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I realize how blessed I am to have a happy marriage, to a wife I admire and respect, that inspires me to be a better man, and that I am madly in love with.

We have an adopted son, Francois, from Rwanda that we love dearly. He calls me “father”. I am teaching him to be a man of integrity and strength. He is teaching me patience, understanding and perspective.

After four years in Rwanda and one year back in the US, we move to Mombasa, Kenya, indefinitely. We came here with $700 in hand and some substantial debt, believing we could make it work. We had no income and no promise of work. We did not know a soul in Mombasa before we moved here. We had no relationships set up for our business (KEZA). Every bit of logic said this move would be a disaster. But we had each other, big dreams, determination and a lot of faith.

Four months later, we have a group of friends that have become family to us. Francois is moving here from Rwanda to live with us. We move into our new condo on the beach in two days. We’ve set up a partnership with an amazing artisan workshop that supports the handicapped, and I’m finally in the design room again.

We run an ethical fashion label that affords us the opportunity to work with amazing people, from Africa to New York to London. We’re showcasing the beauty and excellence of Africa, which brings us great joy. We’ve just been asked by the Mombasa Coast Tourism Association to head up the Swahili Coast Fashion Group, as an effort to bolster the fashion industry along the coast.

We started our philanthropy consulting company (Angaza) in January, hoping we could figure out a way to make a living by helping others bring their altruistic endeavors into fruition. It worked. We’ve got business coming in regularly and it’s afforded us the opportunity to play a vital role in so many beautiful projects that foster a more peaceful and just world.

We have purpose, love, passion, beautiful relationships and we live exactly where we want to live. We love the rawness and beauty of the Swahili Coast culture. And the landscape is breathtaking.

We have many people that have supported us along the way; that have invested in our lives and specifically in our character. We are grateful for all of you that believe in us and encourage us daily.

There is nothing logical or academic about how we’ve achieved this lifestyle that we love so much. We literally chose the life we wanted and believed in it until it manifested before us. We are still shocked sometimes at how things continue to come together, despite the odds.

By most people’s standards, the way we live seems like complete lunacy. But we love it. It is a commitment to love and faith that the universe is always working to bless us that has gotten us here. It’s a minute by minute decision to believe this way. And God has blessed us beyond what we were even able to cook up in our dreams.

Love manifests love. It’s as simple as that.

5 Comments

  1. Kevin Miller on September 1, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Beautiful brother, just a gift and inspiration to read. Man…wish I could be there for a while and experience your life. I just honor and admire you and Ilea. And love you dearly.

  2. Ashley Logsdon on September 2, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    Love this – “Love manifests love” – it’s not just about being nice to people…it’s about truly loving and embracing the moments in life – the people, the circumstances…and choosing to place yourself in a life that you thrive in. I’m thrilled that you’ve found that – and one day I’ll come visit you and experience your “eden” firsthand!

    • Jared Angaza on September 2, 2011 at 5:14 AM

      Karibu (welcome) sister. I know you guys will come visit at some point, and I can’t wait for you to experience it. You’ll dig it the most. Nathan would have endless adventures, and the kiddos would go nuts in the ocean. During most of the day, the tide is out. So you’ve got about 200 yards of beach that is only about 1 foot deep of water. It’s like a kiddy pool the size of two football fields. And it’s like bathwater, clear and warm. Definitely our little Eden.

  3. Jen Kneuss on September 2, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Jared,
    Glad you’ve come to love living in lunacy. Many of us do:) Thrilled to hear all of this. Just thinking this myself last night, as I sat outside on a beautiful evening, with Luke coming in from the hills to show us the bounty of ginseng he’d just harvested (!), seeing the sun set, watching the littler girls trekking up to the barn with their passel of cats and dogs faithfully trailing them, seeing the bushels full of abundant produce we’ve raised, knowing our children are all where they want to be, doing what they love, and realizing that we have no way to explain how this is all working, but somehow, it is. Pure lunacy. Gotta’ love it.

    • Jared Angaza on September 2, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      Lunacy indeed. Normality is for the birds.

      I love what you guys have created there in Ohio. It’s not representative of the rest of society, as you well know. It’s yours. It’s the Kneusses. It’s what you deliberately chose, and continue to choose daily. And I think that’s what it’s all about. Choosing the life you want, and then making it happen.

      And no, there certainly isn’t any logic behind it. Maybe that’s part of what makes it so special.

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