I am back in Nairobi now, getting my feet back under me for what I hope will be a long, fruitful journalistic journey.
I've published a new essay for an international relations website out of Oxford University. Since retuning, I have been writing indoors and not yet in the field much.
From what I've seen so far, the mood in Nairobi is calm. The corner food kiosks in my neighborhood are open again. The produce kibandas are heavy with fresh fruit and vegetables.
At the African Woman and Child Feature Service office, the staff is busy working on various projects to document and address the conflict that is ongoing in the country. There is talk of the peace and conflict training for journalists, a book of women and children's voices, media roundtables.
But the situation is not so optimistic in much of the country. There was fighting yesterday in Thika. A friend told me the story of a friend who sent his family from Nairobi into theoretical safety in Western Kenya, only to have his wife attacked this weekend.
Although there is less acute violence in Nairobi's slums, people are still struggling to find food and to return to work. The government has planned to close the camps for internally displaced people in Jamhuri Park and elsewhere. Some people have left on their own, looking for somewhere safe to resettle. Other people, among them refugees who have fled conflict in Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, are being shuttled around the country in search of safety.
The government is moving some people to refugee camps in Eastern and Northeastern Kenya. Thos areas already host a sizable population of people who have fled conflict in neighboring Somalia and Ethiopia. Although there has been comparatively little violence in those regions since the elections, residents say they are suffering from lack of food and funds.
The news from the Annan-led peace talks is vague. One BBC analyst suggested that Annan is intentionally starting slowly, getting the leaders used to agreeing before they face more contentious issues.
I had a long talk today with my colleague Wilson about whether or not the political question is still at the heart of this conflict. Some people had suggested that now the fighting is less about the presidency and more about revenging old and new grudges, about desperation and anger. But he said, no, the presidential race is still the crux of the matter.
When the midday news briefing came on at one o'clock today, the staff ran downstairs to watch news from the peace talks. There wasn't much to hear.
But people watch because, as Wilson says, Annan is the thread that is holding the country together right now. Echoing the sentiments from my last post, he says a friend on the street told him today, "When Annan leaves, then we will have real war."
At the end of a day-long meeting with business leaders today, Annan said, "This is not about individuals. Individuals may be ready to destroy themselves but we must not let them destroy Kenya."
Here's hoping that individual leaders and individuals on ground hear his message.