Kim's Blogs

The Vagina On The Wall

Mercy ROCKS my world.

Mercy ROCKS my world.


( This short observation was written by my dynamic, amazing, talented pen-pal, Mercy Adhiambo. She sends me her personal journals with several remarkable stories about her adventures in journalism, life, love, and insights about Kenya. I particularly appreciated and loved this one! She was about 20 years old when she wrote it.)



~I was doing a science story. I arrived at the location about 10:00 AM and she was in her office; studying and writing whatever on a piece of paper.


She was a top scientist in East Africa. The most slippery source a journalist can chase.


She sipped tea and adjusted her cat-like glasses when I walked in. It was intimidating. She was intimidating.


On the wall of her study was the biggest painting of a vagina standing out in all its glory.


(((G A S P)))


It was blown up, stretched out, & dominating the white canvas it was painted on.


I avoided staring at it, pretended I didn’t notice it.


She perceived my anxiety, how uncomfortable I was, then she smiled and said, “It’s mine.”


I casted another glance at the giant vagina and frowned.


“Yes, the vagina is a beautiful organ.” She sat up straighter in her plush blue chair.  “It is us who taint it, cut it, shame it, abuse it, and stitch back up.”


We Africans are corrupted.” She said.


My gaze remained on my soiled black shoes while she talked. It all seemed so personal- especially for an African to talk that openly.


Anytime I see her now on the news or television interviews quoting science stuff, demystifying science, I smile and think, “ WOW, maybe she is the most courageous woman I’ve  ever met in my life, or maybe she’s just downright crazy.

Mercy Adhiambo!

Mercy Adhiambo!


***Don’t forget about MY INNER CHICK’S writing contest: GO HERE to Submit.***   Xxxxx  Good Luck!

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  • Reply
    October 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Love this, Kim. Yes, we are responsible for what we allow and I’m so glad to see things coming out that can change that. Maybe, if there is anything good about the orange buffoon’s bid for the presidency, we will find our own voices and take control of our bodies, minds, and self-respect.

  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    October 15, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    And maybe rather a lot of OTHER people are crazy.
    Brilliant piece. Thank you and Mercy.

  • Reply
    lisa thomson-The Great Escape...
    October 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    There is such innocence in this piece. I believe all courageous women have a little crazy inside them. Thanks for sharing your lovely pen pal’s work here, Kim. xoxo

  • Reply
    Peta Kaplan
    October 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I have to admit to really enjoying reading this and laughing out loud because of course we tend to think of certain body parts as being very private and personal. However, the philosophical underpinning of putting “the vagina” front and center on an office wall is readily understandable once you hear the explanation, as it is a bold statement about the societal shaping that says so much about our respective cultures.

    Still between the philosophical statement and having the courage to “put yourself out there” (in the most literal way) for every person that enters your office to see, is extraordinarily brave. Whether in New York, Kenya or Paris. Clearly she is a both a Scientist and an advocate for women’s issues.



  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 15, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    I can imagine her experience, and the thoughts that might have stumbled over each other in her head. 🙂 Kim, you’ve mentioned this vagina on the wall before and I enjoyed reading Mercy’s account. The scientist is an inspiring woman!

    Mercy is gorgeous and so are you!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2016 at 5:49 am


    My sweetest Kim. I cant believe you kept those. I was so young and ambitious back then. And then life and growth happened….and look at what I have become. 🙂

    I am so so so grateful that you found me, believed me, and read all my words when I was oozing of alphabets and writing all the things that crossed my mind.

    I love you.

    Cant wait to see you again. Hug you, and pet your cute cat!

    Love you….long time

    • Reply
      My Inner Chick
      October 16, 2016 at 7:04 am

      love love love love you, my dear, Mercy.
      You are an inspiration as a woman, human being, humanitarian, and writer! xxxxxx MISSSSSS YOUUUUU LOTS, you sassy girl.

  • Reply
    Balroop Singh
    October 16, 2016 at 10:02 am

    SO refreshing! Love this perspective. Thanks for sharing this piece Kim. You are awesome!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    If I’d been Mercy, I, too, would have gasped and refused to stare at her wall! While I can appreciate this scientist’s attitude, I tend to take a more Biblical POV — we clothe certain parts of the body more carefully (1 Cor. 1223), as well we should. But how special you must be to her, Kim, for her to let your read her journals!!

  • Reply
    Kristi R Campbell
    October 16, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    I would have freaked out a little bit too over her wall but LOVE that she’s so empowered and open about it. Gah, I felt shame when my brothers chanted “Kristi’s going through puberty” and yet my son (who is seven) (barely) says he thinks he can see some puberty on his legs because they’re hairy so maybe I’m teaching him to be less inhibited than I was? Or something like that. I SO want to enter your contest. Gah, I suck at this stuff. xoxoxo LOVE YOU.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing Mercy’s incredible talents!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2016 at 12:10 am

    How special for Mercy to share and send her journals to you. What an honour! What a brilliant writer she is too.
    Have a beautiful day darling Kim.
    Much love and hugs to you from sunny SA.
    🙂 Mandy xoxo

  • Reply
    Julie Gardner
    October 17, 2016 at 7:25 am

    I love the stories you share about/with/from Mercy.
    What a beautiful connection you two enjoy.
    It’s miraculous the way people come into our lives in just the way we need them.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2016 at 7:58 am

    I have nothing to say

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    October 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    LOLLLL. Love you, Daddy! xx

  • Reply
    Michelle Terry
    October 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I absolutely loved this, Kim.
    Beautiful writing about a woman I’d love to meet. I’d love to meet you, too 🙂
    Love from Kansas

    PS: A writing contest!!! How cool 🙂

  • Reply
    October 17, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing this snippet from Mercy’s journal. I had a photographer friend who used to have some artful nude portraits he’d taken of a couple hanging on his wall, but after a number of clients got uncomfortable when coming in for meetings, he decided to take them down. I give made props to any woman who can hang a pick of their vagina on the wall 😉

  • Reply
    Chris Carter
    October 17, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    I have to LAUGH AT YOUR DAD!! Oh that’s gold right there ^^^^. LOL

    I just LOVE the beautiful relationship you have with Mercy! Oh she just seems like SUCH a gem. And this story is unbelievable! I’m sorry- but wow wow wow. I cannot even IMAGINE having a blown up picture of my vagina on the wall. I’m laughing SO hard right now…

    I suppose that is TRUE EMPOWERMENT right there. Omg.

  • Reply
    October 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Why am I suddenly thinking of Georgia O’Keefe? These are wise observations from a then-20-year old.

  • Reply
    October 18, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Wow. What a way to put it out there. I too was reminded of Georgia O’Keefe. How marvelous!

  • Reply
    nan @ lbddiaries
    October 19, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I can just see her sitting there looking at her shoes. That’s exactly what I would have done… yesterday! I am never comfortable looking at pictures of vaginas – or OMDs. Oh ok, other men’s dicks. SEE??? I can’t even type the word p*e*n*i*s.

  • Reply
    Gary Sidley
    October 20, 2016 at 1:26 am

    I’m tempted to respond with a paragraph littered with puns and innuendo – But I’ve resisted!

    Am I right in thinking the academic was, at the time, campaigning against genital mutilation? Or just about women’s rights in general?

    It is interesting how the four letter c-word is so taboo. You might get away with calling someone a ‘prick’ or ‘dickhead’, but not the c-word. A strange double standard.

    Thanks for sharing Mercy’s interesting memoirs. I hope you are well and thriving.

  • Reply
    Sandra Garth
    October 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I would have been staring at my shoes and giving high fives to this brave woman who bared and shared it all.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Oh MERCY!
    I love her and I don’t know her.
    I see your pictures on Facebook with her and the both of you just light up together – like there is a part of you found when you’re with her…just shinning. I’d love a friend like that. Don’t let that one go Kim 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna Johnston
    November 13, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Brilliant, how amazing would it be to be really comfortable & out there enough to have a great big pic on our walls of just like her. Imagine how many people it would really effect, and make think. High fives to her I say even though, sadly, I probably would have found a spot (possibly my shoes) to focus on too.

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