In the historic Hauz Khas village of New Delhi, Nalin Jha has welcomed over 4,000 guests into his Rajasthani-styled homes — some of those guests have become friends for life.

Photographs by Briana Blasko

Image for post
Image for post

The Local

Nalin Jha is a full-time software engineer and Airbnb host who has welcomed an incredible 4,000 people to the Hauz Khas village neighborhood of New Delhi since he began hosting with Airbnb in 2011.

Nalin hails from eastern India and moved to New Delhi in 1997 to work in the technology sector. He learned about Airbnb through a design blog, long before Airbnb hosting had become a widespread phenomenon. “I just thought, as an experiment, let’s put my listing out there and see how it goes,” he said. “I had no prior experience of hospitality.”


In the Tha Raeng district of Bangkok, Suttaporn Shinawatra welcomes guests to her lush garden home, a sanctuary among the trees.

Photographs by Adam Birkan

Image for post
Image for post

The Local

Suttaporn Shinawatra, or “Sude” to her guests, was born and raised in Bangkok, and now lives with her husband in a gorgeous garden home in the Tha Raeng area of Bangkok’s Bang Khen district, northeast of the city center.


In the coastal town of Khayelitsha, Lydia and Alfred Masoleng welcome guests into their home, and introduce them to local Xhosa and South African cuisine.

Photography by Rudi Geyser

Image for post
Image for post

The Locals

For more than 20 years, Lydia Masoleng and her husband Alfred have been hosting guests at their family home in the Khayelitsha Township of the Western Cape, the province of South Africa that houses Cape Town. It began in 1995, when a local pastor asked whether Lydia and Alfred would be able to put up some guests who were coming into town. The guests stayed for a couple of weeks. …


Nestled in the hillside of Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood, two costume designers welcome guests to their magical and secluded compound.

Photography by Ryan Kim

Image for post
Image for post

The Locals

In 1990, Moritz Weibel and James Hayes left New York and the rapidly changing garment business for a new life, and a new career, in Los Angeles. The couple noticed that clothing manufacture was moving increasingly overseas and sensed that there were new and different opportunities for artists out west.


Swapping the city for the suburbs, a book dealer and a gardener build their dream oasis where guests can revel in the outdoors.

Photography by Ryan Kim

Image for post
Image for post

The Locals

David Fairburn and Gina Svolos were looking for a place to settle down when they discovered the Earlwood neighborhood of Canterbury — an inner suburb of Sydney — and a property that was big enough to house what David calls their opposite — but complementary — personalities and interests.


Head to Nairobi to meet Wangechi — a rapper who makes her music and her home in the uptown neighborhood of Kileleshwa.

Photography by Tara Rice

Image for post
Image for post

The Local

Wangechi Waweru, born and raised in Nairobi, knows the city like the back of her hand. A twenty-five-year-old rapper who has been creating hip-hop tracks for six years, Wangechi performs all around Kenya.

“I got into rapping after being influenced by the music of one of our local femcees, Nazizi, at the age of 10,” Wangechi says. “I started writing my own music and after recording a few singles at the age of 19, a local producer, Kevin Provoke, heard my music and helped me grow into the musician I am today.” …


Remembering Tasha Tudor’s illustrated ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’

Image for post
Image for post

At some point in the last few years, my mother solemnly handed my childhood mementos over to me in a large archival box. Inside it I found, among my little drawings and ceramic hearts, a book version of the 23rd Psalm called The Lord is My Shepherd, illustrated by Tasha Tudor. I was expecting a child myself and scrambling to assemble edifying books to read to her. While I’m not particularly religious and couldn’t in any case picture intoning the 23rd Psalm to an infant, I remembered the book as an old friend from my childhood shelf, keeping company with a small number of Christian-themed books for children, like Tomie DePaola’s Parables of Jesus, and later, The Chronicles of Narnia. …

About

Lydia Kiesling

Author of The Golden State (MSG/FSG)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store