(p.s. I Wrote this last weekend but couldn’t seem to post it!)
You know, I started this blog with the sentence: ‘This girl has been busy’. I don’t know why. It just came out – automatically. I guess because it’s a good excuse. Excuse for silence and not blogging. And it’s what I’m meant to say, isn’t it? Working back for an NGO with it’s HQ in the UK, people like to say they’re busy. They probably are. Another report to write. A budget to be realigned. A claim to be made. A meeting, and then another one. Busy. Busy. Busy. I guess we secretly like it, being busy. The value it gives us.
To some extent, I have been busy. Especially this past week. There was a board meeting I was presenting at, a needs assessment coming up next week which I’ve been planning for, a training I did for some staff, an all-day staff planning meeting, conducting interviews for a new project manager.
But I’ve also left the office at 5pm most days. My evenings have been relaxed. I went to Kakamega forest yesterday (see pics below) and today I’ve mostly spent the day re-watching old series of Downton Abbey. So it’s not been manic.
I don’t know why I haven’t been inspired to blog. It’s not like I don’t have much to say. It’s a new job. I’ve seen a lot. Learnt a lot. Done a lot.
But the stories seem more routine than before. I’m home. Maybe that’s why. Do you want to hear about home? Do you want to hear the routine? I guess what’s routine for me, isn’t so much for others.
Well. I’ve settled into my job. It’s been 5 months now. Isn’t that crazy? Time has flown. I was living in Kakamega until October. Kakamega is nice but it’s quiet. There’s not much to do outside of work, not many places to go, not much to see and it’s not where my friends are. So I was glad to move back to Nairobi. I’m the only one from SAC (the NGO I work for) based in Nairobi, so we got a new office space, just for me. I’m sharing an office with Turning Point, who I used to intern with back when I was in Kenya before. It’s a strange full circle, but it’s great.
The job is day by day. Some days more exciting and interesting than others. That’s normal. But I love working for an organisation I believe in. Even on the duller days it’s worth it. And I get a great mix: I get to be based in Nairobi, behind a desk but in a city I love. But when I just begin to get itchy feet, when I begin to feel claustrophobic by the office walls and the pollution of the city weighs heavy I get to flit off to Kakamega. Escape the office. Walk on the farms, talk to the people we’re working with. Hear their stories: sometimes challenging, sometimes difficult, often inspiring.
Outside of work? Nairobi is great. Things to do and friends to see. Food to be eaten, places to go. I’m slowly catching up with friends that I’ve lived away from for over 2 years. I love that. I’m getting a normal life back too. Work is work and home is home. It’s an easier distinction to make than when I lived in a team house.
I’ve got a flat now and am slowly making it mine. It’s got 2 bedrooms, and the second one is empty at the moment (though I’m considering looking for a housemate) and waiting for guests to come and visit.
So, as we say in Swahili Karibu nyumbani.
Welcome to my home.
In Kakamega Forest
Trees upon trees upon trees!
Mr Okeka was a wonderful guide.