PINK in Bloom

It’s been fairly cold this winter with a lot of unexpected snow and ice, but this week I was surprised by not only warmer weather, but the coming of spring flowers. I couldn’t be happier! I had to go for a quick walk to get up close to the blooms and take a few photos.

It’s funny because the longer I blog the more time flies. My years are marked succinctly by the milestones I blog about. For the past few years I have written posts quite similar to this one where I am happy to see the flowers push forth seemingly out of nowhere after a frigid winter. The next thing I will blog about is an upcoming trip and then the summer and the cycle goes on.

Travel Awaits

This weekend I will be off to Chicago to speak at the IEG Sponsorship Conference. I will join SOS Children’s Villages and Johnson & Johnson on a panel: It Takes a Village to Build a Partnership. I’ll be happy to be in the Windy City again. It’s been quite some time! I have to admit, it’s nice to be speaking again after a long purposeful absence from conferences.

Have a great weekend!


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I Actually Learned Something New About a Coffee Drink


If you know anything about me it’s that I really love coffee! Love it! I drink coffee of all sorts all over the world. Just look at this post, My Best Coffee Moments While Traveling.

Right? It’s true.

But I learned about a new type of coffee drink on Friday afternoon just a few cities up the highway. Usually, my go-to coffee drinks are a macchiato (especially in Ethiopia), lattes, or my old stand-by, the cappuccino. But I learned about a new drink last week at Scratch in Durham’s swanky downtown district: the cortado.

A cortado? What’s that?

A cortado is primarily a cappuccino, but the steamed milk doesn’t have as much foam. And, friends, it was delicious. And I love that I learned something new. So, the next time you’re at a coffee shop, ask for a cortado.

Also, I love going to coffee shops that have actual cups. It makes the experience all worth it. In America, sometimes we just want to sit and have coffee that’s NOT served in a paper or plastic cup even if they’re recyclable! Give me a real cup or glass of coffee any day.


In other news, I am actually reading a book! You know…one that you can hold in your hands, take in every word, flip pages, and fall asleep with. I am so used to reading everything online every day that I easily and repeatedly forget how gratifying it is to just hold a book. How ridiculous is that?

Anyway, I am reading Vive La Revolution by Mark Steel about the French Revolution. I am a history lover, so this book is fun and informative.

Have you had a cortado? Where? 

Happy Valentine’s Day

I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day as an adult. I loved it when I was a kid, though. Eating cupcakes and exchanging Valentine’s Day cards at school was so much fun. Now, it’s just another day, but I wanted to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day if you do celebrate and revel in this sweet holiday!

At Project Mercy in Yetebon, Ethiopia.

At Project Mercy in Yetebon, Ethiopia.


My Best Coffee Moments While Traveling


Coffee is a huge part of my life! I drink at least one cup every day even when I am traveling. And, since I am keen on photo themes lately I decided to go through my photos and find all of the (well, most of) the photos I have taken of coffee photo moments during my travels. Coffee represents serenity to me. It gives me a moment or two to just relax and think, especially when I travel and I am having my morning or evening coffee alone.

In these collages I have photos of coffee from London, Bahrain, Rio, Johannesburg, New York City, Washington, DC, and Addis Ababa and Hawassa, Ethiopia. And, even though I have been to Seattle, Belgium, and Kenya I don’t have coffee photos from those trips even though the coffee was stellar.

Coffe Collage 4 Coffee Collage 1

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Photo: Shadowed

Today is my very first post for the Weekly Photo Challenge. Since I’ve been on WordPress for so long I figured I might as well become a part of the photography community as much as I post photos anyway. I thought today’s prompt was especially fitting since I posted a Shadowed photo just yesterday on Instagram.

This photo is from the very first time I visited Ethiopia in December 2012. We were driving over 100 mph through the Great Rift Valley. It was one of my most exhilarating moments in Africa.

So, here’s my contribution to this week’s photo challenge.

Driving through the Great Rift Valley. #Ethiopia #Africa #travel #latergram #photography

A photo posted by Jennifer James (@jenniferjames_) on

Photos: Babywearing in Africa

It’s no secret I love spending time with mothers and their babies while traveling. That, no doubt, is why I have a running theme of babywearing photos from Africa. I took these photos of moms and their little ones while I was in Tanzania and Zambia these past two years.

I always love seeing how snug the babies are to their mothers and how colorful and pretty the fabrics are.

I used to wear my girls when they were babies, but never this effortlessly!

Babywearing in Africa

Babywearing in Africa

Babywearing in Africa

Babywearing in Africa

Babywearing in Africa

My New Year’s Goals Because I Don’t Believe in Resolutions


I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions because I think there are just too many ways in which to break them. So I don’t even bother.

Instead I simply set clear and concise goals before the new year hits. Goals and resolutions are pretty much the same, but I am happy to work with goals because I can work towards them, tweak them in the middle of my journey, and then revel in the success when I have accomplished them. Or, even revisit them if I don’t reach one of my goals.

My goals this year are varied. I plan to travel more than last year even though I always vow to travel less. I also plan to read and write even more. Reading and writing go together. You can’t write well unless you read well. I wholeheartedly believe that. Always have. I already read an impressive amount (I really do!), but I want to start turning pages again instead of scrolling through endless Internet content.

One of the things I like about myself is I set fairly overarching goals for my life and then I leave ample room for new, short-term goals because you just never know what will come up or pique my interest in the months to come.

More than anything this year I look forward to spending more and more time with my family. My girls aren’t getting any younger and will be in college before I know it! I also look forward to traveling more and reporting more as I mentioned. Traveling keeps me on my toes and makes me work harder for the stories and the people I cover. I love it.

Happy New Year!