Home, Sweet Home

A little over two months and 20 lbs later (yes, out of Africa with too much food and alcohol around…I’ve started rock climbing and doing hot yoga to ahem, slim down), I’m preparing to move to London for a Master’s program on September 19th. Just only settled and all caught up with friends and family, I’ve started going through boxes and piles of accumulated goods and would prefer just to give it all away (or burn it…). Africa and being so far away from home has taught me to let go of material things.

Other ways I’ve changed:

  • Gotten over my fear of the dark (no joke–an ex-boyfriend bought me a nightlight once but how else can you see the stars?);
  • Gotten over my fear of death (it’s actually comforting to someday return to the earth);
  • Being alone is quite nice;
  • Strangers in general are and can be amazing;
  • And being lost is nothing to panic about.

I’ve started to feel a little antsy being situated and inside so long. Between packing and the numerous doctor appointments and check-ups (found out from blood results I had survived another tropical disease, dengue fever, in addition to malaria!), I’ve been trying to go on weekly hikes. What I miss most are the stars at Lajuma. The galaxies and smearing of lights, sleeping outside in crisp, clean air and waking up to the chattering of Samangos overhead.

“Life is tough. It’s full of things that you may not like, but you’ve got to accept them like everybody else…Whenever something’s bothering you, look at the stars; it will remind you how small you really are, and I promise you, you’ll feel much better.” —Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami.

This describes perfectly how I feel after a long day and sadly, the stars here are quite unsatisfyingly dim. However, Seattle is beautiful in the summer with the lakes and surrounding mountains–especially Mt. Rainier. And being home and not living out of a bag and unwinding is comforting. But now I’m almost ready to leave again and excited to move to the UK where I’ll finally get to experience a winter! Having had three summers in a row, I never thought I would be excited to wear sweaters and bundle under blankets.

But feeling the l’appel du vide, soon to be off onto a new adventure in 18 days and hopefully back into the field by 2012! Working on that list, ticking off continents and species, meeting strangers and getting into trouble.

But Oh, Seattle, how I will miss you and kickball with the LEGENDS, backpacking at Mt. Rainier, skinny dipping in bioluminescent algae and other random adventures.

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