Recognize this flag?
Let me narrow it down for you.
It's not Portugal. Or Peru. Or New Zealand. Or Bolivia. Or Laos. Or Bali. Or Ceylon. Or any of the 200 other sovereign nations, I would have preferred as destination for my daughter's studying abroad elective.
This is Kenya.
Wedged between the newly formed and rambunctious South Sudan and the failed state and home of Africa's ugliest pirates, Somalia. This is where my oldest daughter will be heading in June. A decision that has already taken 5 years off my life.
My heart was as strong as an ox. It's now been downgraded to a lemur. Or a prairie dog. Or one of those baby deer that are often seen on the National Geographic channel, running across the Serengeti and losing a mortal foot race to a hungry, merciless cheetah.
It should be noted that my daughter is majoring in Public Health and hopes to go from the University of Washington to do something in medical research. Or, god willing, become a doctor. So it makes sense that Public Health majors travel to the countries most in need of Public Health services.
But damnit, Kenya.
It's not even on the good side of Africa. It's on the eastern side with bloody civil unrest and crazy Islamists. Fuck, there's not one spear on the flag, there are two. This is not a place for a nice Jewish girl from Culver City.
Moreover, it's not as if the Siegels have made many friends on the continent.
What if, and I'm only conjecturing, the scammers in Nigeria catch wind of my daughter's impending visit? By the way, my first book is still on sale on Amazon and can be yours for just $15.99.
She doesn't board the plane for Kenya for another three months so I still have time to learn to meditate and practice my deep breathing techniques.
And, if she'll take me up on my offer, three months is also plenty of time for my daughter to learn the basics of Krav Maga.