Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There is so much I am loving about this adventure. The work is fascinating, and I am meeting so many smart, intelligent, and committed people that it makes me very happy that I work with strategic knowledge and have the opportunity to work in a field as interesting as knowledge services. And watching people get excited about the process of developing enterprise-wide knowledge strategy is in itself particularly rewarding.

And Nairobi. What can I say? This is one beautiful city. Yes, there are pockets that aren't so pretty, and the poverty and unemployment in the city (and throughout Kenya) are painful to behold, especially when you think about how even the educated people - once they've finished their high school education or their university education - can't get jobs. We talk so much about how education is what leads to ending poverty, but what do we do in a society in which people who are educated can't get a job because the country is just too poor?

But such thoughts - painful as they are - cannot affect the pure natural beauty of this place. Just to go out of a late afternoon and walk from where I'm staying up to a very nice shopping center called Village Market is to have a lovely experience. And when the sun is shining - as it is most of time during the daylight hours - is to pass among some of the loveliest homes I've ever seen, among all the flowers and trees and shrubs, well, it's a sight to behold.

And there is a very real reason why everything is so fresh and lovely. So much rain! I've arrived at the end of what's called the "short" rainy season (I get the "long" rainy season a few months from now), and it should be wrapping up by the time I return from Rome in early December.

But we're not at the end yet. So far we've only had one very rainy day - and that was just for part of the day - but, wow, did the rains come down. But generally speaking, the days are quite beautiful, sometimes a little warm but not uncomfortably so, and the sky has to be just about as blue as blue sky can be.

Nighttime is different. We've had several big rains during the night, and I find it fascinating to wake up and listen to the rain. It really is sort of like being in a storm at sea, I suppose. The noise is terrific, and the rain comes down so hard and just hits the ground or the roofs of houses or cars with a huge banging noise (makes me grateful to be inside). Still, I love listening to the rain, and it's great for sleeping.

And last night we had a major heavy rain almost all night long, with the electricity going off several times during the night. But the hotel's generator switches on, and there's no major inconvenience. Still, I can't help but wonder what it is going to be like to be walking about say, from one building to another, or from one shop to another, when the rain is so heavy. My colleagues hear say you just keep on with what you're doing. You might do it a little more slowly, to accommodate for the rain, but you just keep on. And I've been told that many of the women walking along simply take their shoes off and walk barefoot, which should be interesting to see. Don't think that's quite my style, so I expect I'll have some soggy shoes from time to time.

There's another natural phenomenon I'm having a little fun with, too, and that's the daylight hours. But that's because  - hard as it is for this East Coast USA resident to understand - there really isn't any difference here in when the sun rises and sets each day. It comes up every morning between six and seven and it goes down every evening between six and seven. Guess that's what it's like when you're near the equator. Or so I've been told.

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