Even though our internet is still a few days away from being installed in our home, I am extremely happy because my sister Christine is here to visit. She arrived on Thursday night for a few days of work in her organization's Nairobi office before heading to southern Sudan for a few weeks. We are happy that she will pit-stop in Nairobi again on her way back to the States, probably in March. It is so nice to have someone else around...even though our furniture is not ready yet (remember..."pulla pulla", or "slowly slowly" here in Africa). We have been out to eat, to shop a bit, and tomorrow we are going to take her to see elephants and monkeys!
The political situation here remains tense. After the mediation of the AU Chair failed last week, Kenya's President rejected a document that outlined a plan for both parties to take steps towards resolution. He says he was unaware of the document while the opposition party (ODM) says that it was agreed to by the President and his party (PNU). ODM is so frustrated that the President swore in his Vice President and Cabinet and also rejected this document, that they feel backed into a corner with nothing left to do but protest. They have, therefore, called for "peaceful demonstrations" across the country on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The government and police have still banned these rallies from taking place but the party's leadership says they are all willing to be arrested. Needless to say, if people in the country really feel called to demonstrate, there could be a surge in the violence that otherwise seems to have ceased. We anticipate spending some days at home if the rallies are not cancelled. The tally of people who were killed after the elections as well as those who are displaced and are in need of emergency aid seem to climb every day. We certainly hope that this week's events do not add to those numbers.
We continue to be safe and cautious and, hopefully (again), the next time I write it will be from our apartment...but I am not quite ready to hold my breath just yet.
p.s. Message to TonyM: Sorry it has taken so long to get it but the phone number for China Garden across from the United Nations is +254-20-7122921 (if you are calling from outside Kenya). The receptionist's name is Naomi and I also have her personal cell phone number for you if the other number doesn't work for some reason, but I will need an email address to send that to because she wouldn't like me to post her number on the internet.