Monday, November 24, 2008

Look, Bruno stopped by!

An old friend of PicCell recently popped in at our Seattle office. The man wearing slightly tattered paint-stained clothing was carrying nearly everything he owned in a backpack slung over one shoulder. He had just returned from a trip to the Gaza Strip where he volunteered teaching art to young Palestinians.

Bruno Segatta has likely logged hundreds of thousands of miles over his years working in student life and as an art instructor and working artist. As anyone who has met him can attest, Bruno is one-of-a-kind. He always seems to cultivate the quality of selflessness in the lives of those around him (no matter what continent he may be on at the time).

It was great catch up with “Da Brunz” and chat about his trip to Kenya and Tanzania back in 2005. We remembered that, like so many times before, he was taking a group of students and their families on safari and to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. He had made it a tradition to take the group to an AIDS orphanage just outside Nairobi called Nyumbani.

He told our management what the place was all about. He said “Nyumbani” means “home” in Swahili and that is exactly what the organization provides to close to 100 HIV infected children. He said the most amazing thing at Nyumbani is that, though most people may think their futures are grim, the children seem to have almost permanent smiles on their faces.

We were so impressed by what Bruno reported was happening there that PicCell wrote them a $5,000 check for him to personally deliver. We were moved to help Nyumbani in their mission of providing HIV+ children in Kenya with the best nutritional, medical, academic and spiritual care available. This includes anti-retroviral therapy which gives them a hope to one day leave Nyumbani as healthy, self-reliant adults.

To take a closer look at Nyumbani or for information on how to contribute, please visit