Tuesday, May 15, 2012


The United Nations Office in Nairobi. Walk through the gate, bag scanned, registered, 10 minute walk to meeting location. Red carpet! Wow! “Just don’t walk on the red carpet, but proceed that way.” Apparently, I am not important enough. Finally someone told me in my face.

The Africa Human Development Report 2012 was launched by the President of the Republic of Kenya, this and that ministerial excellency, the administrator of something something and the director of blah blah. All protocols observed, as they say in Africa.

And the memories flood, after more than 18 months away from the Commission, I had forgotten how boring these events can be. For the last time, panelist number 12, we got the point. Now we know why we are here. And as usual, everyone keeps going on and on about their own problems regardless of what the meeting is about. Why not mention the stolen cattle of the Islamic Foundation of blah blah (clearly I was paying zero attention), when we are talking about farming and women empowerment. The two must overlap somewhere, but it’s so hard to focus and understand where. After all, this is the first day I woke up before noon. The only thing keeping me awake is the large number of media with video and photo cameras. You never know where your sleeping picture could end up. So, awake we stay.

Speaking of media, the expat, badass white male reporters that have spent half their lives in conflict zones are a dying breed here. Apart from 3 white women, the rest of the reporters were African man. Not that there is anything wrong with this, it’s that all my movie ideas were shattered. Just like that.

No pictures. Once I am more legit than a simple visitor, I will take some. The Compound is beautiful. Large green areas, hedges beautifully sculpted  in animal forms, clean, smoke free and quite. Now ain’t that a good working environment.

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