Can you guess what my favorite thing about Tanzania is? I bet you're thinking about all the amazing safari animals, or the incredible views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, or even the colorful and vibrant energy of the markets. All of these things do make Tanzania amazing, but they are not my favorite part. My favorite thing is how Tanzania makes me feel about myself and my worth. I never feel like I am not enough when I don't get through my list of things to do. I never feel like a failure when something didn't go as planned.
At the end of every day in Tanzania is gratitude—not for productivity—but for people and relationships. I love productivity and crossing out things on my to-do list like a champion, but I love the perspective I get about community and doing life in community in Tanzania. There are so many times I feel isolated in Chicago, bogged down by the endless tasks I have to get through for the day. I forget about serving the people around me and living vulnerably in community.
(Kate and me at Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania)
My dear friend, Kate Shungu, started a blog called Gift of Hospitality. She has a gift of making people feel welcome in her home through her talent of cooking delicious food. She is sharing that gift with all of us through her blog! Recently, Kate and I got together to collaborate for a photo shoot of our baskets with her delicious scones because it is important to both of us to fill our homes with meaning. Kate is an expert at making her home feel inclusive, warm, and inviting to all, and she makes it really easy for all of us to do the same by providing approachable recipes and tips on how to think through serving your guests with love.
One of the things I love about hosting people at my home is that I get to share part of who I am with my friends, neighbors, or perhaps new acquaintances. I get to share my struggles, my victories, and my passions (like the beautiful country of Tanzania!). And I get to tell the amazing stories of our baskets, jewelry, home goods, and bags. When my guests hear the story of how Zuri partners with women in Tanzania to provide economic empowerment, they're excited, hopeful, and often ask how they can help. When the answer lies with bringing beautiful baskets into their home, they're thrilled. And I am equally as thrilled, but most of all grateful, to be able to share those stories.
If you know me, then you can attest to the fact that cooking is just not one of my gifts! What I love about Kate is that she never makes me feel embarrassed when I text her from the grocery store to ask her where I might find a specific ingredient and she's always able to simplify recipes to make them more manageable, but still delicious! Her blog has tons of amazing recipes as well as tips and tricks for how to make hosting not feel overwhelming. Here are some of my favorite Kate Shungu original recipes!
White Chocolate and Orange Scones (Pictured here...and so yummy!)