In a few weeks, I’ll be flying to Nairobi to officially begin my position as the new Director of BurnessGlobal’s Nairobi Office.

I’m thrilled that Burness is returning to Nairobi—where we’ll continue the work we’ve been doing with groups based in and doing work across Africa. Only now, we’ll be closer to the organizations we’re working with and the people we’re ultimately working for—from smallholder farmers struggling to feed their families in the face of a changing climate to the young girls in Nairobi’s Kibera slum seeking a good education so they can climb out of poverty.

I’m also sad. I’m sad I won’t be surrounded by my DC-based colleagues, and that I’ll be far away from friends and family. Flying into Nairobi is always bittersweet, because it’s a sad reminder that I won’t be working with Jeff Haskins anymore, the first Director for Burness’ Africa practice, who passed away last year.  Jeff and his wife Meredith were tremendously influential in my life as colleagues, mentors, and friends. It’s tough to imagine living in Nairobi without them.

Most of all, I’m grateful. I’m grateful that I get to do what I love in a bustling, exciting, international city full of smart, interesting people. I’m grateful that I have an incredibly supportive husband who’s willing to leap across the ocean with me.  And I’m grateful that I knew Jeff, and that his advice was always to “go for it!”