09 March, 2013. I can’t even tell where we are. I’ve slipped my windowshade up a crack, and the lone beam of sunlight cuts into the tunnel of this warm dark cocoon like a police spotlight. Inside, headphone-muffled passengers doze, type at their laptops, play Angry Birds, or watch the seatback movies. An elderly couple sleeps, her head on his chest, his arm over her shoulder.
Outside, in the impossibly bright blue, towering white mountains rise up from rivers of ice. Waves of fog crash on their windward faces in slow motion, breaking and rolling. Inside our pressurized aluminum crysalis, life goes on, oblivious. The world outside is nothing to those of us in here and, fittingly, we are nothing to it.
I’ll be home in six hours. A hot shower, a change of clothes, and that’ll be it, the end of another roadtrip. Oley and Tiago are still back in Nairobi; they’ve been asked to stay on and follow up with the lagging national tally, and the inevitable challenge and recounts that will follow it. Word from the internet suggested that the IEBC has declared Kenyatta the winner, exceeding the required 50% + 1 needed to avoid a runoff by a scant 4000 votes. This, out of a country of 40 million people. So the challenges will go on, as will the observation mission.
I could have stayed, I know – I’d finally gotten over the jet lag. But I’ve been away from my other life too long. Devon, Miranda, Jeremy. My team (which one? I’ve got so many, for the many different lives I seem to lead). I’ve got a family to tend, a job to do – an important one – and friends, old friends to see again. Plus, I was getting really tired of the crappy pillows at the Hillpark. Monday morning I’ll be back at my desk, and this life will be as far away as those mountains outside are to the sleeping couple in Row 11.
[Okay, folks – that’s it: the end of the Kenya Roadtrip Chronicles. Blog will probably be relatively quiet until mid-April, when Devon and I are ditching the kids with grandparents and going off to Israel/West Bank. -p ]