks off! And we'll be expecting to hear a report on Kenya when you get back. —Brooks

  11. Hey Mindy thanks for the introduction to Basa Body...the lotions look awesome! And Mother's Day is coming up...yes! :)

    Enjoy your trip...I am sure it will be an amazing experience!


  12. I just ordered the variety pack...hope its good!!!