Settling In

So a month into my move and resettlement in Nairobi and things are goin' well for the most part.  I've gotten a quasi-schedule going in the mornings (those with no power outages) that now includes fresh ground coffee to wake me up for my 45+ minute walk to work.  The bonus of which is a less pasty tint to my skin, learning the back roads of Nairobi, and lots of exercise.  And on those days I'm running late I've discovered that the number 46 bus camps out in Jamhuri picking up the likes of me so that's a relief.

This past weekend was a busy one.  I had planned on joining friends at their flower farm in Nakuru but after discovering the price hike at the national park I decided to sit this trip out until I have the necessary paperwork from Immigration to get me in at the resident's rate.  They are sticklers about getting their non-resident fees and not accepting reasonable proof of pending status.  Despite the disappointment over missing out on exploring a new part of Kenya, there was many a fun event to attend here in Nairobi including belated birthday, housewarming, and baby's first birthday parties; a barbecue; church; blankets and wine concert; and a Superbowl party.  By the time the Superbowl rolled around at 2 am Kenyan time on Sunday night I'm sad to say I was not the best company (I slept through at least two quarters of the game) but I did see the exciting finale.  I can't say I was very invested in the outcome of the game and I was a bit disappointed to discover the lack of Superbowl commercials on the military station, but I am glad that the Packers won. 

Work is good as well; I'm enjoying my colleagues and the job so far.  I'm learning a lot about rainwater harvesting and water issues so that's interesting.  I'm also working on a couple of grants and have also gotten the go ahead to start implementation of my ideas to increase the organization's brand awareness domestically and involve more local donors.  Nairobi is sadly lacking in the charity event scene despite the number of NGOs stationed here so I am on a mission to change this.  Sponsored happy hours, pub crawls, lecture series, or charity balls, anyone?  And they are sending me to Swahili lessons beginning this week so I might actually accomplish #2 of my list

The downside: the flat.  Yeah, it's special.  It still has problems but hopefully I will get them sorted by this week.  Living without a functioning toilet sucks.  Especially when the maintenance manager only wants to come to fix it during the week, or when there's not a power outage, or shows up 1-2 hours after he says he'll be there.  Plus the fact that I just got an email saying that they haven't fixed it because I'm never home.  Well that's what happens when you have to be at the office between 8 to 5.  I took off early to be home for him to fix it one day and he got there after he said he would and didn't actually accomplish the task so yeah, I'm over this situation.  Plus the fact that my apartment is apparently on a separate grid than other parts of the same building and I'm up to 4 power outages in as many days while my next door neighbors still have electricity.  That's not annoying.  Not to mention that all of my friends hate the dirt road they have to drive down before turning onto the other dirt road to get to my apartment building.

However, all in all, I can't complain.  The annoyances are trivial.  I am not homeless.  I am not living in a war zone or worried about sporadic acts of violence breaking out over a vote of secession.  I like my job.  I like reconnecting with my old friends and making new ones.  I love being back in Kenya.  Life is good.

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