January 6, 2015

Day 45 (we go forth)

We pulled into Nairobi in the early afternoon, with plenty of time for me to call a taxi and get back home to my apartment.  But somewhere along the way, without flair or fanfare, the bus/tent combo became my new normal, and I chose to spend a final night at the campsite before returning to my complex.  In fact, when I eventually did get back to the apartment, I wore a dirty sweater out of choice and felt nostalgic for the tent.

Normalcy can change dramatically after 45 days.

But, in truth, a return to Nairobi was just a return to another larger transition because I was planning to move back to the United States just a few weeks later.

Which is where I am now.  Sitting in a cozy studio apartment in the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco.  I moved back 17 months ago, and, yes, it's taken this long to finish the blog.  I have all of the normal excuses plus a few extra up my sleeve.  I've been busy.  I've been distracted.  I've moved thrice.  I've struggled through growing pains at a new job.  I've been traveling.  To Brazil, Mozambique, South Africa, Pittsburgh, Boston, Barcelona, and South Africa again for work.  To Tahoe, the Bahamas, Seattle, Montana, Colorado, and Tahoe again for pleasure.  I've put down some roots here, but I'm still getting around.

Ilhabela, Brasil

Sandbars off the coast of Mozambique

Backpacking in Glacier National Park, Montana

So now, after a year and a half of living in Kenya and 45 days of living on the road, I'm left with a few souvenirs I've picked up (salad tongs, anyone?), a couple of pictures I've painted, and these stories.

Thanks for tuning in for the stories.

Health clinic waiting bay, Marsabit District, Kenya

Driving into the sand dunes of the Namib Desert, Namibia

From my journal on that last morning after the last day on the road:

Day 45.  Sitting at the last campsite back in Nairobi, post-breakfast, waiting for [taxi] Peter to pick me up and take me home.  Which won't really be home because [my replacement] will be there, and we have to change apartments, and I'm leaving for good in one month.  

As is the way of things, this trip ends with more whimper than bang.  Only nine people remaining from the last 24; only 3 remaining from the original 28.  I could have enjoyed myself more.  I could have enjoyed less.  I could have behaved better.  Could have been worse.  As it stands, this chapter within a chapter is over, and we head forth into the next.  

So a hearty "Hello!" from San Francisco, and best wishes to you all in this new year.  And as with the better endings, a drive off- not into the sunset but into a sunrise.

Sunrise in the Serengeti.


  1. I'm really enjoying your blog, every post is so interesting :-)

  2. Hi Kara, i discovered your blog two days ago and binge read through from the first post. You know the feeling you get when CBS decides to discontinue your favorite series? Thats how I feel today :(. You owe me 15 days of the trip.

  3. I will miss reading your posts on our beautiful country, but i hope you are doing awesome in San Fransisco!

  4. Your photos are gorgeous, Kara! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

  5. These photos are quite amazing. I especially love how you captured the health clinic waiting bay in marsabit, i like the fact that you are detailed.

  6. Photos you shared in this blog is so wonderful and nicely clicked. I am glad to read your blog. Thanks for sharing your information and photos with us.keep posting like this.

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