Imagine the possibilities. I can say it, or I can live it.
I last saw my Kenyatta University students in April of 2014, when they took the time to come and visit me one last time in my ranch house on Malawi Close before I left Kenya. Then I was Richard in Kenya. I can still smell the cut grass on the street, and the sweet African air, and hear the calls of the birds. I can feel myself walking in the sun.
I had a dream to return to Kenya with American students. Instead, one week from today, six (sita) Kenyatta University students, plus one (na moja) faculty member will travel from Kenya to Cincinnati. They will fly from Nairobi to Amsterdam to Paris to Cincinnati. It is a dream come true. I dreamed hard, raised funds, planned, and scheduled, and on 31 October, 2015 our 6 +1 guests will arrive for a week of cultural and artistic exchange with the Drama students at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Rather than taking a few Americans to Kenya, I am bringing a few Kenyans to America, and every actor in CCM Drama will have the chance to meet 6 + 1 of the most beautiful people on the planet.
When someone looks you in the eye and shares a piece of their heart and soul with you, you owe them, and you own them forever. In Kenya, KUMI NA MBILI (12) students looked me in the eye and gave me a piece of their souls. I could not afford to bring all 12 to America, which breaks my heart, but in their honor, Phoebe, Virginia, Dennis, Kelvin, Mwangangi, Bonventure, and Levis, I dedicate our upcoming week of events to you with gratitude and love.
THE KENYANS ARE COMING! Plane tickets have been purchased, hotel reservations made, a van reserved, meal plans arranged, theatre and riverboat tickets purchased, visas and passports secured, and schedules made.
Dear world, we are in for a glorious visit, as Kenyatta University meets the University of Cincinnati, as we share work, attend classes together, and learn from and with each other. At the end of the week, from 6-8 November, all will make films together in the CCM 48 Hour Film Festival! Do you believe it?
Dreams can come true. My heart is ready to explode.