Author: cavanaghux

Dive Trip to the Sudanese Red Sea

I lived in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia for fifth and sixth grades. On many weekends, we’d go to the beach on the Red Sea. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to scuba dive in the Red Sea. Snorkeling and swimming wasn’t enough. I wanted to go deeper, see more, and hang out under the water. I finally got my wish. We just got back from a week-long dive trip on the Red Sea, leaving from Port Sudan. (We flew on Emirates from Nairobi to Dubai and then on Fly Dubai to Port Sudan. This avoided having to go through Khartoum.) The trip was great! The marine life was abundant. The reefs were healthy. The boat, the M/Y Voyager, was nice (review to come soon). The people we dove with were super nice and we made some new friends. There were just a few glitches. There was not a lot of current, and so there were not as many sharks as I would have liked. We did see some though. I even saw a hammerhead – my first! …

Knitting Experiment

Some of you know that I am a knitter. In past blog posts I’ve written about knitting and the struggle of finding yarn in Kenya. It is tough. I’ve been experimenting with yarn from Spinner’s Web. It’s soft enough. It comes in pretty colors. However, the yarn weight isn’t even. A given ball of yarn can range in thickness from lace weight (like a string) to super-bulky. This issue causes two problems: You can really only do stockinette or garter stitch. Color work, cables, ribbing, and other elements just don’t work. You can see the issue with the ribbed hem of a sweater. 2. Getting a size right is tough. I made a sweater for myself that fits fine. (It was in DK weight yarn.) I used that same pattern with the Spinner’s Web yarn (thinking that DK might be a good mid-weight example thickness to use as a baseline) and the sweater has come out child size. It will fit a 10- or 11-year-old. I am an experienced knitter so I know the problem isn’t …

Driver’s License for Expats in Kenya

I did say I’d keep posting any new tips. Here are some relating to driver’s licenses. Getting a License Okay, here, I can’t help much. The U.N. did it for us. I don’t know the process if you are not with the U.N. or an embassy. If anyone reading knows this information, please feel free to add it in via the comments section. Renewing a Kenyan License This part I know and it’s super easy. For anyone who is a resident and has an Alien ID card, you can just go online to eCitizen web site and renew it online. You fill out the form online, pay online, and print your renewal slip which you tuck into your license. However, if you have diplomatic status (e.g. are with an embassy or the U.N.) then you can’t do this. You won’t have an Alien ID card. Your license will need to go through the Foreign Ministry first. BUT…and this made my entire year…you don’t have to go through the ssslllloooooooow process at the U.N. or at …

I Used To Be Driven

Now, I’m driving. I’m taking the car a few days a week. I pretty much only need to hire a driver for one-off trips. This is a very new thing for me. I like it. I never really understood the sense of freedom people felt with having a car. Living in New York, why would I need one? It’s a maintenance. You have to garage it or move it every day (every other day?) because of street cleaning. It was a pain to have a car. Now, I’m loving it. I’m comfortable on the road. I still hate parking lots but I’m fine with them. I love being able to go where I want, when I want, without having to plan every single excursion. I’m all about the car. I even want us to get a second car. We don’t need one. I can drop off J. and pick him up from school work. It’s not necessary for us to have two vehicles. But, I want my own. Actually, I want the one we have now …

Town Hall

Last week I attended a town hall at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Nairobi. I’ve been to one of these town halls before so I had an idea of what to expect. There were announcements from Ambassador Godec and others and then there was a Q&A session. This town hall wasn’t as good as the last town hall I attended, but it was informative. Here are what I saw as the key points from the town hall: They are cautious about the upcoming elections. I discussed this with others and not everyone agrees with my take on this. That said, the advice is to: make sure to have enough food, water, and medications to last your family for a week. How much water is enough for a week “…depends on how clean or thirsty you want to be.” make sure your place of work and wherever your children are (school, daycare, etc.) has sufficient supplies for a week. keep hard currency (cash) in different denominations on hand.  Plans for direct flights between Kenya and the …