Saturday, June 14, 2008

Last night in Ukenzagapia

I'm staying with my American aid worker spouse friend for my last night/day here since I left a bag of stuff with her (and I thought I'd surely be able to connect my laptop). It's not exactly your typical Ukenzagapian experience considering that they have 6 bathrooms in their house.

This evening I went with them to a casual party with lots of people whose children are in the same expat-dominated school. It turns out that the party host happened to be the American consul (I think they probably had even more bathrooms). The evening was dominated by all sorts of expat African stories ("When I was posted in Rwanda after the genocide..." or "When we worked for the embassy in South Africa..."). I don't want to be heavily involved in the expat community here, but it is useful to know the people who can help you if you get in a pinch. I ended up getting heaps of advice from the consul about potential visa problems we might encounter when Jon comes in the future. The consul also reminded me to register my travels with the embassy when I return, which is prudent but something I think I've done only once before (or maybe I just thought about doing it).

Admittedly, it was great to have some American-style finger food like little spinach quiches and brownies. Mmmm. I love brownies. It's also nice to be staying with a family for the night before my very long trip home. My last day will include some last minute shopping and possibly some socializing with my Brit friend. I'm feeling good about what I've accomplished in Ukenzagapia, which is a qualitatively better understanding of the landscape, natural history, people, culture, challenges, and logistics. Next year: data.

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