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Monday, February 21, 2011
Alice Macaire- My Life As A Diplomat's Wife
Published on 19/02/2011
Being a diplomat, my husband gets to be posted in different countries on foreign missions. We are so lucky as ours is a wonderful life. Being the wife of the British High Commissioner has its thrills as I get to meet interesting people.
My day begins at 6am where we have a family breakfast. We have two daughters - Molly, 12, and Nell, 11. They study at Kenton College, which is a great school.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, I go for Kiswahili lessons. Kiswahili is a great language and we (with my fellow learners) laugh a lot at our mistakes.
I spend the rest of my mornings at the Karura forest taking in the sights and sounds, and musing on what needs to be done. I often meet with Charity, usually at 10am, to discuss the day’s project. I have given Karura forest full attention, as there is really much to be done.
In the afternoons I often go to my children’s school to watch them do sports. My husband is usually home by 5pm or 6pm. Most evenings, maybe twice a week, we have receptions at our residence. We also get to host many dinners for dignitaries, including senior government officials like the Prime Minister.
Sometimes I feel nervous and pinch myself wondering, is this really happening? But often I end up talking more than everyone else.
Everywhere we go, I get involved in a project because I am a trained project manager. Before we came to Kenya, we were in New Delhi, India, where we lived in an old, fashionable area with beautiful architecture. I spent time urging reluctant Indian friends into areas of town they never wanted to go to.
Before India, we were in Washington, DC. We were caught in the 9/11 bombings. That day, my husband was meant to go to the Pentagon. Someone asked me to switch on the TV just as the second plane hit the Twin Towers; I heard that the Pentagon had also been hit. Panicking, I called my husband. His phone rang and rang. Eventually he picked. He had been delayed and rescheduled the Pentagon meeting for the afternoon; those were terrifying times.
While in the US, I got involved in a fundraising for charity — the National Symphony Orchestra.
Karura is by far my favourite project. I’m happy to see practical results and I’m humbled by the goodwill from people and the government. Kenyans are really a great people who always say yes. They want to help unlike in the West where people do not like responsibilities and are more reserved.
Here, everyone wants to make life better and it is for this reason that my husband and I always say thatKenya