Unlike most careers, which encourage one to put down roots, the Foreign Service seems tailor-made for people who can’t sit still or be happy in one place. A three- or four-year assignment might afford one the chance to settle in a bit, but a two-year tour, which is the norm until D is tenured, makes it all but impossible not to think about the next assignment. The typical two year timeline is usually broken down into 3-4 months of learning the ropes, a year or so of actually focusing on and doing one’s job, and half a year of mentally preparing for the move to the next post.
Up until the very end, we were on the fence about going on the CLO rafting trip. On the one hand, spending the day on the Tana river, communing with nature seemed like an enticing proposition. On the other hand, waking up with the sun on Saturday morning, especially after a night out Friday sounded less than appealing. We have mostly steered clear of CLO-organized trips, preferring to plan our own adventures rather than joining a large Embassy crowd on group outings. However, rafting is a group activity by definition, and ultimately the opportunity to spend the day away from the routine hustle and bustle of Nairobi proved to be the deciding factor.