Monday, January 21, 2013

Home is where you rest your feet

“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown”

This whole journey has been an exploration from the cosseted, comfortable life I used to know to the overwhelmingly daunting indefinite.  I know this may seem pretty obvious, but when small situations happen back home, and I realize that they mean more to me than they should, then I remember the fear and nerves I should be feeling by living so far away. 

Everyone is okay, thank goodness, I have just had to re-evaluate what I know to be sure from my solid foundation of home.

Fact #1: my family is uprooting yet again to an unknown house in a few months. 

Fact #2: the person I used to love, care for, and share every part of myself with has found someone else to fill the empty spaces in my absence

Fact #3: life goes on back home.  Whether I’m there or not (and whether I like it or not)

Fact #4: I really have no reason to be upset about it, (and this drives me craziest of all).  

In conclusion: I can’t help but feel utter loneliness when contemplating these facts.

When I find myself in such an unpredictable environment, it has been nice to know that home will always be my home.  Though I never really predicted, when I took on this challenge, that home will always be in a constant state of transformation.

I think the unmatchable feeling of vulnerability is what has caught me by surprise.  I have never had to remind myself that what I’m feeling is okay before.  I’ve never had to reassure myself that it’s okay to feel sad and that everything will get better.

I spent the past weekend in the capital of Gaborone for training for the new Peer Support and Diversity Network (PSDN) that I have now become a part of.  It was very nice to speak to and spend time with volunteers that I would not normally see, but above all, the weekend was so cathartic.  It was a stark reminder that everything I’m going through, every tiny woe that I push down and try to ignore is absolutely normal.  Every odd emotion that occurs within me, every time that I’m on-edge for seemingly no reason, and every single second that I question my being out here…is normal and shared by my peers.    

Bottom line: I’m not the only “crazy” person out here.  

I will slowly learn to accept and forgive the transformation of my altering concept of home. For now, I will acknowledge and recognize the theory that home is wherever I rest my feet, and for the time being, I must create a home for myself in Botswana and believe that this is where I want to be (even on those days when I want nothing more than to curl up on an airplane and head back to the U.S.).  

 “Devote yourself to an idea. Go make it happen. Struggle on it. Overcome your fears. Smile. Don't you forget: this is your dream”

I will accomplish my dream, and I will do it with a smile.

I have been flirting with the New Year’s Resolutions that I’ve set for myself and so far, minus the “being in my village more” one, I’ve done a pretty good job. Botswana has had a drastic adjustment in temperatures lately also.  Where one day I overheard complaints of starving livestock due to the intense drought, I now hear about local people’s houses being thrashed apart by the superfluous rainfall.  Yesterday I was waiting in my shopping village for three hours to get a ride to Gobojango.  No phone network, no transport, no electricity, and I was shivering the entire time, realizing that I had no sweater under my rain jacket. I felt like I had plopped down right into Florida in the middle of a hurricane. Even the animals were finding refuge from the down pouring skies wherever they could! 

On my ride to Gobojango, I was shocked to see that the waters had surpassed the bridges and that locals were as stunned as I was and were taking pictures of the rampant floods as well.  I arrived home to find that the electricity was still not working and I spent the night cooking by candlelight.  I felt at peace as I wafted off to sleep to the sound of rainfall, and was awaken in the morning by a soft chill. 
What else is there to say?  There is a new intake group of volunteers who will be attending their in-service training and I will be heading down to the capital yet again this weekend to conduct a couple presentations for them. The first one is a team presentation for the King’s Foundation (a non-governmental organization that donates sports equipment to small communities) that I am now the official Peace Corps point person for and the second presentation is a “get to know me” session for those interested in speaking with the new PSDN members.  Lots of great things going on!

In conclusion, I’m keeping my head up, and I’m still finding reasons to smile during the day.  Right now the rain has stopped long enough for me to see a deep rust color resting upon a pale greenish blue over the black horizon of trees and huts as the sun sets. Couldn’t pay for this sort of beauty.  

That’s all for now!
Feel a hug from Africa,


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