23, 24, 25 July 2008: Nairobi, Kenya.
“This is your first mission, isn’t it?” asks the Finance and HR Coordinator of Nairobi, quite amused by the disappointed expression of my face. “Otherwise you would not be so eager to reach the field.”
I thought that I would immediately fly to Juba, but instead, I am staying two more nights in Kenya. The airline company previously used for direct connections to Juba, is now blacklisted. Plan B: flying to Loki and then Juba.
I am accommodated at #153, a guesthouse for hundreds of expatriates in transit. The place is amazing, has big rooms, a cosy lounge, a separate dining room, a patio with a view to a green garden. It is the end of July and the local temperature is 13°C. The setting would have been idyllic if there were not the metallic doors inside the house and the numerous locks reminding the security level of the location, and some attacks and robberies that occur at night.
And there, I meet Alex, a young Kenyan in his mid-20s, who is working at the guesthouse as a cook and a cleaner. He was working in the hotel industry before and considers applying one day as an expatriate logistician. Thanks to him, I get the opportunity to go to the local markets, where no expat would go, and taste a homemade chocolate and strawberry cake. Not a second I imagined myself eating such a delicacy during an MSF mission.