Sunday, February 16, 2014


It has been over a year and a half now since I began my journey of self-discovery.  I have cried and survived and thrived.  I have been tired and inspired.  And I have finally begun to dream of being home again.  I am exhausted so often, that I dream of the things I always took for granted.  I miss the ease of buying food as I please.  I miss being clean (though while I am luckier than most volunteers in the world in that I have running water and a shower, it’s sometimes very hard to convince myself that jumping into a freezing downpour is worth it). 


I miss putting time and effort into my physical appearance.  It’s hard to care about cosmetics at 6 in the morning when it’s still dark and I can barely see my face because there’s no lighting in my room.  I miss men with dirty minds keeping their dirty thoughts to themselves.  I miss sitting inside a car, wearing a seatbelt, while traveling.  I miss having a plethora of opportunities to be with my family.  I miss washing machines and clothes that are more than pretend clean.


Despite that fact that many of my conversations now center around my dreams of first world wonders, I know that I am and always will be absolutely in love with Namibia.


I love the mezmorizing shades and contours of the clouds which meander across the sky.  I love the subtle change of the landscape as precious rain falls, transforming the barren bush land into a lush feeding ground for life-giving herds.  I adore the fact that in Africa we share, regardless of how meager that sharing may be.


I love the scree’s and cha-churs of a thousand avians migrating across the mighty expanse of wilderness.  I will never forget the barely perceivable munch of masticating worms as newly green trees slowly return to being bare.  The rays of concentrated light breaking through the clouds, highlighting the beauty of the world, will always warm my heart. My olfactory senses being bombarded by the smell of newly fallen rain and animals and LIFE will always make me smile. 


I am awestruck by the sheer expanse of inspiration at every turn of the head.  The unidentifiable shades of an African sunset will always keep me guessing for words no tongue or pen or lens have ever accurately conveyed.  My heart skips a beat at the fiery tips of Thornwood trees as said sunset crashes into the horizon.  I love the rejoicing of voices young and old as the sky turns slate and thunder shakes their bones.  And I love the fact that at many times laughter and smiles are far better forms of communication than nouns and verbs.


As my time here begins to speed up, I know that these little things will become so much more important than the comforts of home.  Of course I will love those comforts, but while I may be back in America in less than a year, my heart will always be in Namibia.

Friday, February 14, 2014


It’s difficult sometimes.  Caring.  If I didn’t care, I’d sleep like a baby.  I’d be able to dream sweet dreams and finish a book every week.  If I didn’t care, I’d be free to explore the world.  I’d be free to relax and enjoy life’s little pleasures.  I’d be at the beach.  I’d buy new clothes and wear them at fancy restaurants.


If I didn’t care.


Instead, I find myself constantly worrying if I’m doing enough.  My nights are plagued with doubts and fears.  Am I doing the right things?  Am I going to be able to help?  My books are visited intermittently, whenever a minute or two can be spared.  And even then I am distracted, or inspired, and have to drop it.


Instead, I travel halfway across the world to stay put.  My explorations are of the imagination instead of the landscape.  I think of the beach as I take sandy steps to school.  Waves of worry crash around me, their thunder deafening.  I sit here, 100 kilometers from purchases and sigh-inducing meals.


Instead, I buy sweets for Valentine’s Day, and don’t eat a single one.  My shopping cart overflows with pens and tape and art supplies, stickers, crafts and glue.


Instead, I see all of the positive changes.  I see learning and friendship.  I learn about who they are and who I am.


Instead, I am living the true dream.  I am changing, growing.  I am happy because I care.


Caring is the most stressful, frustrating, hair-pulling, and rewarding emotion.


And I rock it like a neon fanny pack!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


All I can see is the black of my eyelids..  I lay in bed, sleep not far away.  Out my open windows I hear the rustle of leaves sweeping the sand.  The soft chatter of my neighbors is unintelligible both from the distance as well as the rolling sounds of an unknown language.  Gates screech and clink, bidding adeu to the day.  In the distance a bird squawks, once again challenging you to identify its species.

An old car complains as its owner attempts to waken it from its slumber.  The jingle of reigns from a donkey carts mingles with the coughing pickup.  Ting, ting, ting.  The rain dances lightly on the tin roof, promising new growth on the morn.  Goats cry to each other, wishing all a good night.  And there it is, the sound of youth, returning from rest, welcoming the new year with eagerness and exhilaration.

I am home.  A singular sigh escapes.  Muscles relax and I drift away to the symphony of home.