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ultimate

Even before we arrived in Kenya, we knew that Nairobi had an active Ultimate frisbee scene. Last summer, D played on a team with a guy whose friend plays here. Despite the e-introduction, it took us several weeks to make it out to the fields because we were busy settling in. The more serious players get together on Friday afternoons to play at the UN, but there are rarely more than ten people, and even though the UN is right across from the Embassy, D usually feels too exhausted at the end of the week to go play disc. The Sunday game, on the other hand, is very well attended. Every time we have gone, there are enough players to run two full games (7 on 7) side by side, and with players left over to make substitutions.

A few weeks ago, while taking a breather on the sideline, D got to talking with one of the guys and found out that there was a tournament coming up in Kampala, Uganda. Ultimate frisbee tournaments are hard to come by in East Africa, so this was not an opportunity to be passed up lightly. D gave a tentative yes, pending Ambo’s approval. Apparently, enough people gave similar responses that a team was formed. Luckily, we were able to convince our housekeeper to dog-sit Emmie, thus removing the last major obstacle to our participation. So last Friday, after D got home from work, we hastily packed and made our way to the airport for the flight to Entebbe. Including S & D, there were half a dozen of us from Nairobi, another 4-5 people from Eldoret, a few people from Bungoma, and even a girl from South Sudan, who had played in Nairobi previously and joined the Kenya team for this tournament.

Nairobi is home to a vibrant expat community, and people with similar interests tend to move in the same social circles. For instance, when D went to play poker one night, he wound up meeting half the city’s Ultimate players. Given that we live on a gated compound, surrounded by Embassy workers, we relished the opportunity to get to know people outside of D’s work world and to expand our social network. A few of the people from Eldoret and Bungoma also come to Nairobi to play on Sundays, despite the long drive, so we are looking forward to hanging out with the new friends we made over the weekend in Kampala.

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