updating, connecting and other very cool stuff

The weather here has been getting rather warm.  While in other parts of the US this would be good news, those of us in Texas realize that the seriously oppressive heat of Houston summers can't be too far behind.  In fact, the increase in heat and humidity has been bugging me so much, just looking at my previous wintry self-portrait on my bio page was making me sweat, without even having to go outside.  So yesterday morning, I stripped down to my skivvies (okay, not really -- it was a spaghetti-strapped maxi dress), sat in my entryway, propped up a mirror on my front door and took a new official Chookooloonks.com self-portrait, above.

As my friend Tea said, I like to have season-appropriate bio pages.  Or something.

Anyway, enough about my skivvies.  While updating my picture, I realized there's lots of other things I haven't updated you guys on yet.  So today I thought I'd catch you up.

First of all, next month I'm going to Trinidad.  I know.  I haven't been back to Trinidad (save for a brief trip 2 years ago, for my grandmother's funeral) since we moved to Houston four years ago.  The reason I'm going back is to speak at the World of Possibilities Conference (and if you're a woman living in Trinidad, I'd love if you'd register to come!), but I'm even more excited to just be back to wiggle my toes in the soil of my homeland, you know?  Unfortunately, Marcus won't be able to join me, but happily, Alex will -- and since she only has vague memories of Trinidad, it'll be good for her to get reconnected.  I'm sure that before and after the conference we will have very full days rushing around visiting "Uncle This" and "Tanti That," so, by gum, "reconnected" she surely will be.

Secondly, the bit of news that has me so excited I've been refraining from saying it out loud too much, for fear that it's a dream:  remember last month when I went to Washington D.C. for ONE?  Well, get this: I have another trip coming up with them, and this time .... it's to KENYA.

The trip isn't scheduled until later this summer, so I have some time to wrap my mind around it and pull myself together before I go, thank heavens.  But seriously, I couldn't be more delighted, for a few reasons:  First, while I've had the distinct pleasure of having traveled to Africa before -- Nigeria and Egypt -- I've never been to Kenya, and it's a place I've always wanted to visit (in fact, there are a couple of items on my life list -- numbers 61 and 75, specifically -- that are all about Kenya). But secondly, and most importantly, I am such a huge fan of ONE and what they're all about, and it's just such an honour to lend my camera and my words to help amplify the work they're doing in Africa.  I'll be writing more about this in the coming weeks, but for now, please check out ONE.org, consider signing up to become a member (for those of you outside the US, click here; also, please note it's completely free -- they'll never ask you for money, it's not their thing), and stay tuned.  It's about to get all MotherLandy up in here.

So that's the big stuff -- cool, yes?  Now, tell me: what's going on with you?  Anything you're looking foward to in your life these days?  If you feel comfortable sharing, please let me know in the comments; also, if you'd like, I'd love if you'd include a link to a photo of yourself, too, if you have one -- it would be great to see the faces of the awesome people who visit me here every day!

With that, have a great weekend, friends.  (Also -- happy Friday the 13th!  This is my lucky day -- yours too?)


Image:  Photographed with my Nikon D300, 50mm lens.  aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/160, ISO 500


Song: Kumbe by Yunasi, a Kenyan band.  You can read more about them here.