Christine “Buzz” Busby and I met this January at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City. We were both sitting at the tables by KEEN’s enormous booth and our mutual friend introduced us. Within minutes we were both divulging stories of our latest adventures and our future travel plans. Buzz struck me right away as a woman who gets things done. The kind of person who doesn’t sit around and hope the next project will roll into her lap, someone who is on the phone, blogging, emailing, photographing, and scanning flights on Kayak.com all the time. So when she told me that she had been working on this project in Kenya for almost a year and it was about to come full circle (digging a well in a Masai community that she helped raise the money for), her enthusiasm and optimism was palpable. Then she explained to me that on her most recent Kenyan excursion she carried all her photography gear, plus camping equipment, and cameras for 10 children on 4 flights, 3 buses, 2 motorcycles, and finally on foot to reach this community - alone. And she was planning on doing it again come Spring 2017 - this time with an additional 50 pairs of KEEN shoes for the kids in tow. Then she beamed a large smile at me and casually said, “It’s hard.”
That was it for me. My next question was “have you filmed any of this project yet?” To which she responded, “No, but I want to.”
Fast forward to early March when we began communicating again by phone and text, as she was in a place where plane tickets were being purchased and the trip was becoming a reality. I remembered how I felt when she told me her stories, and I’ve known I would return to Africa ever since my trip to film a documentary in Rwanda in 2006. About halfway through our 2 hours phone conversation, I said “I’m going to come with you, help carry the gear, and shoot the whole process. What do you think?”
That settled it, we were going to Kenya. Did I mention my nickname is Amo?
Future documentary title: Buzz and Amo go to Kenya to dig a well and help a few girls in a small village go to school. Or maybe we’ll come up with something shorter. But still, can’t help but love two adventure-loving ladies nicknamed Buzz and Amo traveling through TSA.
To follow our progress, donate, get involved, or share our story, please visit our GoFundMe page where you can find more on Buzz’s non-profit and my international video production company: www.gofundme.com/Give35KenyaDo
CloudLine ambassadors Justin and Patrice Lavigne live a life less ordinary. They are constantly doing what they love and that involves adventures like thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011, living in their van for months at a time, spending the summer guiding kids on outdoor adventures at summer camps, writing for Backpacker's Magazine, and in 2015 they thru-hiked New Zealand's long trail, Te Araroa.
Beginning May 1st, 2017 the Lavigne's will be hitting the road in their camper van to speak about their thru-hike of Te Araroa at 31 events across the country.