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.:: The Daily Cowbell ::.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Observations | Safe in Kenya, Town trip, and Turkey

MY APARTMENT – Christmas is in just about 10 days.

Being that mailing things to Africa is a time-consuming (no to mention barely guaranteed) process, UC chaplain Pastor Rich Carlson will be bringing Valerie and I our SM Christmas Boxes, by hand, when he comes to visit next Thursday. Val and I are super excited, being that our friends and families have loaded us up with some goodies to make our holidays here seem a little more like normal.

The last few days have been draining, knowing that we’d get a little taste of home, but still in another week and a half. However, we’re excited for Rich coming and visiting us. He’s apparently visited Asia and South America in the last few months, so swinging over to Africa here is just a part of his world tour. (*Jealous*) Seeing someone that we’d so closely related to our Union experience will be a great reminder that while we’ve still got great times ahead here in Africa, we’ll be back home soon, too.

Three Observations:

1. SAFE! With the previously reported “No” victory for the referendum, it seems that my future in this country has been secured. The Orange camp comfortably beat the Yes Bananas, and the few riots that have been in the streets are out of glee, not anger. (By the way, am I the only one who’s still not sure why joyous times also call for riots? I mean, remember what happened in Detroit a few years ago after the Pistons won the NBA Finals – Why? “Horay, our team is the best, let’s flip over this Passat and light it on fire!” I don’t get it. Maybe they were just upset that the Pistons had accomplished something the Lions, Tigers, and Bears Red Wings couldn’t do. Detroit sucks.)

So now, I guess Kenya’s constitution is back on the drawing board. They’ll start working on a new plan, which will probably take another 4 or 5 years to get nailed down. I’m guessing that’ll all be thrown to the wayside, though, in 2007, when President Kibaki, the biggest supporter of the constitution, will have to run for re-election. John, the cafeteria native worker I went to the election with the other day, invited me to come back and take part in that one.

Not as an SM, no way. But what about as foreign press…

2. “History of violence,” but not currently. At the voting center, the lady I was talking to had told me that she thought it would be best to avoid Nairobi on Tuesday, especially the inner parts of town. If anything was to go bad at all, it would happen there and then. Between that and an additional warning from Doug Hartzell, I felt pretty nervous about our town trip for the week.

However, after some coaxing from Elvin to go in (“If we don’t, the terrorists have won!”), I decided to give it a shot, as long as we weren’t out in town as late as usual. My traveling partners conceded, and we swung in to pick up some groceries and do a little bit of shopping.

It ended up being a very short town trip. Yaya Center, a mall that we’ve hung out at before, had most of its stores closed down for the holiday. We’d eaten before we left, so our weekly Java House stop was just for sweets. (Have I ever declared my love for espresso sundaes before? That goes onto the list of me to write love songs for…) We thought about taking in a movie at Nakumatt Junction, but after the disaster that was last week’s “A History of Violence”, we decided to skip out and just grab the groceries and get back home.

It was literally our shortest town trip of all-time; we were back on campus by 5pm, with plenty of time to unload groceries, eat supper at the café, and toss around the football at rec. Later that night, we’d finish out the trilogy of (good) Tom Clancy book-movies, Clear and Present Danger. Overall, a pretty calm and normal town-trip. Very welcomed, considering that it could have been exciting (too exciting) had the election gone the other direction.

3. No turkey, but… As my family spends their Thanksgiving break in Colorado on our annual ski trip to Breckenridge, I’m now even farther – 10 time zones – from them. Not only is there not snow here, there’s no break or anything from classes on Thursday. Why? Because in Africa they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Or 4th of July. Or Labor Day.

Why not (as 3 different friends and family members have asked me in the last week)? Because the Pilgrims didn’t land here.

Just as well, there are enough American staff and students to justify doing a special dinner on Thursday evening to commemorate the holiday going on across an ocean from us. We’ll have sweet potatoes, gravy, corn, and gluten (close you eyes, stick it in your mouth, and pretend like it’s turkey!). While I’d much rather spend the evening with my family, it’ll be a very acceptable, very welcomed attempt to emulate the scene at home.

Okeeeee, I think it’s time to get some stuff done. I’ll talk to yall later. E-mail me sometime, darn it! I’m all alone her on the holidays!



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