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Leaving Nairobi

After lots of back and forth and mental anguish for me I have decided to head back to Johannesburg where I’m currently based. It’s been a tough day. I’m from a multi-ethnic background and I feel like I’m being hit on all sides – family stranded in Kericho, no word from family in Kisumu and Western, in-laws under siege in Nakuru, relatives businesses being looted at the Coast, my mother emptying out her two stalls at Kenyatta market and carrying out things in plastic bags and duffel bags because mobs have threatened to burn down the market tomorrow – that’s her livelihood – it’s bad enough that she’s had no business for most of December. We are all feeling so helpless and are reduced to platitudes like “let’s hope for the best” and all “we can do is pray” and “it will end soon” and “these guys need to do something” but all we are doing is masking our fear that we are on a precipice.

I leave tomorrow afternoon, if we get to the airport OK. I have practically changed my ticket three times. That’s how conflicted I am.

I LOVE Kenya. That’s the only reason I’ve spent the last week practically chained to my laptop so that I can chronicle the unfolding events and keep folks who have no access to information updated. But like many of you out there, I find myself living a dual life for professional and personal reasons. And I’m battling with the feeling that I am leaving Nairobi just when I am needed here the most (actually I am).

After a sleepless night last night, I came to the conclusion that though I could push the limits, as a parent, I have to put my child’s safety above my passion (she better not talk back when she’s a teenager!).

I will continue blogging events from Joburg and will try and get back to Nairobi in a few weeks once my guys are situated at home.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your words of encouragement and support, for sharing your stories (keep them coming), for sharing your opinions, for tolerating my draconian stance about comments (trust me I’d rather not have to moderate, it’s not an easy task), and for reminding me why I love Kenya so much even at its ugliest.

112 comments to Leaving Nairobi

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