Monday, July 22, 2019

Of Sarah and the Moon

Annamaria on Monday

I have two things I want to tell.  That they have nothing to do with one another troubles me a bit.  But not enough to stop me from writing about both.


In Samburu in Northern Kenya this week, sixty Maasai girls are finishing their semester at school without absenteeism.  Regular readers fo MIE may recall that they had been missing twenty-five percent of their instruction because they lacked a way to deal with their monthly periods.  Here is what their teacher Sarah Lesiamito, an activist for girl's rights, reported this past Thursday:

Here are some pictures of me distributing the sanitary towels that you donated to school girls.
For sure none of the girls could hide their happiness for this very important day and important gift.
On behalf of the girls and me am so grateful for this kind donation and for sure it will keep the girls in school longer and could do their class work without interruption and absenteeism at school.

60 girls in the background!

 I have been doing the happy dance every time I look at the faces of the girls in these photos.  The girls will be taking their exams in the next two weeks, with added confidence.    What a privilege and a JOY for me to play a part supporting Sarah in her essential work.

The Moon

"No other act of exploration ever laid a plaque saying, 'We Came in Peace for All Mankind.'"
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

This week, the world has been commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.  I watched that telecast in real time all those years ago in the company of my then husband and some friends.  I wish I had a picture of the cake I made and decorated with a little landing module and an astronaut fashioned out of a plastic figure and tin foil.

Celebrating with champagne!

I have always been transfixed by the moon.   Never more than on that evening.

On August 13th of 1969, my office on the fifth floor of 100 Broadway overlooked the ticker tape parade for the Apollo team: the biggest one in history, they said.  Here are my souvenir photos of that event.

My hand dropping punch-card confetti on the astronauts (bottom right).
YES! in 1969 we were still using computers that needed punchcards.
And the NASA engineers landed men safely on the moon and brought them safely home.
I'll end with my favorite ever own photograph of the moon, taken in the company of Michael Sears--who took me to the perfect spot in Limpopo in South Africa to watch the super moonrise.


  1. Thank you for all you do for Africa!

  2. What Stan said. And for the picture of an African moon.

  3. Thank you, Michael and Stan. Anything I have done for Africa is paltry compared to what Africa has done for me. I could begin with its providing the right environment—in the Rift Valley—for my species to evolve. But even if I confine myself to the last 16 years, it had given me enormous joy, as well as two of its sons to be my colleagues, my friends, and my inspiration. I’ll let you know if the gifts I give get anywhere close to the ones I receive

  4. Both parts of your post worked for me. They both brought tears to my eyes, one for the fact that such a simple thing can be so important in those girls’ lives, the other for acknowledging such a monumental achievement for mankind. Thank you.

  5. You're an extraordinary person, Sis. What you did for those girls is a simple act of human kindness that changes lives forever. Proud of you.

    As for the moonwalk, I'll never forget it, but for different reasons than most. The New York State Bar exam--for which I'd studied for months--took place over two days in July, 1969...with the moon walk occurring right in the middle. I saw nothing. At least not live. Right then and there I should have recognized the drawbacks to being a lawyer. But I did make the openings of Studio 54 and Xenon, so it wasn't a total loss :)