Monday, June 12, 2017

Good Morning, Nairobi.

What's your daughter doing on this fine summer morning?

Donning a green apron? Making her way to the local Starbucks? Ready to whip up a day's worth of five dollar Frappacella's or Ice Mochachino's for the coffee elite?

How about your son? Is he at sleepaway camp? Or maybe he got a job with a construction crew and is pounding out framing walls for a dining room extension at some McMansion in Brentwood?

Right now at this very moment, my daughter is stepping off a prop jet, held together by duct tape and used Bazooka bubble gum, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Not the fantasized version of Kenya found at Epcot center. The real Kenya. The one that's 15, 580 kilometers away.

In a few hours she'll be introduced to nyama na irio, gana and ugala, which is best described as cornmeal brought to a boil until it becomes a grainy dough that has the consistency of a heavy brick.

Moreover, she'll grow to love it. Or she'd better because she's not in Nairobi on a layover, on some stepping stone to a luxury resort in the Seychelles. No, not my daughter.

She's gonna be in Kenya for a solid three months. Studying for her Public Health program with the University of Washington.

She'll be in the city.

She'll be in villages.

She'll be wherever people with deadly contagious disease are.

I've been told there's nothing to worry about. That she is is good hands. And that she has taken all the precautions necessary for a long haul in Africa, including vaccinations for malaria, typhoid, Bubonic plague and yellow fever.

But relaxing and setting my mind at ease is just not in my nature.

So I've researched every way I can to monitor her situation. I have the US Ambassador to Kenya on speed dial. I know the quickest routes to and from East Africa. And I've linked up with my daughter on every internet-based app known to man, including Instagram, what's app, and Skype.

I tried to secure a unique handle for myself: @Anxiousdad44

But it was already taken.

Wake me when it's September.

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