*The first two years of this blog have coincided with my wife’s graduate school program–she graduated in December (proud smile!) so I will need to be especially aware of evening and weekend time reading and writing about Africa. As I have mentioned, this blog has been in significant part a tool of my own education, so there is a symmetry here.
*At the same time, 2012 is a huge year for Kenya, and the natural opportunity for the fulfillment of the hopes and aspirations of so many of us who were involved in some way in the 2007-08 election fiasco, so I will do my best to stay highly engaged. Likewise, we once again have a simultaneous presidential campaign in the U.S., which will just makes things that much more interesting.
*Regardless, I do want to take advantage at present of my literal “distance” to observe and comment on larger themes and not get too sucked into the daily cycle of purported Kenyan campaign news. I learned quickly during the last campaign that every day brings big announcements breathlessly covered by the competitive Kenyan media–and of course this is available to us globally through modern ICT (and a real aspect of the campaign since the votes and especially contributions of the diaspora will be important)–but most of them are of little lasting significance.
*My distance from Washington will also, I hope, let me have something of a “bird’s eye view” on what is similar and what is different in the approach of the U.S. government and U.S. politicians and other actors to the Kenyan campaign and other events.