Susan McKee, 8:04 am
A trip to Nairobi wouldn’t be complete without time spent in Karen, an affluent neighborhood of Kenya’s capital. The area has an English country feel. Houses are on five-acre lots with stone walls and iron gates. Many have stables. It’s still debated whether Karen is named for the author of the book, “Out of Africa.” One thing is clear. Karen Blixen is remembered here. The centerpiece of the neighborhood is her former home, now a museum. Much of the action in the 1985 movie starring Meryl Streep took place here.
Susan McKee, 7:35 am
Kazuri, which means “small and beautiful” in Swahili, produces handmade ceramic beads and pottery in a factory located on Karen Blixen’s coffee plantation on the outskirts of Nairobi. She’s the Danish author who inspired the movie epic “Out of Africa” starring Meryl Streep. The workshop employs Kenyan women — mostly single mothers abandoned by their husbands or widowed by AIDS who had trouble finding jobs. Now more than 400 people work there, producing fair trade beads and tableware for customers in 30 countries around the world.
Susan McKee, 9:56 am
Three cities in Morocco are especially known for their ceramic artistry: Meknes, Safi and Fez. Together, they produce at least 80% of the pottery in the country. The best known workshop in Fez is Art Naji. Here you can take a tour and watch craftsmen and women chip mosaic tile pieces, paint fanciful designs on plates, assemble elaborate mosaic tile fountain backsplashes and fashion tagines on foot-driven potter’s wheels. Take a look at the artisans at work at Art Naji, and some of their incredible creations.
Susan McKee, 9:43 am
In this installment of the #InLoveWithAfrica series, Susan McKee rejoices in Mombasa. “When I look east, toward the water, I see the ghost images of centuries of sailing ships coming and going from the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent, China and even Europe. When I looking west, there’s the bustling modern port, a historic gateway to the heart of East Africa but with the distinctive sounds and scents of the Arab world. Past, present and future converge in my mind’s eye as I think about this complex city, the second largest in Kenya.”
Susan McKee, 5:15 pm
The largest mosque in Africa, the Hassan II Mosque juts out over the Atlantic Ocean on the northwest side of Casablanca, Morocco. Completed in 1993, it was commissioned by King Hassan II but funding came from more than 12 million donors around the world. The mosque has numerous awe-inspiring features, such as the glass floor in the building’s main hall, through which you can see the sea bed below.