What a lovely weekend! Dinners, parties, champagne, and friends! It's cold in Nairobi now, icy and overcast. Everyone's wearing sweaters and shawls, so Friday evening by the fireplace was perfect. The warmth of S's house---rugs from Afghanistan, tapestries from Central America, African masks beside etchings from Paris. Meatballs with cinnamon, and couscous with feta and mint; the children eventually curled up under duvets by the tv. The hours unfolded. I stopped worrying about the baby at home with the ayah. We exchanged stories of the first UN years, we cringed at the Africa issue of Vanity Fair. The good chocolate was brought out---geranium and rose. The girl took some too, and soon she was doing pirouettes around the room as the first few adults started to doze in their chairs. We stayed much too late, without any regret.
Saturday night with old friends and a case of champagne. The announcement about the job, we toasted and hugged and on the drive home after midnight, the half-moon rose, a burnt amber orange, quite magnificent.
Rising from the embers, a Sunday morning walk to buy flowers and clear the head, and then to float half-awake to the lunch party. Indian food under a white tent; all afternoon, children spilling across the yard like marbles then slumping into sleep in their strollers. Talk of documentaries about Sudan, talk of the last trip to Juba, the summer vacations, talk of the Cameroon flight, the car crash to Rhino Charge, talk of new babies and previous lives and future collaborations.
Home Sunday evening to a bowl of spaghetti and the children dozing off after their bath and me thinking How wonderful the weekend, how wonderful our friends--- and yet how sad, that each occasion was a goodbye party to one dear friend or another.
Edward Hopper, "Sun in an Empty Room" 1963