Good morning all.  Running a bunch of simulations for my thesis, and since they take forever to run, I figured I’d write a quick update as I await the results of my (detail = 4, n = 3, cost = 20, learn = 3) batch.

I’m supposed to fly to Nairobi, Kenya in 72 days (trip details here).  Yesterday morning, the US Department of State released a statement warning of an “immiment terror attack” in Kenya, one specifically targeting tourist areas like malls and nightclubs.  Yesterday night, a grenade was thrown into a Nairobi nightclub, injuring 14.  The attack comes as Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-run ruling majority in anarchist Somalia, pledged retaliation against the Kenyans, after the Kenyans went into Somalia for kidnapping their tourists.  There have been 4 cases of these Kenyan tourist kidnappings in recent weeks.

The news definitely ruined my day.  I immediately started rethinking my arrival into Africa, considering deferral into Dar es Salaam, Malawi, Uganda, or maybe even Rwanda.  I really wanted to start in Kenya, as I’d have a nice, semi-planned, welcome-to-Africa 10 days there before my Kilimanjaro climb.  I don’t want to die though.

As an engineer/ex-player of a stupid internet game that will be funding these travels, I know that impulsivity and emotional decision are not advisable in these situations.  I have not changed any plans yet.  In addition, I just spoke with my buddy Andy at Adventure Alternative, the company with which I’ll be climbing Kili, who surprisingly assured me that Kenya is quite alright.  Andy said that if I avoid the Nairobi city centre (which I’d normally want to check out), as well as the north-east coastal towns (which I’d possibly want to check out), I shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever.  His speech was comforting.  Andy is going back to Kenya soon himself to visit some family.  Adventure Alternative also has a guest house in the outskirts of Nairobi–where I’ll be staying for the first night or two–whose staff will be able to point me in safe directions.  Definitely comforting.

For now, I’m still planning to fly to Nairobi.  If the Somalis really ramp up their dick-headed-ness, I’ll probably defer to Malawi.  Malawi is supposed to be super beautiful and rather navigable, and I therefore wanted to save it for after Tanzania, to allow for maximum flexibility.  Can’t win ’em all, though.  Especially not in Africa.

Pray for peace,