(I've changed the name from "Rants" given that I can't really rant about many things that frustrate me here, at least not without getting into some sort of trouble. As such, you'll have to wait for the book.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Brave New World

Tis the busy time of year. I know that could be said of most of the year but Oct-Dec is generally pretty crazy in this line of work, independent of what country I’m working in. It’s just the nature of the beast. 

Since the last blog post I moved into our new apartment. A day later, my family arrived from Burundi and we were on the way to setting up our new home. Finally. We’re still not there yet since it will apparently be some time before we get our stuff from Burundi by truck but we are much closer. It's a big contrast to the country we left behind - a brave new world. 

our new apartment building
The girls have begun school (French school) and so far that’s working out nicely. I think the teachers were a bit suspicious of the girls’ level of French given that neither of their parents are native French speakers. But their fears were allayed as they both hit the ground running. The Belgian school in Bujumbura has apparently prepared them sufficiently for fitting in to their new school mid-term. Their gregarious nature has made it even easier. 

picking up the girls from their first day
Soon after arriving was Halloween. It’s obviously not a big deal here and, to be honest, neither of the girls knew what Halloween was. There was a chance that we’d not do anything this year either until one of the families in our building decided to initiate a small party and trick-or-treating to the apartments. Nairobi is not the kind of place you want to go roaming about at night, knocking on peoples’ gates. It’s the bad kinda spooky all year round.

Then there were the US elections this past week. Obviously there was a lot of international interest. There always is but this year, partially due to the polarized fever in the US, it was more significant than normal. In my long life as an expatriate, I have experienced six elections. In fact, I was living in Switzerland when Reagan was still president. I remember listening to the inauguration of George W. Bush on the radio in 1989. I’m not going to drone on and on about the elections of this year. I don’t have much to say that would add to what has already been said. I will only say that it will be important for Trump, early in his administration, to demonstrate to Americans that he does not have (or that he will suppress) the racist, misogynistic values that were revealed during the campaign – comments that make me shudder. Many of his supporters are hoping for the same. In fact most Americans are not huge believers in him. They were either voting for or against Hillary, or against any Democrat. It’s up to him to prove to the non-believers that he’s up to the task. I doubt Americans will have a lot of patience.

"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power." -P.J. O'Rourke, writer

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