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adieu

When does it start feeling real?

three-horned chameleon2

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here’s to you, Nairobi

A brief note of heartfelt thanks to all the people — the young, and the young at heart — who have made our first Foreign Service tour an unforgettable experience.

Party-018

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65 boxes

It’s hard to say what’s more unsettling: arriving at a new post and moving into an empty house that remains barren for weeks, or even months, while one’s belongings are in transit, or packing up one’s possessions and sending them away with a moving company and then living in the empty house that seems all the more bare because for years it had been filled with the things that make a house a home.

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Emmie was decidedly unsettled by our pack-out.

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down to the wire

Despite the team of movers that descended on our house to crate up our belongings for the overseas move, we’re still struggling to come to terms with our imminent departure. The mind’s inertia to change is remarkable.

clown under attack

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approaching nostalgia

Two weeks and change left before we bid adieu to Kenya and close the book on our first Foreign Service tour overseas.

staring out at the ocean2

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lazy lie-in

Serving abroad, we get both local and American holidays off from work, though knowing that some countries go a bit overboard with celebrations, the State Department caps the number of total holiday days per year at twenty.

President-elect of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta waves to his supporters in front of a church in his hometown Gatundu

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the northern frontier

Turkana, in northwest Kenya, is a land of extremes. Scorching temperatures, intense droughts, and flash floods are the routine features of a difficult existence for the region’s pastoralist tribes. Believed by anthropologists to be the cradle of human civilization, the Lake Turkana basin remains virtually untouched by modernity – a kind of living museum that offers a rare glimpse into the way life was millenia ago.

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short, but slow

It took us most of this week to recover from the last weekend. In fact, the mere thought of going through our photos and reliving some of the tournament games was exhausting.

Moses marking

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FEAST V

At the hat tournament in Kigali, a young man with a huge camera approached D to tell him that he was working to organize the first Ultimate Frisbee beach tournament in East Africa, to take place in Tanzania next summer. A surreal conversation ensued during which D tried to explain that East Africa already had a thriving annual beach tournament, an assertion that the young man shrugged off several times, saying, “Ok, but this will be the first Ultimate Frisbee beach tournament in East Africa.” No amount of convincing could persuade him that he was half a decade late and that Kenya has hosted exactly the kind of tournament he had envisioned every Easter for the last five years.

FEAST V

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matatu air transit

From commonplace frustrations with the big airlines to the absurdities of local carriers, contempt for the vagaries of air travel is among the most common laments among Foreign Service officers.

Cessna 206

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