Asha was born in Kenya,
at the coast, although she was from the Kipsigis tribe. She
worked for our family for nearly forty years. She saw the birth
of my brother David and myself, and the death of both Kathleen
and Owen Cosgrove (our parents) in the 1960s. Asha was a simple
woman, illiterate but very wise - she was like our second mother.
She was always there to look after us, coach and correct us
when we made mistakes and teach us the rights and wrongs of
Asha was a family member and had a tremendous amount of moral
authority. We think she must have died in the early 1970’s since
sadly we lost contact with her when I left Kenya to travel the
world in 1969. This picture was taken just before I left to
travel by car from Nairobi to Cape Town with my long time friend
Asha Cottage is named after her as a tribute to the love,
wisdom and guidance she offered to both David and myself. She
was a strong, determined character and was a pillar of strength
in the Cosgrove family. We wish we could find another Asha to
assist in the upbringing of Pichoun and Little D. They would
be well looked after. John
Francis “Litlle D” was born on the 11th of April 2011. He
is a very smiley little boy, a real delight to be around. He
is named after his uncle David ("Big D"), better known as Prof.
David Owen Cosgrove, who lives in London but often comes to
visit us in Diani (especially to go snorkelling with his brother
John to populate the Asha aquarium!). Little D loves watching
the fish in the aquarium and walking around in the gardens to
watch the gardeners at work.
Owen “Pichoun” was born on the 2nd of January 2007. He is
a happy, playful and very sociable little boy. He loves to be
with both adults and children, engaging the former in
complex conversations building on wild imagination. Anthony
Owen speaks English and is learning Italian
and Swahili as part of his family heritage. “Pichoun” means
sweet little one in French, a nickname given to him when he
came home from the hospital. Pichoun is as much a part of
Asha Cottage as the sea and the coconut trees around the
was born and raised in Rome, Italy. Educated in Italy, the US
and the UK, she studied business, psychology and sociology.
She joined the United Nations as a consultant in 1992 and has
been working with various UN agencies since. Work has taken
her around the world, with missions to Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola,
Bangladesh, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Iran and Afghanistan, where
she spent almost two years working in the field (and met John
for the very first time in 2003). Dominique speaks English,
Italian, French and Spanish (and is slowly learning Swahili).
John was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, but has
lived in the United States (New York) and many countries around
the world as part of his career with John Wiley Publishing,
Avis, The Hunger Project, and the United Nations. He has lived
and worked in Canada, France, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Uganda, United
Kingdom, Pakistan and Afghanistan (where he met Dominique).
In 2005 John opted for early retirement from the United Nations
and after getting married to Dominique in Rome in October of
that year, decided to settle back in Kenya. It had been his
dream for years to create something special in Diani Beach.
That dream come true is Asha Cottage, a little family-run boutique
hotel that offers top quality accommodation for the discerning
traveller. John speaks English, French and Swahili.