on the road again
No sooner had we unpacked after our safari than it was time to pack our bags again for yet another trip, the third work trip for D in less than a month. After hosting an iftar, Ambo was invited to return to Mombasa as the guest of honor for an Eid dinner. Originally, the trip was to start on Thursday, giving Ambo the opportunity to do official visits for two days before the Saturday night dinner while also ensuring that there would be some downtime at the beach. Then an important summit got announced by the government of Kenya and the trip was pushed back. The Eid dinner was the only firm commitment on the itinerary, so we left Saturday morning and shifted the official visits to Monday and Tuesday.
With the exception of the dinner, Saturday and Sunday were unscheduled days, so it would’ve been criminal for D not to invite S to come along. Unlike the previous Ambassador, D’s boss is a big family man and he was pleased that S could come. In fact, when we arrived at the Eid dinner, rather than go greet the host, Ambo said, “wait, I have to go meet this young lady first,” and went to shake S’s hand.
Everyone kept telling us that the weather was “cool”, but “cool” for Mombasa still meant mid-80’s with high humidity, so D felt little desire to walk around the city. He would’ve preferred to sit on the beach with a book in one hand and a G&T in the other, but it was also quite windy by the water’s edge. Trade winds do not make for ideal beach weather, so we compromised, spending Saturday at the beach and venturing out Sunday to check out Fort Jesus, which was built at the end of the 16th century by the Portuguese and which still stands guard over the old port of Mombasa.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this trip was the importance of scheduling downtime. Typically, there are so many sites to visit that a week on the road at times threatens to become more stressful than an average week at the office. This trip, on the other hand, almost did not feel like work.