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So I absolute love being here.  Every time I land I wonder why i’m not already living here permanently.

But there are still some things that drive me nuts.

Like the maid at the apartment where i’m staying stealing my jewlery including a prized gold and sapphire ring!  And management seemingly uninterested in doing anything about it despite it being them who hired the staff member. (its a furnished and serviced place).  I don’t know what to do.  I’m certain its the maid who stole it.  Can I demand that they compensate me for the loss?

And of course I’m having these debates with myself about not making a big deal of it because the girl lives in Kibera and in the larger scheme of things I have a lot more material possessions than she will ever have access to and that parting with my jewelry is a small price to pay for the place of privilege I occupy in society and especially her certainly underpaid labour cleaning up after me………

Then sometimes I just get mad because its MY stuff and its not fair to steal, and I am already giving back with project A so I am already paying for my privileged place in society……..

probably sounds petty to some but indulge me.  I’m a political scientist and I spend an inordinate ammount of time and brain energy thinking about how my principles and ideas translate into my daily lived experiences…….. whoa i’m rambling. I’ll stop now.

And I know i’m paranoid on this rape thing but I’ve spent the past two days at a really intense conference on sexual violence and i’m up to my ears in thinking about it.

Then this morning I had to take my mom to the police station (long story but my mom is one of those women who will pursue justice avidly and I really admire her for it).  Anyway, there was this young girl who walked in with super red bloodshot eyes to report that she was raped last night by a classmate who tried to choke her to death which is how her eyes got that way.  Taking a brake from a conference on rape and running into a rape victim within minutes is just overwhelming.  I’m about to lose my mind.

I know its because its along my line of work and its what I study so i’m exposed to the topic more than most but still. surely, something needs to change in this society!  Why are people behaving like animals!

Anyway, I’m off my high horse.  Its just that when it comes to sexual violence, my nose is constantly stuck in Kenya’s armpit and I’m not liking the smell at all!

In other news I’ve been driving around the last couple of days and I must say I actually enjoy driving in Nairobi.  Now granted that’s because I’m used to California drivers and California traffic but its actually not that bad and the radio stations are super entertaining!

Back to the daunting task of networking with people working here as Mzee and I try to figure out a soft landing for when we relocate here in a few years.

I’ve been here a bit over a week now and i’m living it up.

I found the perfect apartment a short walk from both Yaya and Prestige, got my transport situation sorted, and have basically started up my life from where I left in January.

Keeping busy with project A which is at times frustrating, exciting, exhausting, and so so much fun!  The Kenyan work/volunteer ethic can be really challenging when you’re coming from a land of workaholics.  That said, I know if I relax into it, I too appreciate the slower pace of things.

Its really good to be back and to notice all the small changes around the city.  Someone has been on top of this road repair thing which is good to see.  And in general systems seem to be working faster than they have in the past.  Except of course the ID issuing.  I’ve been waiting for a new ID for over 3 years!!

I had also forgotten how slow the internet connection can be though.  I”m yet to purchase the either the Safcom or celtel wireless card.  Peeps out here whats your recommendation?  Safcom or Celtel for internet connectivity?

I can’t wait for the undersea cable to get here! and to see how Telkom’s Orange and Econet change the market.

All said, its WONDERFUL to be back and i’m counting down the years till I relocate here permanently!!

o.k. off to find a wireless card so I don’t have to type up disjointed posts at the cybercafe.

Yesterday i passed the 12 week mark and I breathed a muted sigh of relief for surviving the first trimester!!

I leave for Kenya in less than 24 hours (still no apartment lined up!) and I’m really wondering if this is a dumb thing to do. To commit to over 20 hours in the air with another 10 hour layover.  Doesn’t sound like its good for pregnancy but they say it is.  Its usually a hard journey to make even without the additional exhaustion of pregnancy. Not to mention I am still in the throes of pretty intense ‘morning’ sickness with constant nausea and heartburn and assorted other maladies.

What if I start bleeding again while on the airplane?  Or while in Kenya? Will I be able to get the medical care I need?

Its a real battle in my head. On one hand women give birth in Kenya on a daily basis and children survive and thrive. I was born there and turned out well for all practical intents and purposes.  I really dont’ want to fall into paranoia.
Then again I now have two friends in Kenya who have lost their babies in pregnancies that I’m convinced could have been saved had they been in the States. There is no doubting that the medical technologies are far more advanced in the states.

Am I being a bad parent by traveling and not ensuring that my unborn child has access to these medical technologies?

Mzee seems to be o.k. with my traveling. I wonder though if he’s not speaking up because he doesn’t want to get into an argument about it. It must be rough to not have that control. The welfare of his child is completely dependent on me and the decisions I make at this point. I had never thought of the challenges of fatherhood in that way before. The only point he has completely emphasized is that I am in no way to lose weight while pregnant. I had this idea in my mind that I could still lose some pounds in the first trimester and it wouldn’t matter. Boy did he make a stand! Surprisingly, I’ve been able to maintain the exact same weight for the past three months. All thanks to the nausea.

Anyway, am I being reckless by traveling and denying my unborn baby access to the best medical care possible? What if something happens to me while i’m there? I’ve gotten dysentery during a trip in the not too distant past. How would getting it again affect the baby? What if I have to take medications when i’m there? What if I’m raped? I know its far fetched but I know enough to know that rape is a real problem that hardly anyone talks about. And I’ve been threatened before….

worry worry worry