Monday, December 27, 2010


 I’ve been back in the US for almost 2 weeks now. A lot has happened since we stepped onto the plane in Nairobi, but at the same time some mornings I wake and expect to be under my mosquito net in Kenya again. Anyway, this post is just to give some closure (mostly for my sake because I doubt any one is still reading this) to my African adventure with a description of its final chapter. And I also want to extend my deep gratitude to all who read this blog and were interested in my experiences this fall. I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about East Africa and that I can share more with you now that I am back in the States.

So, here is a brief recount of my time since leaving African soil:

The return flights (Dec 12th) were long but that gave me some time to process and mentally prepare for being back in the US. I had a window seat on the flight from Nairobi to Heathrow and got to see the sunset over the Mediterranean as well as snow on mountains in southern Europe! Our layover in Heathrow was miniscule (aka I had my first, and hopefully only, sprint-through-the-airport experience) but we made it onto our Newark-bound plane with a few seconds to spare. A small contingency of SFS students arrived in Newark around 11:30 pm, US time (but about 17 hours after we got on the plane in Nairobi), and met up with some dedicated family members! I rode the bus in to Manhattan to spend two nights in my aunt’s apartment. Before I went to bed on my first night back in the US I took my first warm shower since Tanzania – glorious! My aunt Diane and I spent the following day walking around Central Park, eating delicious foods (like bread, cheese, yogurt, chocolate mousse!), and seeing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. 
in Central Park

We also visited the New York Public Library and saw a few of my aunt’s old co-workers. My flight to Portland on the 14th was really short and exciting – I got to look out the window at snowy mountains and a bit of Portland Harbor. My dad and uncle picked me up and ever since I’ve been surrounded by lots of family members at home :) I think I started missing Africa as soon as I boarded the plane in Nairobi, but it definitely feels nice to be in a comfortable and familiar place. I’ve been swimming most every day, which is nice but kind of scary. Winter training with the Bowdoin team (which starts on Thursday) will be more of a challenge than usual this year... The days seem to go by very fast here (partly because it gets dark so early!). Even so, I find myself feeling a bit lost or bored – it’ll take a while for me to settle into my American life after being away. I am glad to be back, but also anxious to keep my African experience close by, in my thoughts and actions, so that I never lose it.

So, once again thank you for reading.

Asante na kwaheri, Catherine

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