Sunday, January 6, 2008

January 6, 2008 - Happy 6th Month Anniversary!

It is hard for Kristoffer and I to believe that we were married only 6 months ago. Our life and world have changed so much since then. If you told me on our wedding day that in 6 months we would be living in Nairobi, Kenya during an unpredicted political crisis, I would have scoffed of course!

Nevertheless here we are. Nairobi is very quiet and peaceful today, much to our delight. We saw one of our furniture-makers this morning; while our furniture is not ready yet, he was well, which made us happy. Our big trip today was to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which rehabilitates orphaned elephants and rhinos. Unlike the other "orphanage" we visited, this organization does actually release the animals into the wild, although it is an 8-14 year process, depending on the elephant. We were able to see 8 elephants, ranging in age from 2 months old to almost 3 years. They were extremely playful with each other and at one point one elephant, chasing a soccer ball, ran under the rope into the crowd getting some poor girl completely muddy! Many of these orphans' mothers were killed by poachers, which is a big problem in northern Kenya. Other orphans were simply found in difficult circumstances, for example at the bottom of a well, and the organization doesn't know for sure what happened to their families. The organization only opens from 11 am - 12 pm every day and we really enjoyed the hour. When our internet connection is set up at home, we will post pictures! We also ironically met a Danish couple visiting Kenya for a month as part of their medical studies. They happened to know another Danish couple that we know through the World Bank in DC. What a small world!

In terms of the post-election turmoil here, we are very impressed with Kenya's media and religious leaders who have joined together in a campaign to get the political leaders to put aside their personal presidential ambitions and reach a solution that will unite Kenya. Tonight, for example, all of the local channels are airing the same live prayer program from 6 - 7pm. One non-profit broadcasts text messages from citizens during commercial breaks on one news channel. We saw one program of Kenyan woman last night; they were extremely articulate about the need for mothers to stop the young men in the country from looting and being violent, and the need for the leaders to step up to the plate and actually be leaders. There seems to be a consensus here that the country wants peace now, not later.

Kristoffer will go back to work tomorrow (good for him, sad for me) and should have some interesting insight once the WFP is back to transporting food throughout the country.



Joanna Noon said...

Happy 6-month anniversary, you two! I will almost faint in your honor. :-) Glad you are healthy and safe and feeling like you can contribute something positive to the terrible circumstances around you. We miss you! Joanna & Dave

Omar said...

Happy Anniversary!
Wait a minute...6 months?? That's not an anniversary unless you're a high school couple!! C'mon!