afrofoto day 7 | on necklaces and STUFF like that…and whatnot…or whatever

I moved exactly a month ago now and it’s taken much longer to get settled. I definitely reduced the number of boxes that were unpacked and have a functionally arranged closet….along with a pile of cloths still on the floor to be sorted through. In realizing I still possibly another year of breastfeeding my honey bunny I’ve tried to organize clothes by keeping those that are practical and easily accessible for that and then there is the sentimental reasons keeps, then the this is one of a kind how can i get rid of it. Those last 2 categories are mostly what is on the floor because I am strongly aspiring minimalist. Moving really really really reinforced that. You/we like to think we have not that many things until it’s time to move. Even then you look around yourself and see the big furniture items and maybe think I don’t have that much stuff, but once the furniture and big pieces are out, the STUFF is really where it’s at. I was so upset with myself for how much stuff I had. I’ve got boxes at the door of things I already identified as having been unused or unnecessary at the other place. Thank goodness for the silver lining of babies outgrowing things at a pretty consistent pace. On the one hand yes you have to keep getting them things, but on the flip side you get to get rid of things at the same pace.

Anywhoooo I finally got to a box that has my jewelry and I’ve also sorted through that. Quite a few ended up in the bucket of jewelry I will NOT be keeping. Some are just because I never really loved them, but many are just not practical for a grabby baby who’s teething at this point. Today’s #afrofoto is one I kept. I have loved this necklace from the time I got it at one of the African themed jewelry stores at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg. In fact, many stunning pieces I have are from shopping I  did transiting through that airport. Pretty pennies were paid for them. I’ve definitely outgrown the jeweled phase of my style for now…or until my boo boo is well beyond being fascinated by colorful things around my neck. So yeah.  What does the necklace have to do with moving and the stress of it? Nothing or something necessarily,  but it was part of the STUFF we find ourselves with in these situations.

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*@afropolitaine*

afrofoto *day 21: green with envy

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I had a phase where I was OB-SESSED-uh with recycled glass beads. My darling @naijadiva was going to Nigeria and that was all I wanted. I looked up pictures and sent them to her. She brought me 3 or 4 different colors and I went to Beadazzled on Connecticut and got some leather rope and clasps. I wish i’d gotten more creative and added some brass beads and really put some slamming stuff together. Now that i’ve said it….

Yup yup yup!!
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*afropolitaine* 

afrofoto *day 18

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Yes! i know you’ve been waiting with baited breath for this update!! Well here it is right here. The 2 bracelets I have on are made of a combination of recycled glass and/or [[wax]] clay I think and they are dyed in different patterns and colors as well. The size of each individual bead is about a peny wide. My darling of a friend Kofi (@NakPhilly) who i’ve known ever since middle school in Abidjan brought them FINALLY after he’d gone to Ghana for the umpteenth time and he kept somehow “forgetting” <_< …It wasn’t until i threatened him with real life unfriending that my one bracelet showed up! 🙂 …Machiavelli did say it’s better to be feared than to be loved – what he forgot to add was that it would get you the beads you want your friends to bring back for you from Ghana 🙂

The second one i got when I went to visit him in Philly for Memorial Day weekend. Can you imagine it was lying around on the table?! After how long it took for me to get the one he has them just lying haphazardly around his place. Trust me to pick it up and put it on…..and then later show it to him and let him know that it’s mine 🙂 – a go getter I am!

(you can ask me about that scar on my arm too – interesting story i tell you)

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*afropolitaine*

afrofoto: what’s more belated than belated?

afrofoto *day 15:

I really had a lot going on in this here outfit! I guess you/I can focus on the necklace – a gold necklace from Egypt a veeeeery loooong time ago that one of my mom’s friends gave to be on my 15th or 16th birthday. It’s got the head of Nefertiti as the pendant 🙂

I mentioned in the previous post that I went to Jazz in the Garden with a group of my good friends and this is then on the patchc of ground we managed to get situated on – the garden was packed. Hardly a patch of grass was free. It was a great time though, as is always the case in good company. Nigerians, Eritreans and Cameroonians in the picture and I know some of them from Abidjan where we grew up together.

 

afrofoto *day 16:

The main feature of this outfit was the purse I was carrying. You’ll see it later in the day…..check the beaded bracelet I wore. I took this picture cuz i was ecstatic about the new matte red nail polish I got from Sephora :)))) (Nails Inc Matte – Gatwick) Loooove it and it looks great with matte red lipstick.
Anywhooo….back to the bracelet – honestly there isn’t anything too special about it because these bracelets are the trademark/easy-to-come-by/ African jewelry at least in my experience here in the US or even in market in different African countries. They come in aaaaallll kinds of patterns and colors and combinations. They’ve made a successful transference from traditional jewelry to contemporary appeal and use. From the hipster to the soul-sister, for yourself or as a gift – it’s hard to go wrong with them.
Wifey had tickets to Beauty and the Beast and the bag I carried I got from the bottom of my aunt’s closet a couple of years ago. It’s made of leather died into 3 different shades. It doesn’t fit much and as i didn’t need much that night – it was my pick 🙂 We all went home afterwards, the next day waaaas…..

afrofoto *day 17:
Nothing much to see here – for some reasons I didn’t take a lot of pictures on this day. Went to a Zimbabwean cookout with my roommate – it was a lot of fun. My barely visible cuff I  got in Ivory Coast from a Mauritanian vendor at  Cocody Marche. There is a very large and merchant based Mauritanian community throughout Ivory Coast. A lot of their jewelry tends to be made of silver or bronze and has designs and patters etched into it. I love the finishing because a lot of it is intentionally made to look rustic of antique-ish. I’ve had that one for almost 10 years now.

That’s all for now…for this post 🙂

afrofoto day 6

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sooo much could  be said about today, but i’ve obviously missed my mark already for this update! Womp wompity womp! I have been exhausted alllll day and came home – did not pass go did not collect 200 – and went straight to bed. A nap that was supposed to be 2 hours turned into 5! You know, at least I do, you were tired when you drool during a nap when you are not even a drooler or snorer.

 

My earrings today I got in Dar-es-Salaam at a craft market/strip near my house in Oyster Bay. The place is called Slipway and they are made of beads as is characteristic of southern and east African jewelry. What identifies these as east African is the silver trinket things hanging off it as that is often incorporated into Maasai and Samburu jewelry – tribes found predominantly in Kenya and Tanzania a bit. In fact, google “Maasai jewelry” or “Samburu jewelry”. I love that there are so many colors in the earrings and no distinct pattern so that makes it easier to wear them with anything. I wouldn’t, however, go so far as to say they are “traditional”  – more of a contemporary [tourist friendly twist] on more complex designs the tribes actually wear.

 

Going back to bed folks, 2 more days to this week! See you with another update soon 🙂

afrofoto day 5

So in my effort to kinda figure out what i’m doing with this “afrofoto” i realized that more than just talking about or pointing out what i wore that was African I would like to talk a little bit more about it’s origins/history etc. With the scarf I wore yesterday it is mostly/traditionally attributable to the Amhara people of Ethiopia as a shawl for women or men although it has become more generally associated with Ethiopia in general whether Amhara, Tigrina or otherwise.  That’s about all on that from me although i know more could obviously be said.

Today was an overwhelmingly stressed out day and I really did not have time to think about this, but i know that i made a pact not only with you all, but with myself. I just got home and i know that above all else i need to update before i get to sleep. We had a very touching kumbaya farewell and retirement reception for one of our VPs and it was a surprisingly emotional event considering how long and legendary his career has made him. More than 30 years in the business of education innovation in developing countries SUCCESSFULLY is a very long time! There was wine served and great bread and cheeses – I had 3 glasses of cabernet…..

Some African drummers and a dance troupe were brought in and boy was I shocked that the drummer was my instructor in the African Drumming class at University of Maryland – in which i was the only Black person. The rest of my peoples – where were you?! (Conversation for another day). Funny thing he and I used to be cool until one night he was feeling however he was feeling and decided to text me one random night (over a year after NO communication just cuz) talking about I should come to his house to “watch a movie as soon as he puts the babies to sleep”. -_- <– not going to get into it. In short, you have to remind people when they disrespect you to respect themselves at the very least. I recorded a video so I could laugh at and with my co-workers later, but can’t post it without their consent.

My co-workers, Mexican-American and French-Algerian, decided to go to a cigar bar which, as much as I’ve been accused of being a “wakadubey”, I’ve never done. More cabernet… I had a #YOLO  moment and struck while the iron was hot 🙂 I smoked a honey flavored skinny cigar – keep it classy you know lol. My first cigar:

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Now onto the topic of the day and the season – the afrofoto:

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These bracelets I wore probably had more specific inbuilt messaging according to the colors and the patterns used, but they have probably been lost to the commercialization and consequential dilution of being so readily available at every corner of every African city market a tourist can be found whether in North, East, South, or West of  the continent. The first one (all blue) and the second i got a looooong time (approximately age 11) in Nairobi, the third in Dar-es-Salaaam and is actually the colors of the Tanzanian flag. One of those obvious touristy buys.  

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Random shadowy mirror picture at Recess coming from the bathroom. Twas my first time going there 🙂 – great time!

 
Hasta manana people ❤