Annelies Kuiper is of Dutch descent, born in Kenya, Africa eight years before Kenya received it's independence from Britain. With no rights to Kenyan citizenship, it was difficult to find work so Annelies made the difficult decision to leave and has only been back to Kenya twice since 1974.
Annelise found work with a large hotel chain, which took her to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Johannesburg, eventually landing in 'romantic' Palm Springs where she lived for 11 years, playing golf and enjoying the resort hotel amenities. After ending a second relationship, Annelies wanted to 'fall off the earth' and a friend recommended she move to the hi-desert.
In this episode, Annelies tells me how she found her place in north Joshua Tree: Copper Mountain Mesa. Heartbroken and disillusioned, it was a place where she could scream as loud as she wanted and no one would call the police. A place where she could once again find and be her authentic self.
On the mesa, Annelies had the sudden urge to write and in six months time wrote two books. 'Kenya Cowgirl!' and 'Stay Well Kenya Cowgirl', the first a fictionalized version of her formative years in Africa.
Six years ago, Annelies decided to return to school - starting at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree and transferring to UC San Diego, from where she recently graduated with a degree in Communications and Media Studies.
Annelies has partnered with artist Andrea Zittel and High Desert Test Sites to publish a book of short stories that will be arriving in Spring 2019.
In the meantime, you can keep up with Annelies and the goings on in her 'little community' of Copper Mountain Mesa through her weekly column in the Hi-Desert Star 'Weekender', available for free on Saturdays.
Links for Annelies: