year in review
In honor of our one-year anniversary in Nairobi, S decided to bake a gin and tonic cake, which she chose because G&Ts quickly became our preferred drink in Kenya. Sadly, there is no photo of this celebratory dessert because the results were disastrous, the sugar/gin mix overflowing all over the oven. S did not think to adjust the recipe for baking at altitude (Nairobi is located at an elevation of 5,450 ft), which likely resulted in the mishap. The only other explanation we can think of is that the gin caused a chemical reaction, the aftermath of which is plastered all over our oven.
With boozy aromas emanating from our kitchen, we went out, marking our anniversary with a jazz concert and a dinner night out with the first friend we made in Kenya. First postings abroad are always memorable and this year in Nairobi far surpassed anything we could have anticipated when D’s name was called on Flag Day and he went up to accept the small Kenyan flag:
Nairobi is the largest U.S. mission in sub-Saharan Africa and D’s work has proved both challenging and diverse, affording him the opportunity to meet interesting people and work on important issues. S likewise found gainful employment, though it took some time getting used to her STUD status. She has switched jobs a couple of times, working for various U.S. Government agencies in the process as she tries to figure out how to accommodate her career to the constant moves that await us.
The Foreign Service is much more than a career; it’s a lifestyle and we’ve made the most of it, using Nairobi as a launching pad for trips to Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Seychelles, and Reunion, and getting a glimpse of paradise. On our travels around the country, we’ve seen two very different sides of Kenya, visiting a Maasai manyatta and also experiencing some of the luxury that made this country a favorite destination for aristocratic playboys during Britain’s colonial days. We had some very close encounters with Kenya’s extraordinarily diverse wildlife, from hippos and baboons to ants, both flying and not. And though D loves the chaos of driving on Kenyan roads, we’ve both had enough African massage to last us a lifetime.
S’s misgivings notwithstanding, we expanded our family, adopting both a rescued puppy and an orphaned baby elephant. We also both started learning new languages, with somewhat hilarious and unexpected results. We knew a few days before we departed for Nairobi that our next posting would be to Chisinau. We put that knowledge at the back of our minds and tried to live in the present. Now that the clock has started ticking on our second year in Kenya, however, we’ll start reading up on Moldova to get a sense of what our next move holds in store for us.