The Foreign Service Journal, September 2021

90 SEPTEMBER 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL LOCAL LENS Please submit your favorite, recent photograph to be considered for Local Lens. Images must be high resolution (at least 300 dpi at 8” x 10”, or 1 MB or larger) and must not be in print elsewhere. Include a short description of the scene/event, as well as your name, brief biodata and the type of camera used. Send to . BY LAURA MERZ n LAKE ELMENTEITA, KENYA Laura Merz, a Foreign Service spouse in Nairobi, joined the FS community in 2013. After her husband’s unaccom- panied tour in Kabul, the couple served in Frankfurt. She is currently working as a freelance photographer, raising funds for nature conservation through the sale of her art. Her work is heavily influenced by the colors and textures of the natural world. This image was captured with a Canon 5DMiii and 70-200 F2.8 IS iii lens. L ake Elmenteita in the Great Rift Valley of central Kenya is known to be the some- times-home to a migrating flock of flamingos. Restless from recent COVID-19 lockdowns and hoping to see a few hundred birds, my friends and I set out for an overnight trip from Nairobi in April. As we exited the highway and saw the whole rim of the lake was colored pink, we realized we were coming upon something truly spectacular: It was estimated that a million or more flamingos were on the lake that weekend. We stood mesmerized for hours as the flam- boyance of flamingos swelled and shifted around us in the shallow alkaline lake, with small groups of birds taking flight through the mist and the cacophony of their calls immersing us fully in the dream- like scene. n