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staying safe in an unsafe land

We have received various emails and skype calls over the last month or so expressing concern for our safety as Kenya continues to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. For those who have not been following the news, below is a brief summary of recent events:

While we do not want to downplay the seriousness of these incidents, we would like to assure you all that we still think it is safe to live and work in Nairobi and also to travel around certain parts of Kenya. Although recent events have focused the world’s attention on Kenya’s security problems, it is important to note that Nairobi has been rated as critical for both crime and terrorism by the State Department for the last decade. These attacks, though unfortunate, were certainly not unexpected. Staying safe while serving in a critical/critical post requires adjustments. It has meant restricted travel (for example, Kiwayu, where the first attack occurred, is well within the 80km stretch of land bordering the Somalia border that has been off-limits to Embassy personnel long before the incident). It also entails modifying our behavior, spending more time hanging out at friends’ houses and avoiding malls, nightclubs, and other crowded places with lax security that present a tempting target for attack.

The last few months have underscored the important role the Embassy’s Regional Security office plays, both in keeping us informed and in evaluating Kenya’s complex security environment. While there are parts of Kenya that are dangerous, much of this country is not, and it is still possible to enjoy living and traveling here. With that in mind, we hope that those of you who have expressed a desire to visit us follow through on your intentions.

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. gary arnold #

    thanks for the post D and S. Great to hear you are both staying safe and continuing to do good work. I hope you get to make it back to the clubs someday and I hope you can still ride the ma ta tus (did I spell that correctly?)

    November 5, 2011

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