July 6, 2011

So I just sprayed some DEET on my ear

Hello all! This is the so-far-untold chronicle of my six-month stint living and working in Kenya. As Anjuli noted, work talk will be light due to the sensitivity/confidentiality factor of health care & HIV. I also feel obliged to state that this blog does not reflect any official opinions or positions of the University of Washington.

Today has been my first full day in Kenya. The first of approximately 168 days to come. I left my house in Seattle at 11:30am PST July 3 and arrived at my Nairobi apartment 9:30am PST July 5. =46 hours, about 22 on a plane. I won't recap too much of the transit, though there was an exciting moment with me throwing a hissy fit (not a good color on me) and demanding that the agent at a closed boarding gate let me on that plane RIGHT NOW because I need to catch that flight, and I can see it RIGHT THERE. To which he responded, predictably, "Nope."

But all's well that ends well, especially when it includes a beautiful evening in Zurich, and now I'm sitting here in my apartment, which is far larger and nicer than I expected. Several grade levels above the place I lived in Athens in terms of size, quality, kitchen (already stocked with spices and wine glasses), insulation, and plumbing. View from the balcony:

Other first impressions/vignettes:

I was woken sometime in the middle of last night by a mosquito's high-pitched buzzing but was too groggy to wage a full-scale attack, so I just sprayed some Deet on my ear so that he could go about his business without disturbing my sleep. Tonight I am permethrin'ing my bedspread as an extra deterrent.

Aside from unpacking and setting up shop, I've been to the store to stock up on food and necessities three times today, twice on foot and once with the driver. My first real non-granola-bar meal was fresh papaya and bread with "cheddar" (which is decisively not cheddar). I also bought something named "feta," so we will see how that goes.

Walking back from my third trip this evening, I passed a school yard with children, another field with adults, and a father and son in the street, all playing soccer. The weather was beautiful, and I wanted to join in.

The drivers here are as bad as Naples for aggression. But despite my preoccupying fear that someone is going to run over my foot soon, I feel at ease. The last month has been very difficult and stressful, and this has been one of the hardest moves/trips I can remember preparing for, for more reasons than I have the energy to enumerate now.

Suffice it to say, I am currently pleased with life, and am looking forward to learning more about my new city, starting my job, making friends.... So here we go.

1 comment:

  1. does 'the' driver mean it's always the same person? how do you get around?