On the Blog: Flight From Kenya

Ken Okoth describes his family's escape from the violence in Nairobi to Tanzania.

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ALISON STEWART, host:

I need some blog music.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: Thank you. The reason we do this is the fine Laura Conaway, our Web editor. She's a uniter, not a divider. She stands for change.

(Soundbite of laughter)

LAURA CONAWAY: Good morning.

STEWART: She does it every day on our Web site. So Laura, what's on the agenda today on our site and blog?

CONAWAY: Well, one of the things that just happened I'm excited about it is Ken Okoth just checked in. He's the Kenyan who lives in the Washington, D.C. area now who is trying to get his family out from the violence that's happening in Kenya.

STEWART: Sure. We spoke to him last week on the air, in fact.

CONAWAY: Exactly. And he's already given us, actually, a couple of slideshows which I'll link, again. He gave kids in Kenya last summer disposable cameras, and what they came back with is just amazing.

But now he talks about his family's flight to Tanzania. They're safe now. And he talks on the blog a little bit about what the 5-year-old and the family saw, and how they're handling that.

STEWART: Oh, my gosh.

CONAWAY: And his family sent some images. So we're going to go ahead and put up a slide show of that. That's it.

STEWART: That sounds good. We also have an Iraqi soldier blogger.

CONAWAY: Yeah. I just want to talk a little bit…

STEWART: Sure.

CONAWAY: …just acknowledge that there is a soldier named Army Major Andrew Olmsted who is blogging for the Rocky Mountain News out of Denver, Colorado. And he was killed on January 3rd. He'd left a friend a final post, and they put it up. And we blogged the final post. And no sooner had we done it, than we started getting comments from people. Most of them were sort of along the lines of this. I'm so sorry for the loss of another American soldier.

But the second comment was: Those who live by the sword die the same way. And I just wanted to acknowledge some of the tough debate that's going in there, and to talk a little bit, just a word to the listeners that it's really fine to come on the blog and debate war. Some of the worst of your comments are - some of the toughest you'll see that I won't post, because they're just there ad hominem attacks.

STEWART: Mm-hmm.

CONAWAY: And those we won't post. But I just want to say that to people because (unintelligible).

STEWART: Yeah. Keep it civil. Keep it engaging.

CONAWAY: That's right.

STEWART: Keep it lively.

CONAWAY: Keep it on the issues. The other thing is we have a check in this week from Jill Holmer, who's training to bike the Iditarod, and who has a little bit of a knee injury right now. So I'll just get her to describe it for you.

STEWART: Okay.

CONAWAY: Here you go.

Ms. JILL HOMER (Competitive Bicyclist): It's just almost a burning pain in front of my kneecap. I've had something similar before. I got an MRI, and doctor diagnosed as chondromalacia, which is the inflammation of cartilage. It's a little bit like arthritis. Repetitive motion, actually. It's a lot the cause.

CONAWAY: So she's been going around with this menthol packs on her knee. She says it feels weird to have kind of the heat. She smells like a little old lady, but…

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Oh, no.

CONAWAY: …she's got to stay on the bike right now. But she's going to be biking 350 miles in the snow in Alaska in late February. So she's coming into a pretty peak time in her training. Meanwhile, she's used the time off to look back over the last year, and we have a slideshow from that. I'll get her to describe what she did last year.

Ms. HOMER: I actually tallied it up, and came out with 6,500 miles.

STEWART: Wow.

Ms. HOMER: It ended up being a thousand more than last year, which surprised me because earlier this year, I spent about three months off my bike, recovering from my last knee injury. So it turned out I actually had pretty good mileage here.

CONAWAY: I mean, that's on a mountain bike, a lot of it in the snow, with three months off. That's California to Florida and back.

STEWART: Unbelievable.

CONAWAY: We wish her luck. Check out the pictures. She's sitting there with an iceberg above her. It's amazing stuff.

STEWART: All right. It's npr.org/bryantpark. Our Web editor, Laura Conaway. Thanks, Laura.

CONAWAY: Thank you.

STEWART: And thanks to you, everybody, for listening to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT for this Monday, January 7th, 2008. I'm Alison Stewart.

Do come visit our blog. We're there all day long, sometimes into the night -early morning, too.

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

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