It has been challenging to watch international media coverage of the conflict. Media houses broadcast an endless stream of images of towns aflame and men with panga wounds to the head. There is little transparency about the Annan-led negotiations between ODM and PNU. They give thin coverage of the human struggle of people living in poverty in rural and urban Kenya.
From friends in Kenya, I hear that the situation in Nairobi is relatively calm, but that there are flare-ups of violence in areas that have not seen much conflict to date.
Some people who have been sent out of the country by their employers have returned or are due back this weekend. Others who have been on the ground the entire time are talking about a new way of working... about armed guards on work and home compounds.
But there are some positives. My flatmate went to her Brazilian dance class downtown on Monday night. Journalist friends say domestic media are working together to try to cover the conflict without exacerbating the violence. People are doing what they can to move forward despite the sense of suspended animation.
Today I got this message from a Kenyan friend who is generally optimistic. I think it speaks volumes, so am sharing it with you.
"The mediation process is ongoing but both sides are bogged down by their hard-line positions. Many of us are holding our breath because we know that an uneasy calm prevails only because Kofi Annan is still in Nairobi. The day he gives up and boards his plane home, all 34 to 40 million of us would want to be on the same ride out of Kenya."
When I return, my intention is to continue to focus less on news updates and more on personal stories and perspective. If there is something in particular you would like me to write about, please post a comment or send me an e-mail.
If you have any suggestion for media outlets that might want to pay me for my work, I would be glad for those suggestions as well!
Before I leave the UK, I have to keep a promise to a friend in Canada. I'm going to visit the Tate Modern. I'll see what's on the walls, but am more interested in Shibboleth, an installation by Doris Salcebo.
It's a great crevasse down the floor of the Modern's giant installation space. It is intended to respond to "a long legacy of racism and colonialism that underlies the modern world."
Shibboleth will perhaps be a chance for new reflections on bridging the deepening divides in the nation bisected by the great Rift Valley.