Those of you who blog and/or journal frequently will understand the dilemma between living in the present and making the most of every moment as it happens on the one hand and the urge to sit down to re-live one’s fondest experiences and share them with friends and family on the other. Over the course of the last month, we have erred on the side of the former, somewhat to the detriment of this blog. As we prepare for new adventures in the coming weeks, we would like to share some of the highlights of the last month with you.
an afternoon at a tea farm
At the end of last month, we had our second visitor from the US. Whereas our first visitors spent only a few hours with us on their way back home from Tanzania, this time we got to host our friend for an entire weekend. Though we mostly spent our time together in Nairobi, we did manage to get away for an afternoon at a local tea farm. Run by descendants of the earliest British colonists, this formerly massive plantation still produces some fine local tea. In addition to lunch and a brief tour, we also got a long-winded explanation about the origins and production of tea from the comically chipper farm owner. Located just a 20min drive outside Nairobi, this idyllic place offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Veterans’ Day weekend coincided with the 236th birthday of the US Marine Corps. Since Marines guard American embassies, the Marine Corps Ball is a time-honored tradition for the diplomatic community. Given that the ball was organized by a corps known for efficiency, we were a bit surprised by the somewhat lax coordination surrounding this year’s event. Among other things, the actual layout only loosely corresponded to the floor plan the Marines had circulated when selling tickets, and our table – situated in a prime location on the Marines’ floor plan – did not even exist at the venue. After searching in vain for the mysteriously absent table #30, we were told to find seats at one of the extra table in the back corner of the room, which provided easy access to the bar and restrooms, but no view of the ceremony. Supposedly, the Marines cut their birthday cake with a sword and serve the pieces to guests of honor; we wouldn’t know because we could not see a single thing from where we were sitting. Overall, we give the ball mixed reviews: the food was good, the music terrible – and though there was dancing and we participated with gusto, there is only so much one can let loose at a party officiated by the ambassador at which all of one’s coworkers are present. Mostly, the Marine Corps Ball is an opportunity to dress up, to see and be seen. Though we won’t post pictures on this blog, there is photographic evidence of D wearing his tux and S in a ball gown. Those of you who are skeptical should email us and we’ll happily share.