Tea Travel

March 2, 2009

If you guessed AFRICA, you were right!!!

Unilever, maker of Lipton Tea, is sending me on behalf of the Foodbuzz Publisher Community to Kericho, Kenya to tour Lipton’s first Rainforest Alliance-certified tea estate and see how the company is working with the Rainforest Alliance to take steps to become 100% sustainable by 2015. The Kericho plantation was certified as fully sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance in May 2007.

And I leave in less than two weeks!!!!!!!! The trip is from Monday, March 16 -Thursday, March 19, plus travel to and from the other side of the world. The timing could not have been more perfect, as that is my spring break. Two Mondays from now I’ll be arriving in Nairobi where I’ll join several other journalists and bloggers from around the globe. We’ll spend the night in Nairobi and then travel by charter plane to Kericho on Tuesday. While on the estate we’re going to:

  • See the Lipton tea estate in action
  • Understand the motivation behind Unilever/Lipton’s commitment and long term vision
  • Learn what certification involves across all of the brand’s estates
  • How does certifying tea differ from the other crops currently certified by RA
  • Visit the Kericho factory for first-hand look at how tea is manufactured
  • Participate in a tea plucking session, and have the opportunity to speak with Lipton tea pluckers
  • Visit the Kerenga Estate Fuel wood operations
  • Visit the Jamji Hydro-Electric Power station and view renewable energy production
  • Visit local tea smallholding to see what sustainability means on a small scale, and have the opportunity to speak with owners and workers
  • Visit Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Have lunch at the Chebown Monkey Sanctuary!!

I’m still unsure of my blogging capabilities while I’m there. I think I will be able to get a few posts up using a remote cell phone internet, but you can be assured that I’ll have tons of photos, videos and info to share at leave upon my return. I’m leaving KERF in the hands of Matt while I’m gone, so hopefully he will keep y’all entertained!

I have to admit that I was quite anxious making the decision to go, especially since it’s coming up so soon, but now that it’s sunk in (and I’ve got my immunizations behind me!), I can hardly wait.

(But yes, I’m still nervous!)

Whew! So glad I was able to get that off my chest :)

Ca-caw Said The Crow

We woke up to a nice blanket of white this morning, although I’m not sure we got much more than the 3” we had last night. I started the day with 45 minutes of Solar Flow. LOVED this class. It had all my favorite poses (the whole standing series, pigeon, lots of down dogs) and was a little slower paced. It was also a little more old school yoga (meaning she used the sanskrit (I think?) names for the poses), which was cool. Another thing that was cool was that she kept telling us to relax our face and jaw, and every time I noticed I was tensing mine!

I told Matt to snap a photo of me in crow if I was able to stay up. I was! (Can’t believe I’m putting this on the internet…)

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Then came oats!!!

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The Mix:

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  • 1/3+ cup oats, milk, water, 1/2 large banana, pinch salt (The portion seemed very volumnious and Matt admitting to putting in heaping 1/3 cups!)
  • 2 dried apricots
  • 1 huge date
  • 1 tbsp cottage cheese, stirred in at end
  • 1 tbsp chopped salted peanuts
  • A few butterscotch pieces
  • 1/3 crumbled Spooky S’mores Zbar
  • Spoonful TJ’s PB

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‘Niller Bean coffee with 2%

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Today’s Agenda:

  • School work (LOTS)
  • Some form of exercise (Walk? Run? Gym?)
  • Make Kelsey’s Pimento Cheese
  • More school work
  • Soup for dinner!

May all beings everywhere be blessed with happiness.

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{ 129 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lara March 2, 2009 at 10:00 am

Kath this is SO exciting! What an experience, this is going to be wonderful!! I hope you are able to post while you’re there but I know we’re in good hands with Matt ;)

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2 tina March 2, 2009 at 10:01 am

I’m so excited for you!! I can’t wait to hear all about your trip!!!

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3 Erin March 2, 2009 at 10:02 am

That is an amazing trip of a lifetime! I am so jealous and so privileged that I will get to read about it via your blog! Cheers to you Kath!

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4 Oh She Glows March 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!

It is better than I could have imagined! That is so so cool!

Goodluck and I can’t waitt o hear all about it. It sounds so interesting :)

Do you know any other bloggers that are going? Or can you contact them before your trip?

Angela

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5 VeggieGirl March 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

Love the crow pose shot :-)

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6 zestycook March 2, 2009 at 10:04 am

Kath – I am not sure which is better – you on the move to Africa or you hanging out in the CROW pose on the internet :)
I am happy for you.

zesty

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7 Olga March 2, 2009 at 10:05 am

congrats Kath! That’s AMAZING!

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8 Ida March 2, 2009 at 10:06 am

You’re going to fall in love with Kenya! I can’t wait to read all about your trip.

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9 Allison K March 2, 2009 at 10:06 am

Sooooo. Exciting! What a wonderful experience!!!!

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10 Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) March 2, 2009 at 10:07 am

Kath, that is awesome news about Africa. So excited, and I hope we’re able to hear from while you’re there.

Nice crow my friend. :)

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11 Marilyn March 2, 2009 at 10:07 am

Wow, your trip sound fantastic! I can’t wait to see pics. :)

LOVE the yoga pic, btw!

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12 Julie March 2, 2009 at 10:09 am

AFRICA!!! I knew it! What an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! That’s one one of my places to see before I die list. I don’t think I’ll ever get there but a girl can dream!

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13 WEEKLY BITE March 2, 2009 at 10:10 am

Sounds like an awesome trip! What a great life experience for you!

Congrats on holding CROW!!!

Have a great day!

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14 Brittany March 2, 2009 at 10:11 am

OH MY GOODNESS!! I can’t believe that you are heading to AFRICA. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip!

And you can do a CROW- amazing!

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15 JENNA March 2, 2009 at 10:12 am

This is so great Kath!! Congrats x 1000000000000000000000000!!!! You are so lucky to get to experience this!! I can’t wait to hear and see about your adventures in AFRICA!!

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16 Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) March 2, 2009 at 10:14 am

Kath, that is so amazing!!!! And the trip to Africa is pretty cool too. KIDDING! What a wonderful opportunity!! Can’t wait to hear all about it. =) Have a happy Monday!

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17 sarah (ghost world) March 2, 2009 at 10:14 am

AFRICA! that’s so cool — congrats! that is amazing and is going to be such an unforgettable experience. yay!!

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18 Amanda March 2, 2009 at 10:15 am

Africa for a tea trip…how awesome! I look forward to reading all about it!

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19 Mara @ What's For Dinner? March 2, 2009 at 10:16 am

HOW COOL!!!! I was guessing that you were going to China to adopt a baby… but then since Matt wasn’t going, that guess changed! I’M SO JEALOUS! Thats awesome!!!!

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20 skinnyrunner March 2, 2009 at 10:17 am

congratulations, how exciting!
im amazed at that yoga picture of you, how can you do that?!?!

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21 Amy March 2, 2009 at 10:18 am

All i can say is: WOW!!! Have a wonderful trip!!

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22 Jess March 2, 2009 at 10:19 am

Wow, Kath, what an amazing opportunity! I can’t wait to hear all about your trip. Congratulations!

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23 WendyF March 2, 2009 at 10:19 am

That is exciting. I am so happy for you. You are going to have a great time. Here is what I pack in my bag for my long trips.. It might be of help for you.

1. Melatoin
2. Instant oatmeal.
3. Special treats such as soap if I a going to a very remote place.
4. Kashi bars.
5. For me i need coffee, so i have a bodum travel press that I take and a 1/2 of Peets.

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24 Beadie @ What I Ate Yesterday March 2, 2009 at 10:19 am

Woooohooooo! Go Kath!! I am so excited to see your trip to Africa unfold!!!

And yay for crow pictures on the internet!

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25 Diana March 2, 2009 at 10:19 am

WOWOWOW! What exciting news! You’re going to have an amazing time! I can’t wait to see all of the pictures and videos! Oh – love the crow pose!

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26 Amanda @ Fake Ginger March 2, 2009 at 10:22 am

Oh my goodness! How exciting! I can’t wait to see pictures and hear all about your journey!

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27 seelee live (for the love of peanut butter) March 2, 2009 at 10:22 am

KATH-what a trip! That is going to be an experience of a lifetime.
I am so excited for you! Props to you for going out of your comfort zone and really putting yourself out there. Way to go!

Is that bacon in the oat bowl?

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28 Bridget March 2, 2009 at 10:24 am

Holy crap! Thats amazing!! What an opportunity!!

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29 Lori March 2, 2009 at 10:25 am

Africa is the trip of a lifetime! That is so awesome! I cannot wait to see your photos!

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30 L March 2, 2009 at 10:26 am

Kath!! Hujambo? (hello in Swahili)

I’m so excited for you!! What an amazing experience you will have! I’m an African Studies major and there are so many things to learn from all of the diverse cultures in Africa, so soak up the experience to its fullest!!

Asante! :)

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31 Bec March 2, 2009 at 10:26 am

Thats so exciting, Africa!

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32 Betsy March 2, 2009 at 10:27 am

Spring break in Africa… pretty awesome! :)

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33 Sally March 2, 2009 at 10:27 am

How exciting! What an adventure you’re going to have!

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34 Moran March 2, 2009 at 10:27 am

WOW that is SO exciting!!!

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35 Natalie March 2, 2009 at 10:28 am

This is so exciting Kath! Can’t wait to here more about it!

Great crow pose. :)

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36 K March 2, 2009 at 10:28 am

Oh my gosh, Kath, that is SO exciting! Can you even believe how far your blog has some?! You get to go to Africa!!! Have a BLAST!

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37 Sarah March 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

Wow, what a neat opportunity! You must be so excited. Congrats.

Will you have time to go on Safari? I went to a few game reserves in South Africa last year while on holiday there and I still get giddy when I think about how cool it was. Can’t wait to see the pics and review from the trip!

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38 rhodeygirl March 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

wooooooweeeeeeeee!

so excited for you Kath! it is going to be sooo amazing!!!!

I am not sure how remote the place is, but might I suggest bringing some fun things like small toys + candy for any kids you might meet! When i went to ecuador I brought a few old walkmen + english books + candy, gum and chocolate and the people there were very thankful for a taste of america!

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39 coco March 2, 2009 at 10:35 am

oh my God!!! the capability of blog is in incredible!!! So happy for you Kath, enjoy the trip!
and good work with crow pose! :D

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40 Jen March 2, 2009 at 10:36 am

I’m so excited for you (and a bit envious!) What an amazing trip!

Great job with crow! I’m pretty sure I can’t hold it for more than 1/2 second!

Question for you…I bought a Superfood Slam Probar yesterday. I wanted to try one since you rave about Probars and I have to say I didn’t like the flavor at all! I tried a bit in my oatmeal this morning. Do the flavors of all the bars vary a lot? Do you recommend any other flavors?

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41 Yasmin March 2, 2009 at 10:36 am

That is so exciting and will be a once in a lifetime opportunity!

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42 Victoria March 2, 2009 at 10:39 am

That sounds so incredibly cool! What an awesome opportunity!

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43 Emily March 2, 2009 at 10:42 am

Love the butterscotch pieces in your oats.
So completely jealous that you get to go to Africa! I can’t wait to read about your trip!

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44 polly March 2, 2009 at 10:42 am

woohoo for CROW!! =) and of course, that AFRICA trip! Kath was a wonderful thing! I was in Kenya my freshman year in college for a mission trip. Have an amazing experience, can’t wait to see pics!! XOXO

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45 Amelia March 2, 2009 at 10:42 am

Congrats! What an incredible opportunity! I cannot wait to hear about your trip.

Oh, and tons of respect for posting your yoga picture. Way to go you! :)

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46 Nadine March 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

So happy for you! And an even bigger congratulations on how successful and powerful your blog has come that Unilever, one of the largest CPG companies in the WORLD has asked YOU to join them.

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47 Ryane March 2, 2009 at 10:49 am

SO exciting!!

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48 Marianne March 2, 2009 at 10:54 am

Have fun in Africa. It’s too bad you don’t have more time there though, that seems like an awful lot of travel for just a few days. I know I’ve always wanted to go on a safari there. Perhaps I should – I already have all those immunizations!

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49 MelanieF March 2, 2009 at 10:56 am

All I can say is: WOW ! :-)

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50 Sara March 2, 2009 at 10:58 am

hi kath,
it sounds like an amazing trip —

i was wondering what lipton company’s role is in sponsoring the trip — are they paying for it? i just hope they give you a chance to critically assess what the company is doing in africa and not just “feed” (pun intended) the bloggers a lot of press-friendly material. i’m sure their relationship with the local economy/environment is very complicated — with opportunities and challenges — and i look forward to hearing your report.

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51 Dad March 2, 2009 at 10:59 am

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh

In the tea estate
The mighty plantation
The lion sleeps tonight
In the jungle
The quiet jungle
The lion sleeps tonight

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh

Near the village Kericho
The peaceful village
The lion sleeps tonight
Near the village
The quiet village
The lion sleeps tonight

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh

Hush, my darling
Don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight
Hush, my darling
Don’t fear my darling
The lion sleeps tonight

A-wimoweh, a-wimoweh

Let’s hope the lion doesn’t wake up while you’re touring the tea plantation.

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52 Sharon March 2, 2009 at 10:59 am

OH my gosh, that sounds like one awesome trip!!!

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53 Jenna March 2, 2009 at 11:02 am

Congrats on the trip! That is awesome news.

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54 FoodsThatFit March 2, 2009 at 11:02 am

That is so exciting and a once in a lifetime experience! I am so excited for you!

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55 Missy (Missy Maintains) March 2, 2009 at 11:03 am

Wow Africa! So exciting! I have always wanted to go there!! I am also amazed by your Yoga pose! I think I would fall right over!

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56 Diana March 2, 2009 at 11:06 am

Sounds like an amazing trip! I can’t wait to see your photos already! ;)

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57 Melissa (fitnessnyc) March 2, 2009 at 11:07 am

Kath,

That is amazing. Congratulations :)

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58 Biz March 2, 2009 at 11:08 am

Wow, that is a trip of a lifetime! Too bad Matt can’t come with you!

Looking forward to reading all about it!

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59 JENNA March 2, 2009 at 11:09 am

Kath-
I also wanted to let you know that they now have SPRING BLEND COFFEE at Fresh Market!! woot woot! I love that stuff!! But the price has gone up $2.00! boo!

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60 Kat March 2, 2009 at 11:10 am

What an exciting trip!!!!! I can’t wait to see pictures and video; I ‘m sure it will be amazing.

Great crow pose as well. For more of a challenge, try the next step of crow which is to look straight ahead (rather than down at the floor). It took me a while to get, but I know you can do it too!

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61 ashley (sweet & natural) March 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

OMG – Amazing!!! I cannot wait to here about this trip!

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62 Julz March 2, 2009 at 11:18 am

WOH CHINA!

Nice Bakasana! I adore that pose!

And that’s my favorite Sanskrit!!! Om Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu <3

Namaste (which means “The light in me honors the light in you.”) I’m so proud of you, Kath!! :)

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63 hk March 2, 2009 at 11:18 am

hollly shiz!! Africa!! what a trip :) Sounds amaziing, I can’t wait to hear all about how you document your adventures :) all the best, kath!!!

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64 Mel March 2, 2009 at 11:23 am

Wow, that is an amazing opportunity! I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip!!

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65 Marissa March 2, 2009 at 11:30 am

Africa? Yay!!!

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66 michelle March 2, 2009 at 11:32 am

Kath wow that is both amazing and sooo exciting!!!

I am looking forward to your blog posts about Africa!!!

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67 Jess March 2, 2009 at 11:33 am

I DID guess Africa :)

But I didn’t know you were going for such a cool reason! Congratulations.

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68 Paige March 2, 2009 at 11:35 am

Ohmygosh Africa??? That is SO exciting! I can’t wait to see and hear all about it!

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69 Kailey (SnackFace) March 2, 2009 at 11:36 am

Kath, that is SPECTACULAR!!! Omg!!! I can’t get over it! Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine blogging could take you that far (literally and figuratively spleaking)? Truly amazing. Congratulations on the awesome opportunity!

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70 Rose March 2, 2009 at 11:37 am

OMG! Congrats, congrats! What an exciting opportunity for you. I can’t wait to read about this!

Have you been abroad before? Ever imagine you’d be going to Africa?

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71 Lauren (food+hands) March 2, 2009 at 11:37 am

THATS AMAZING! I’m excited for you! I cannot even imagine all the wonders your going to see! Congrats!!

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72 Lisa March 2, 2009 at 11:37 am

That is so exciting! I’m sure you’ll have an amazing experience and I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get home! I’ve always wanted to go to Africa, so I’ll have to enjoy it vicariously through your blog. :)

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73 Tara March 2, 2009 at 11:39 am

Kath,
Do you have to pay for these yoga downloads?
~Tara

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74 Lisa March 2, 2009 at 11:39 am

What an amazing opportunity! Congratulations!

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75 Courtney March 2, 2009 at 11:40 am

This will be such a wonderful experience for you! I traveled to Africa last June, and it was quite honestly the best experience of my life. It’s hard to put into words just how different (most in a good way) it is there than here. The scenery and wildlife and breath taking. I was there for 3 weeks, and it went by WAY too fast, so four days will fly right by, so take it all in while you can!! And take lots and lots of pictures!! They will help you relive your memories. Have a fun and safe trip, you will absolutely love it!

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76 Marisa (trim the fat) March 2, 2009 at 11:42 am

OMG, Kath!!! That is SO AMAZING! What an adventure!!!

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77 Hangry Pants March 2, 2009 at 11:52 am

What an amazing opportunity!!!

I am impressed by your crow pose.

You wrote my favorite piece of sanskrit (the first I learned as well): Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu.

Have a wonderful day, Kath! Play in the snow. :D

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78 Michelle Hisae March 2, 2009 at 11:55 am

AFRICA?! How exciting! You’re going to have such an unforgettable experience – fact!

I want to try that new class – I always find myself tensing my eyebrows in many different kinds of exercise.

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79 Fancy March 2, 2009 at 11:55 am

Congratulations, Kath! What an amazing experience you are going to have! BTW, your dad’s post was adorable :)

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80 jen March 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Bery cool Africa.
Hope you will be able to return someday with your hubby for longer than a few days next time.
I love the fact that you are going to Africa for FREE(well obviously doing work by advertising for Lipton of course).
Maybe some of us need to aspire to get a blog as popular as yours…I would love to travel via blogging.That is truly a dream sounding way to get amazing places for nada.
Good on ya! Wish Matt could join ya!

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81 Sidi March 2, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Have a great trip, Kath! Can’t wait to hear about it…

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82 emmy March 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Congrats, that is fabulous!

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83 sue March 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm

WOW what a great opportunity and amazing trip!

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84 Jennifer March 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Congratulations on the opportunity to go to Africa – that sounds amazing!! Can’t wait to hear the details and see the pictures. Have fun and safe travels.

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85 Ryan (Chasing Daylight) March 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Holy cow, that is an amazing opportunity! I cannot wait to see and hear all about it :D Be safe!

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86 Molly March 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm

major congrats! can’t wait for the recap.

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87 Krista March 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm

What a fabulous opportunity!!! :)

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88 Kara March 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Oh my god that’s such an AMAZING opportunity! I can’t wait to see the pictures (especially from the sanctuary!!).

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89 keriandkim March 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm

very exciting! enter our contest to win a free video at criticchicks.wordpress.com

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90 Sarah (Tales of Expansion) March 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm

amazing amazing amazing!! congrats!!! oh man, i am beyond jealous. going to africa is one of my dreams (though to work with aids babies and not tea … though tea would be a good side-diversion …)

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91 Janet March 2, 2009 at 12:51 pm

That is so cool about your trip! I’ll be very interested to see first-hand (well, second-hand through you, haha) what they are doing to achieve sustainability and not just green-washing! Congrats – what an opportunity!

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92 Sara March 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Wow! How exciting!! Congrats on your up coming trip. :)

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93 brandi March 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Congrats – that is so cool!

I love your Dad’s comment, by the way :)

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94 Whitney March 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I love that you are doing yoga in your PJs :)

What an amazing opportunity. I hope that you are truly impressed by Lipton’s initiatives.

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95 lauren March 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

woot! how exciting!

can you give us some more backstory…how and why this trip came about?

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96 Sarah March 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Oh my goodness!! Africa– how cool!!

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97 Becca A March 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

What exciting news! Great crow pose as well!

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98 Jaclyn March 2, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Wow what an amazing opportunity! Have a great time and you’ll have to post LOTS of pictures when you get back!!

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99 Tracy March 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Does anyone know of good food blogs (similar to Kath’s) in Atlanta? I love reading about the local restaurants.

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100 Elizabeth (thelongweigh) March 2, 2009 at 2:06 pm

That is so amazing! What a once in a lifetime opportunity! I’m excited to hear all about it and see many pictures! Enjoy yourself!

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101 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) March 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm

How cool!

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102 Runeatrepeat March 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm

So exciting! I wish I could go to Africa for a journalism type trip :) Have a blast!

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103 Melissa March 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm

What an awesome opportunity, Kath!! Incredible!

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104 Shelby March 2, 2009 at 2:18 pm

AFRICA!!! That’s AMAZING! I’m going to Arizona at the same time (march 14-21st) and now it feels like nothing haha

Pssh, that’s crow pose?! I was a little yogi before I even knew it…I used to do that pose all the time when I was little!

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105 Justy2003 March 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Wow, what an awesome opportunity for you! I cannot wait to see all of your posts about Africa!!! So fun! I’ll admit, I’m a little jealous!

Great job on crow pose! I remember how excited I was when I first got it…I wanted to do it over and over again cuz I thought it was so cool! :)

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106 lauren March 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm

so completely exciting about your trip! i am jealous!

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107 Stephanie March 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Oh my god, Africa! HOW EXCITING!!!!! That’s going to be something you’ll remember forever!

I really enjoyed your crow pose, that is too cool! I love seeing your yoga poses, it keeps me motivated!

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108 Kath March 2, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Thanks so much for all of your enthusiasm! I had no idea this little blog would ever send me around the world – crazy!

Oh She Glows,
I think I am one of only 3 Americans on the trip, including a magazine and one other website, so I doubt I’ll know the other bloggers. There are Aussies, UK, Germans also going, so I heard.

rhodeygirl ,
Great suggestions. I’m planning to bring some pencils or maybe little notepads?

Jen ,
I bet you didn’t like one of the seeds. I do think they have an interesting taste. I wouldn’t suggest any of the other seedy ones, but you might like the banana or apple cinnamon.

Dad ,
It’s OK if the lion gets me because you’ll just come rescue me!

Rose ,
I’ve been to London (twice – once to study abroad) and Paris. And Mexico. And the caribbean (Jamaica) :) But never to Africa!

lauren ,
Lipton is doing it as a press trip to raise awareness of their goals for sustainability and contacted Foodbuzz to send a blogger on their behalf.

Kath

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109 amber March 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

That is amazing!!! Congratulations! The oppurtunies you have gotten through blogging are just amazing. COngratulations!

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110 Chelsea March 2, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Okay…seriously…I should have listened to you 2 years ago when you told me to start a blog…

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111 jennifer March 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Make sure you try the native food. I want to read about it!

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112 laci March 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Congrats for the tea travel! haha love the “crow” yoga pose, amazing oats and we had snow here too! :D

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113 Stacey March 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Africa is amazing. I traveled to Tanzania two years to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and to do a short three-day safari. The exposure to the people, the situations, and culture in Kenya will change your life. Best wishes!

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114 Bev March 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Keep on blogging…..,you never know where it will take
you :)

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115 Kathleen March 2, 2009 at 6:24 pm

What an exciting adventure to be had. Congrats and I’m glad you decided to go…what an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to read all about it.

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116 Beth March 2, 2009 at 7:01 pm

that is fantastic! i went to rwanda a little over a year ago for a journalism trip. i was a little worried about eating the food there but it was actually wonderful!!! tons of fruit and veggies. (just have to be careful) can’t wait to see the pics :O).

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117 Meg March 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Wow! What an amazing opportunity! I bet you are so excited!

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118 theoddbod March 2, 2009 at 8:41 pm

wow! congratulations, enjoy it to the fullest

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119 betherann March 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm

Wow that’s AWESOME!!!! Have fun, learn lots, and be safe.

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120 PhD Girl March 3, 2009 at 6:06 am

As a long time lurker on this blog, and as someone who travels regularly for work, I extend my congratulations–I distinctly remember the thrill of being told by my boss during my first post-doc job that my first assignment was to organize (and attend!) a conference in Delhi. That said, I am going to echo some of the other commentators here and urge you to keep a critical eye while in Kenya. Although Unilever’s efforts in Kenya are to be commended (child labor on Kenyan tea plantations is endemic), they are trying to cultivate consumer credibility through the trip. Please see below:
http://blog.sustainablefoodlab.org/csr/certifying-lipton-tea-unilever-and-the-rainforest-alliance/

It might be interesting to compare Unilever’s practices in Kenya with its practices in Pakistan. Also, I would be interested to hear your observations on how Kenya is recovering from the political and ethnic violence that the country experienced last year.

Again, congratulations, and I’m looking forward to your post.

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121 Another PhD March 3, 2009 at 11:19 am

How can Kath possibly keep an critical eye on her visits during this trip? She has none of the education necessary to understand or critically view what she’ll be visiting. I’m curious as to the credentials of the other journalists and bloggers Unilever’s invited to visit their showcase.

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122 Kath March 3, 2009 at 11:22 am

Can we keep the conversation positive here please?

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123 The Good Eatah March 3, 2009 at 11:30 am

AHHHH! That is so exciting Kath! I am so happy for you. You will have an amazing life-changing experience I am sure of it.

I can’t wait to read about it. I may be headed to Malawi come December to work on a documentary.

Have a blast!!!

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124 Hänni March 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm

OMG congrats Kath!

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125 PhD Girl March 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Another PhD – While I understand your concerns about the trip, your comments were both presumptuous and patronizing. As it is standard procedure on blogs to address the issue and not attack the person, I think you owe Kath an apology.

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126 Another PhD March 3, 2009 at 12:28 pm

It’s not an attack on Kath: she has an excellent education in history and nutrition and is clearly an intelligent and talented student. However issues surrounding sustainable development, the tea industry both globally and in Kenya, corporate behavior in Africa, emerging certifications, etc., are very complex; people focus entire careers, not to mention MAs and PhDs, on the myriad of issues related to it. I don’t doubt this will be an exciting trip for Kath. However it’s not possible for someone lacking this education to be able to critically understand anything they see on a 4-day visit to a corporate tea plantation in Africa. Therefore I do doubt Unilever’s intentions.

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127 Ben March 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Kath, please don’t bring candy, pens or other things to give away to children in Kenya. While it may sound like a kind and nice idea, children being children, they will quickly figure out that if they ask for presents somebody will give them something. Effectively you’re encouraging them to be beggars which is not a good thing to do, and also not very dignified. Also, you will make life harder for those coming after you.

If you want to help children in Kenya, the best thing to do is to make a donation to an orphanage or an NGO that works with children. That way the money will be well spend properly and on he children that need it most- and those are probably not the ones you will come across.

have a great trip!

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128 Abby March 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Hey Kath,

I work for the Rainforest Alliance in our NY office, and wanted to let you know that we’re excited about your trip to Kenya to the Rainforest Alliance Certified Lipton farm! Please let me know if you want any more information on Rainforest Alliance Certification and what it means, and I’d be happy to e-mail it to you. By the way, I’ve been reading your blog the past few days and it’s definitely addicting! You’ve managed to make oatmeal look delicious, and I think I’m going to have to try one of your creations one of these mornings…

Best,
Abby
[email protected]

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129 Kath March 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Abby,
Thanks for the comment!! I’ll let you know if I need anything :)

Kath

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