January 7, 2011

We are waiting in the Nairobi airport, and soon we will board our last plane for the month. We will arrive around 11:00 pm this evening to our cottage, if all goes well. So far, all has gone smoothly in terms of traveling. It was so wonderful to rest in Nairobi at the Fairview Hotel for a couple of nights. We are now ready to head down to the coast for a month full of work.

I had planned on meeting a professor in Nairobi who agreed to give me affiliation next year (if I get the Fulbright, that is) with the Institute of Anthropology, Gender, and African Studies. This didn’t happen because he was out of the country this week, and when I booked my tickets he didn’t know for sure if he would be here or not. Turns out, the latter was the case, but we were not upset about the plentiful amount of time that afforded us to rest and recuperate from our travels up to this point.

I am not sure what this month will bring; I hope that it will be rewarding in terms of the study plans that we have. I hope that it will be such a special time for our little family, too. The past few months since I returned to work have been quite trying on our little family in many ways; it will be nice to be together the three of us for a whole month. I like the idea of being focused here and sharing the same focus with Collin. It is such a joy to have Senya here. We have loved coming to Kenya for quite some time now, and it is so much fun to see here discover the beauty and wonder that is here to behold. We are missing the furriest member of our family, but it brings me comfort to know that she is with people who love her dearly and take excellent care of her. One day, if we return here for a prolonged amount of time, we plan to bring her here, too. And that will be so very fun and special too.

So, there is not a whole lot to write for now, but I wanted to give an update to say that we are doing well, and we are optimistic about what this month will bring. I have a few hopes and dreams in my heart for how this month could bring some much needed change to our lives; we shall see what happens. This is the first time that coming to Kenya has felt like a respite from an overburdened schedule. Don’t misunderstand–I love my life–but the past several months have been so strenuous and challenging that Collin and I both would welcome some alleviation from the stress that has been so heavy on our lives lately. Spending time here working in Kwale is sure to give me perspective on struggles, if nothing else. But I also hope that we gain some wins that will help us to be able to live this dream freely without feeling like we are wading through honey trying to make progress toward it.

One final note, the weather in Nairobi was so temperate and pleasant; that in addition to the plentiful rest that we got helped Senya and me recover from the illnesses we both got due to the wintry trek we made to Boston before we came here.

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