Wednesday, January 9, 2008

January 9, 2008 - Daily Life

Perhaps we assumed a bit too soon that daily life in Kenya was getting back to normal. While Kristoffer and I are still mostly unaffected by the crisis in Kenya and in our neighborhood life seems back to normal, the actions of the current government yesterday have incited more anger and protests from Kenyan's who follow the ODM political party. Very shortly before the AU Chair and Ghanaian President arrived to mediate dialogue between President Kibaki and Raila Odinga, Kibaki announced half of his cabinet members, filling the critical positions in the government before talks with the opposition. This was seen by much of the country as a sign that in Kibaki is patronizing Odinga in agreeing to meet with him and the AU Chair, and that he is not sincere about negotiating or compromising. The opposition instantly called it a "side-show" and stated that under no circumstances do they recognize this government.

Kibaki's Vice President is also an interesting choice. The candidate, Kalonzo Musyuko, represents the political party "ODM-Kenya", which split from the regular ODM party earlier this year over a disagreement about who in the party should run for President. Kalonzo ran separately on ODM-Kenya's ticket and came in third place in the election, securing somewhere around 600,000 votes I believe. If I am not wrong, the ODM party sees Kalonzo's appointment as an additional slap in the face.

Within hours of his announcement, there were riots and disturbances in areas of opposition support. At least one man was shot by police in the town of Kisumu and I have read that there were problems in Mombassa as well. No trouble in Nairobi was reported today (at least not yet) but the New York Times has written something about it so I am not sure. His timing was intentional, but President Kibaki's announcements surely have delayed the peace he claims to want for the country. As for Odinga, he is appearing in the media and to many people as being very hard-lined (and not in a good way) at this point. It is unlikely that either politician will escape this crisis with a good reputation in tact. Jendayi Frazer, the US State Department representative here in Kenya right now, said to the local media yesterday that if feels like there is "poison in the air" here.

Taking a taxi to the UN this morning to use the internet, the driver told me that he believes everything will be calm and there will be no more violence in the country, but also that Kibaki is not going to step down or give up, and that Odinga should take whatever olive branch Kibaki offers. I suppose only in the coming days and weeks will we know more about how Kenya will go on from here.

As for my daily life, I certainly never thought I would be a housewife before I had children to take care of, but I am dealing with it as well as can be expected. I am eager for a job and have an interview next week for a position in the fall as an English teacher at an international high school here in Nairobi. It is not certain, but it is a start at least! Luckily, I have met a few people here who are helping me network and that is very nice. Kristoffer is very busy at work; it is obvious that the WFP's work is extremely important and necessary here in Kenya (especially right now) and I know that he is extremely proud to be a member of its staff.

In other news, we have a lead that perhaps we will be getting internet in our home before next week begins, which will be a huge relief to and convenience for us! We are very eager to talk to our friends and family on Skype and to post pictures on this blog as well!



Kitte, Gert said...

Dear Lisa and Kristoffer
we have send you lot of thoughts in these days. We are happy that you write this blog, so we can be sure you are well. We still enjoy reading about your life in Nairobi.
Greatings from Kitte and Gert

Omar said...

Can't wait to Skype! Luke's officially walking!