Feeding a giraffe with my dear friend

Today I turn 27. Today, 27 years ago, my mom was 27 years and 27 days old. I always thought when I was 27, I would have my first child, and why not? It is a good age to have a kid, and many of my friends are at that stage in life. I always thought that at the magic age of 27 I would catch the baby bug and want a family of my own. Instead, I have the travel bug and I might as well be 27 years away from having my first child.

Today instead of embracing motherhood, I embrace another adventure. The last 13 months have been a wonderful whirlwind of travel and exploration. I lived and studied in Costa Rica with some of the most beautiful people on earth, and saw some of the most beautiful tropical environments known to man. I traveled Central America, learning more about my American neighbors and enjoying their company. I spent 2 months in Ethiopia, traveling and hearing both heartbreaking and inspiring stories about one of life’s most essential elements: water. And now I get to fulfill a childhood dream and go to Kenya.

When I was 7 my teacher assigned us a project where we had to research a country of our choice. Now Lion King had just been released and I was of the age where I was learning about my African-American ancestors and slavery. My dad always believed we came from Kenya, and this made me love the Lion King even more (I am also part Native American and had a great love for Pocahontas too. In my mom’s defense, Disney movies were not the only way I learned about these cultures- at the age of 7 these were just the most enjoyable). Needless to say, I chose Kenya for my country of choice and presented my well-researched tri-fold board on my new favorite place. Ever since that time 20 years ago, I have wanted to go to Kenya. I lived in South Africa and that was close, but it was too expensive to visit. When I found out I was going to Ethiopia for this fellowship and just how close I would be, I knew I had to finally go to Kenya and fulfill a dream many years in the making.


Baby elephants!



Visited Upeace University friends in Nairobi

Life is a funny adventure that takes you many places throughout your journey. I love the journey and find it constantly changing my beliefs about what I thought was true before. This life-journey teaches me that the more I see, the less I know.  It is a challenging but beautiful lesson that feels like standing in a star-filled sky looking up and realizing just how small you are, but also realizing the beauty and majesty that is this world.

Every year there is a meteor shower around my birthday. My mom and I used to sit outside on our front yard and watch the stars fall down around us in the big Texas sky. I always loved these nights and feeling small, yet beautiful, and immensely lucky to take part in it all. 27 years of life lived, and it has not been what I expected, but I am looking forward to the journey.



  1. #1 by Katie Petitt on August 30, 2014 - 6:40 am

    Thanks dear Rita! Wishing you all the best!

  2. #2 by Rita Iorbo on August 29, 2014 - 9:08 pm

    Happy birthday Katie, here’s wishing you many happy returns & may your remaining dreams come true.

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