10 September, 2012

No worries for the rest of your days

I have just joined the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) as an agricultural economist in the institute's Markets, gender and livelihoods Theme. For the first time in my life, I will be based in Africa. This is a thrilling professional and personal experience for me.

I landed on Monday of last week in my new home base: Nairobi, Kenya. After just two days of administrative meetings, I joined a team already working in Uganda where I got acquainted with hilly green landscapes, slow-moving traffic, mashed plantain and sweet potato chips with meat stew, Lake Victoria and its grilled tilapia fish, and the easy-going attitude to life in Africa.

The long Ugandan traffic jams were perfect to share horror stories of traffic jams, food safety and overall security concerns for expatriates living in Nairobi. My team leader nonetheless put the record straight during our first one-on-one meeting: Nairobi is a very pleasant city to live in if one sticks to common sense and stays vigilant on security.

The next few months are going to be somewhat complicated with relocation, finding accommodation, buying a car, getting used to a new environment, finding appropriate groceries for my cooking, looking for musical opportunities etc. The whole process will be made even more stressful by the fact that my father is currently recovering in hospital in France following a very serious illness and several major surgical operations; I shall be shuttling between France and Kenya to help take care of him.

I will thus try to learn this lesson well:

Hakuna matata
Soundtrack from the film The lion king, Disney

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