In my World History class, we’ve been talking about Africa the past few weeks. I promised my students that I would wear my “Africa outfit” at some point, so I busted it out of the closet today. The heat and humidity of early May combined with putting on the two-piece outfit that I had made for me while doing research in Côte d’Ivoire really made me miss all of the experiences that I had while traveling and researching. Add that to the fact that my friend Catherine is now being my hero by setting up business financial and technical infrastructure for small organizations in Kenya and it really makes me want to go back to Africa.
Before I started my current job, I had the good fortune to be a part of a wonderful research team that was charged with investigating the potential political conflict drivers and conflict mitigators within Côte d’Ivoire. This was awesome. If there weren’t so much danger/being away from my family for long stretches, I would love to do this job again. Granted, I REALLY love my job now. Yes, I have bad days, but for the most part I love what I do and who I work with. But, there is something about tropical breezes, ridiculously fresh fruit, meeting new and interesting people, having an office on a rooftop terrace, and having more immediate gratification that what I do matters that is really appealing. Throughout the course of our research, I got to meet some truly amazing (both good and pbad) people. From high power people within the ruling party (who have actually been arrested for war crimes after the political unrest last year) to the hotel wait staff, the cast of characters was incredible. My friend/former boss Amy and I had so many interesting experiences (not all of them good) while we were abroad that it’s hard to not miss it. If only I could somehow manage to have Husband and Ben with me during all of these adventures, everything would be perfect!