Storytime with Moon: Twilight in Kenya

Wait, people know about you outside of my bubble?

Dear Twilight,

I left roughly three weeks ago to run to the other side of the world to Nairobi, Kenya and more specifically the slum of Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, roughly the size of Central Park and houses 1-4 million people. Kibera is the home to many many beautiful wonderful people who live in extreme poverty, disease and human rights atrocities. Not quite the place I thought I’d be able to find you in, Twilight.

But I was wrong. Now don’t misunderstand me I didn’t meet any LTT-ers or Twihards or see any Edward Cullen posters but I was surprised at how you were known even in such a dire situation but then I guess I should have known you’d have been there. How many stories (including our own) have we heard about how Twilight has provided an escape and a new perspective on life?

So to tell my story of finding you in Kibera. While I was in Kenya I was part of a team that put on camps for kids and teens from Kibera. The first week I found myself a sweet, tough, fun young lady named Adelaide (they have the best names!) and one afternoon we were taking pictures and I happened to have some old pictures still on the camera so I sat down to show them my friends and family and where I lived. It just so happens that some of the Eclipse premiere / Leghitch2010 pictures were still on and camera. When they asked what was happening in the pictures I wondered “would they know Twilight, if I asked?” “What if they’re Robsten/Nonsten? Will I kick them off my team?” Ok, ok I didn’t wonder about the Robsten/Nonsten thing. I knew Adelaide was too cool for such things, after all she plays Rugby and she’s 12. She could kick any one of our Robsten/Nonsten arse’s if it came to blows. No need for Twitter drama, take it to the pitch people!

Future LTT/LTR girls?

So I told them these are pictures from a movie premiere I went to. And I thought that would be sufficient enough and we could go back to talking pictures and braiding hair. But no, Adelaide grabbed the camera and said “what movie?” and so I asked, “Do you know what Twilight is? The books and movies?” and she answered “Yes…” a little bit excited I grabbed the camera and told her I was going to find a picture of some of the stars she might recognize. So i flipped quickly to a picture of Rob and told her “This is Robert Pattinson, the guy who plays Edward Cullen, the vampire.” (The dude I write a blog about and have seen more times than I need to tell people, the guy I’ve made up insane stories and situations about, the guy I spend more time talking about then I should, that’s normal, right?). Of course, by then the few boys who were looking on over my shoulder had disappeared. TYPICAL. Adelaide grabbed the camera back and looked at Rob and I asked if she knew who he was and she turned to me and smiled and did the Kenya eye blink think which is their code for “yes” and she handed back the camera and took off. Because of course more important things awaited, jump rope, football, rugby, hanging out with friends. As it should. Who needs Twilight when you have such things?

Besides my team mates randomly asking me stuff about blogging or Twilight, that was my one and only discussion about anything Twilight related while in Kenya. It was nice to be away and to see other cultures, meet new people and still have a small connection to Twilight. But it’s also nice to be back with you all! I look forward to jumping back in with both feet. Thank you all for the funny and sweet messages you left me while I was gone and for helping UC chronicle all the stuff I missed in the “While Moon was gone” posts. I’m definitely filled in now and fat taytay will forever haunt my thoughts! Thank you for that!

Asante Sana! (the extent of my Kiswahili)
Themoonisdown

What’s the last place you thought you’d find a Twilight fan? Or someone who knows what Twilight is? Did you out yourself?

Our internet game is ridiculous: LTR, The Forum, Twitter, The Store

  • niahid

    Moon , that’s amazing story. Do you take picture with the lion?

    • http://letterstotwilight.com unintendedchoice

      PRIORITIES. I want to know about pictures with a lion too!

  • chochang

    may i just say.. i admire you moon for being able to do charity work in spite of your *ehem* busy and important blogging schedule. cheers!

  • Sj

    Moon is down with the kids.

    • P.S.

      and she’s sort of…….beautiful.

      • Sj

        and she is not a bear….. duh

        • P.S.

          They say she is more like a mountain lion. Maybe her preferences are indicative. Dear Stephanie, I did NOT just finish reading the partial draft of that one story this morning for the nth time. I also did NOT freak out because I thought my page down key was broken when I got to chapter 13.

          • Efam

            I totes read that today too! And for the nth time as well…though I had no page down problems.

    • Alice_NaA

      WIN!

  • BayWolf

    Aww.. what a touching letter.. and what a beatyfull picture :-)

  • lindsaylee

    look at those sweet beautiful babies, I know you had a blast over there! Welcome home!

  • alice_av

    Moon, amazing I think this is an example of how nice people are in the fandom. You have a huge heart! Glad you are back..

  • Edible Art ?

    Lovely picture – glad the moon is back !!

    I found out recently another mum in the playground is a twi fan – she doesn’t know I am – in the process of debating weather to out myself to her !!! but if she’s team Jacob it will all be for nothing I could never speak to her agin !

    • Edible Art ?

      Duh ! again !

  • Jamie

    I think its absolutely amazing that you were able to visit a third world country to help those in need….. and yet, the only thing going through my head while reading this was the song “They’re hungery lions. Only in Kenya. Only in Kenya there are lions. Forget Norway!”

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  • http://notanaddikt.blogspot.com Bella_NaA

    Wow, Twilight does reach all the corners of the world! You didn’t ask if she’s Team Edward or Team Jacob?

    Looks like you had a wonderful time there! Hope you have been able to make a difference for a few people. You do us proud!

  • http://adriennetrafford.blogspot.com adrienne

    the last place i thought i’d find a Twi-fan? my gynecologist – the one that also runs one of the hospitals in my city. that’s when i knew Twilight has taken over in my world…

    Moon that pic of you with your future LTR/LTT’s girls is so adorable!

    • Bea

      I’m very curious how you discovered this. And if she’s a fan because Edward’s so good at delivering babies. And if she ever wants to make snarky Twi-related comments while prepping for C-sections.

      • http://adriennetrafford.blogspot.com adrienne

        it may be too embarrassing…ok, well, we’ve become friends over the years (i know, weird) – recommend books to each other and go out to the movies and so forth (we are BIG sci-fi dorks). So (this happened about two years ago) i had just read all the Twilight books and thought, i’ll never bring that up to her – NEVER, because for sure I’d be disowned. So we were discussing who knows what, and there’s a pause and she goes “so, i read all the Twilight books. Like four times.”

        and well, that was the end of that…we’re engaged now. Not really, but in a Twilight-way we’re engaged. The funny part is she’s an extremely well-known doctor, spent some time in Haiti and was on CNN and all kinds of news while she was down there…Runs a very large hospital and so forth (plus delivered both my babies)…I see her in the newspaper and I’m like “I know your secret!”

        • ladyofthemeadow

          This spring, just before I was wheeled into the OR, I was struck at the team of nurses, anaesthetists, surgeons, medical residents who had collected by my bed. I said, appreciatively, “Wow, I feel like I have a whole team of people looking after me. Like Team “. I got a knowing look from one surgeon, and I knew I was in good hands.

          • ladyofthemeadow

            That should have said, “Like Team (insertrealname)”.

        • http://mainericefamily.blogspot.com no cool name

          That’s so totally awesome.

  • http://www.twitter.com/moonjenn Moonjenn

    Asante sana, squash banana… asante sana, squash banana… This will loop in my brain all day today. Damn Disney movies…

  • Proselyte3

    Love you hard. Period.

  • http://www.twitter.com/antisocialangel fangbanger

    Beautiful!

  • LoveSpelledBackwards

    Amazing, moon. What an experience to have. I hear Kenya is beautiful. My boss is from Nairobi, and worked with Jane Goodall, of all people (She calls her Jane f*ing Goodall!!! haha.). But my boss never talked about Kibera. I want to hear more.

  • http://mainericefamily.blogspot.com no cool name

    A million people in an area the size of Central Park? I guess I’ll quit complaining about the size of my yard.

    • Nadene

      No kidding. We’re all so lucky to have time/money/health to enjoy all this “normal”-ness.

  • Wendy

    Ok, so I read your first paragraph and started bawling. I am so freakin emotional! Must be PMS… But thinking about how ‘Twilight’ could bring people in those situations “an escape” just makes me feel like a big ol pile of poo…I whine about my life….what a crock of poo I am….
    I loved your story of Adelaine (and I love that name). So happy you had the opportunity to go, and so very happpy you are back home! I know the experience will be with you forever. I’ve never know anyone to go to Africa and it not change their life (and they ALWAYS go back)…

    Thanks for sharing!

  • blackgirltwihard

    Aww, Sweet Picture!!!… I once discovered a coworker was a fan (not a true ‘Hard tho) When Eclipse premiered and I couldn’t wait to see it that night & I snuck out of work. I asked her to go with me & she goes “Ohh I can’t I have soo much work to do” (WTH?) Mind you, this heffa rolls in at 8:45 EVERYday, takes 2 hour lunches, dips out at 3:30, constantly chills on the net, and talks about her “gorgeous” teenage daughter whom she vicariously lives thru (think Amy Poehler in Mean girls Santa Baby routine) I would trade her in for the sweet little girl and her 2 blinks ANY DAY!!!

  • http://twitter.com/minuit_passe minuit_passé

    Great, great such a great trip!!!!! Wants to meet these people! Of course the fact that you had pics of #leghitch was just epic. Always nice to hear stories of people doing an authentic trip and helping others.

  • Midnight_Cyn

    AWESOME, MOON! My eldest daughter is planning a similiar trip with her church and I have been really concerned about her travelling such a long distance..(always a Mom) but reading your post, made me want to join her! I think I will bring my computer loaded with Twilight/New Moon to share the love across the world! :) Alittle Eddie can sometimes make all the difference! TRUST! :)
    Seriously, I love you hard for making a difference! xo

  • chochang

    is adelaide the one in beige?

  • http://www.whimsicalfic-ery.blogspot.com/ Stacie at Whimsical Ficery

    I love this! I was in Ethiopia in 2007 and was surprised to find a Harry Potter book. This time (just went back in June), yep, found all four Twibooks at the shops. Crazy. But, I didn’t have the nerve to ask anyone if they’ve read them. I realize now I should have. I could have bonded over Edward in Ethiopia!

  • http://www.whimsicalfic-ery.blogspot.com/ Stacie at Whimsical Ficery

    Oh! And I forgot to say – I think it’s amazing that you went and worked in Kenya! I can’t wait to go back myself. Life changing.

  • blondieinco

    Welcome back Moon! – great pic and very admirable to go and share some time with people living in some tough conditions.

  • http://www.twifans.com/ kimc333

    Aww that was so cute & sweet. Your trip sounds like it was amazing.

  • superhumanmoron

    I want to scoop them all up, put them in my pocket, and take them home!

  • Janetrigs

    Loved the story. Love you today.

  • Twilightized

    Ah, further proof of the point I’ve been making to my husband for over a year now….. Twilight. Is. Everywhere.

  • The Old One

    Moon, you’re beautiful inside and out.

  • Vera

    Moon,

    Lovely letter.

    I found a twilight fan beside my table in the office, a MAN, married. The last person I expected had ever heard of Twilight.

    I was looking Edward and Rob pictures, so he said “HE IS GAY. The girl should choose Jacob. He is hotter.”

  • eatmyjorts

    Those girls are adorable…lucky you being able to go & hang out with them Moon! I hear Africa is addictive…my old flatmate/church buddy spent a lotof time in Burundi working with war orphans & is now in Uganda setting up a special needs programme in a Children’s Village. I’d love to go, but don’t have the health.
    Hey, the interweb is everywhere, you could do LTT/LTR from there, but probably not so many premieres. Dang, there’s always a snag. Kellan would be yours for the asking though: hot Xtian chick, digs Twilight, works with African kids in need- hold that man back!

  • Stacey

    Wonderful! You’re wonderful, those children are wonderful, the whole situation is wonderful!

  • Alice_NaA

    This must have really been an amazing trip! Love your picture! Is there a Twilight translation in Kiswahili? If not, I hope you have been practising your Kiswahili…

  • ForEveralurker

    AWESOME! just Awesome! Moon you were in Africa helping children with needs while SOME mourn over camera Rape, frivolous love affairs, free world travel and too much cash!

    Its a World wonder how some of us have no appreciation of what we have!

    Those children will never forget Moon – see ? we don’t need Gold dust to make a deference

  • Robsessedgirl

    This gave me the warm fuzzies. So awesome you did that Moon! It’d be suhweet if you had a picture of you with a lion and Pocket Edward eating the lion.

  • roslynselene

    I found my college English teacher/book writer reading Twilight. No, I didn’t out myself. Too embarrassing. I just said, “I’ve heard of the books and movies but never read it.” She said it was an entertaining book and that she saw the movie the night before and thought, “That vampire guy is hot!” Hmmm, it all starts that way. *gasp* I wonder if she’s obsessed now and reads LTR/LTT. *waves* Holla!

    • LattersBaby

      I’m a college professor. Several of my friends–also profs-and I have a Twilight & Motu “book club.” We are all very ‘normal’ and closeted.

  • Goodgirl goneplaid

    Jambo Moon!
    Glad your back safe & sound. Great work, and what lovely lovely pictures, thanks for sharing them and your experience with us.

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