Saturday, February 9, 2008

February 9, 2008 - Progress in Kenya

We don't have too many new updates here, except for Kofi Annan and his team's press conference yesterday. They announced, as you may have read, that both sides of the political conflict in Kenya are close to agreeing on a solution to the election controversy. Before the press conference, the media went wild with rumors that everyone had agreed to a power-sharing government, which is actually not the case. The news now seems to indicate that Odinga is agreeing to legitimize Kibaki's presidency, but in exchange for what we are not quite sure yet. We remain slightly on the skeptical side but the people we have spoken to in the past two days are greatly encouraged by the prospect of political peace.

I really enjoyed working at UNICEF for the last three days and I think that everything I am learning will give me great perspective for future employment, be it in schools or out. I am learning so much and have already produced one useful document analyzing the overall picture of education for displaced children in Africa, inconclusive of the information UNICEF is missing and the challenges they are facing right now. I also received a call from the international school that interviewed me a few weeks ago; they've asked me to come in for a second discussion about available positions in the fall and so I am encouraged that it will lead to a job offer.

There is no news on "the Great Sim Card Caper of 2008", but we expect to hear from the Diplomatic Police next week. Kristoffer and Christine are both doing very well. We are going to give my back one more week of recovery before we go on safari in the Nairobi National Park next weekend; we are ready to see more animals but it will be a long day of sitting in the car and my back is not quite ready for that.

Lent began this past week and Christine and I weren't able to make it to an English mass on Ash Wednesday, which I think was the first Ash Wednesday of my life that I didn't go to mass. So weird! Tomorrow we are going to try going to a different Catholic Church, an Italian one with 3 English masses each Sunday, and they are also giving ashes for the first Sunday of Lent. Better late than ever I guess! We will eat a good breakfast and bring water in case it is a 2 hour ordeal again :) Kristoffer asked me what I was giving up for Lent this year; last year I successfully gave up using the elevator at work (a 14 story school building!) and the year before that I miraculously gave up ice cream (extremely difficult). The way I see it now, when I moved to Kenya two months ago I gave up living in my country, being close to and talking regularly with my family and friends, eating meat, and apparently my sim card! I think Jesus will understand if I don't sacrifice anything else for Lent this year...he will understand that I want to hold on to some selfish indulgences, like chocolate croissants and hot chocolate for breakfast and watching old episodes of "How do I Look?" on the Style Network.

The weather is beautiful in Nairobi today. February is supposed to be the hottest month here, which usually means sunny and in the 80s. Some days I feel challenged to be here, but there are definitely some perks to living in Kenya.


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