Late in the day, a herd of eight giraffes on the move in Tarangire National Park

It’s just “wow” … all of the time.

Taking a moment to go polepole (slowly) and jot down some notes from the last week.

The theme has been: work! Our team has a list of nearly 30 different deliverables that we are working through for our non-profit, Vision for Youth. I’ve completed and submitted to them a 17-page Organizational Marketing Kit & Strategy, complete with a story, messaging frameworks, brand kit, color schema, communications planning and a 2017–2018 marketing strategy.

Here are their new accent colors, to complement their #54b4e2 V4Y “bluu”. Each accent color corresponds to a focus area of the organization.

What do you think?

Pumpkin is for health because it is nourishing.

Excitement is for civic engagement to inspire young people to get involved in society.

Sprout is for economic empowerment to represent how a small idea or a little “seed” funding can grow into entrepreneurship and a sustainable livelihood for youth.

Sunny has been hard at work developing their overall organizational strategy and KPI dashboards with assist from Chyna, who has also been building out comprehensive and easy-to-understand HR documentation. It’s safe to say that there’s not a single part of this small organization that won’t be impacted by the work we’ve done and are doing (somehow!!) in the next seven days.

Last Friday, we had the opportunity to visit a school to attend a Sexual & Reproductive Health club (taught in Kiswahili by Vedastus with V4Y) on the topic of early pregnancy, which is part of Vision for Youth’s focus areas and their Jicambue Project. We got up in front of the class at the end to ask them some questions about Vision for Youth. It was an awesome experience. While it got pretty serious, there’s also nothing really like a class full of awkward boys and girls giggling about reproduction. That transcends language and culture.

A view of the class | A view of me being awkward in front of them (Photos are courtesy of Sunny)

On Tuesday, we asked Violet Ayoub, Executive Director and Founder of Vision for Youth, how she thinks everything is going. She responded, “I am just like “wow” … all the time.” To have Violet — this strong, scrappy leader who has built V4Y up from her heart and made it successful with her brain and her grit — say that about our work… it felt really great.

On the personal side, the fact that we only have five real working days left is really sinking in.

It’s in the air! Each team is working through last minute challenges, and it’s amazing to see all of the projects starting to come together.

Last weekend, most of us went on another safari, this time to Tarangire National Park. It was a beautiful weekend, with epic skies and some perfect animal sightings — and a “glamping” experience! We got some great views of giraffe, lions, elephants and the very rare leopard, as well a few new critters like mongooses, hartebeest, ground hornbills, steenbok and my favorite: the ginormous eland.

Don’t miss these photos!

Yes, those are three baby elephants canoodling.
Female lion relaxing / digesting near a termite mound.
Zebra and wildebeest at the watering hole.
Vervet monkeys at lunch time.
Leopard running across a dry river bed

This weekend, the group of us are going camping in the Enduimet Wildlife Management Area (WMA) where we should make some exciting memories that I can share next week.

Ok, now back to work!

Naombe kahawa … nyeusi? (Can I have a black coffee?)

Our Tarangire group in front of a beautiful scene and a herd of elephants: Allegra, Sascha, Maribel, Nic, Ankit, Tanja, Sunny, me and Chyna

Originally published by Clay Thompson on July 27, 2017. For more by Clay, visit his publication here.