Author: Ella

African inspiration

About a needle and a box

What does a needle have to do with an umbrella? Well it’s the box that comes between us and the answer to this question. I mean a mental box. And the thing is, it turns out it’s a Western-kind-of-thinking box. All will make sense I promise, just click and let’s begin the needle story…

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baraka's art - Detail from a hand made bag by Baraka.
Big little stories

Baraka’s art

Around East Africa, I’ve met many young people who make their living by creating for the souvenir industry, out of them, I occasionally meet artists. Baraka is just that, an artist in his soul.

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My Kweme earrings. On the left from the hard inner shell, and on the left from the outer inner shell.
Healing plants & trees

My Kweme earrings

A new and wonderful project started when one day I walked into the kitchen just as the chef finished cracking the unique Kilimanjaro oyster nuts for his famous sauce. I looked at the empty shells with their rich texture and immediately knew what I was going to create from them…

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Chagga tribe grandmother holding the nuts she harvested in her farm
Healing plants & trees

Oyster nuts – super food of the Kilimanjaro

Oyster nuts are a tasty and highly nutritious super food, and everything about them fascinates me. Kweme in Swahili, it’s definitely another one of Mother Earth’s wonders and a special gift to the mountain dwellers. The nuts, that grow inside a kind of a giant green gourd, have a unique connection to the heritage of the Chagga tribe among which I live…

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girl with rag ball
African inspiration

Childhood games

The village kids on the slopes of the Kilimanjaro, as many other African kids, are very creative with their games. Without excess of store-bought toys that are imposed on Western kids, nature is their play ground. Childhood games in the safe embrace of the community are a vital and integrated way of learning and maturing into healthy adult life. Hope you’ll get inspired by this…

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picture from a music video of Zuchu one of the biggest stars in Tanzania
African inspiration

African happy beats

In this post I share my personal playlists out of Africa. Tribal dances may slowly disappear in some tribes, but Africans never stopped dancing. Popular music is heard everywhere, filling you with joy and happiness. We in the West are totally missing out on amazing African music. Well that’s why I’m here, so that you can enjoy it too! It’s (always a good) time to dance!

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Healing plants & trees

The healing plants of mount Meru

A short hike along the Temi River on the slopes of Mount Meru in Tanzania, turned into a tour through the healing plants and trees of Africa. We were amazed to discover how many healing uses exist, often more than one use for the same plant! Let’s take a peek into the abundant gifts of Mama Africa!

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