I will be traveling to Kenya and Cameroon at the end of this month. I'm not sure how I feel about re-visiting the two countries that sparked my career in Africa. I've already written about my feelings about Africa, but now in addition to my professional interests this upcoming trip is provoking some unexpected emotions.
I started my expat career by spending a year in Nairobi (1999-2000) which I can say was one of the best times of my life. It's true that I didn't have a boyfriend at the time but I really grew professionally and personally. This was the first time I'd seen the Mormon Church in action overseas, and I loved it. Of course, I never left Westlands once the movie theatre was built, but that's a minor detail.
Cameroon is a different story. Since we are going for a meeting, I don't know if I'll have a chance to visit my old post, Ambam. It's about three hours away from the capital. I've been emailing with a current Peace Corps volunteer there, and I'm amazed at his account of how much the town has grown and changed. I'm just afraid of seeing how much Cameroon has deteriorated since I left in 1995, and how that will cloud many happy (if blurred) memories I have of my two years there.