The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2020

92 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2020 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL W hile serving in Uganda, Megan and I would enjoy taking our bright red Jeep, affectionately named Elmo, off-road, driving and camping on week- ends. We have some excellent off-road trail maps for our GPS that not only allow us to navigate fun trails but also give me plenty of opportunities for wildlife photography. On one occasion last May, Megan was driving and came across a muddy pothole that split the trail. These are not uncommon on Ugandan trails, as wart- hogs and the occasional buffalo will often wallow in the mud until a pothole forms as wide as the road itself. This one was no different … until Elmo got closer. Suddenly, a massive two-ton hippo- potamus lifted his great bulk and crawled out of the watery mud. Hippos will often sleep in these conditions to stay cool during the day after grazing all night. I was anxious about being there. The most dangerous land animal in the world, the hippo is highly aggressive and unpredictable, and is responsible for After a 23-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Peter Kennett joined the State Department as an office management spe- cialist in 2005. He has served in Warsaw, Pretoria, Islamabad, Singapore, Baghdad, Budapest and Kampala. During this time he developed fine skills in landscape and wildlife photography, which he now practices full-time in the American South- west. He and his wife, Megan, are both newly retired from the Foreign Service and now live on their small ranch in NewMexico. A Hippo Encounter BY PETER KENNETT OFF-ROAD WITH THE FOREIGN SERVICE Stand-off. PETERKENNETT Angry. PETERKENNETT