Happy New Year's everyone, wherever you may be. I wish you all the best in 2015 — peace, love and adventure.
I will be ringing in midnight in Ndola, Zambia, a country I never expected to visit or thought about visiting except in that obtuse way until a few months ago, when I received an invitation from a new friend in Australia.
His family has welcomed me in. We eat nshima together, watch TV ( a lot of evangelical TV from a Nigerian preacher who has his own station) and go on walks through their village of Pamdozi.
Tonight, the brothers and sisters and I will go to some oldies party in the city. I don't know what oldies means in AFrica to 23-year-olds and 30-year-olds ... We will see!
I do know to bring my own toilet paper. These small things? These nuggets of practical knowledge you gain moving about? Golden!
I have grown a lot this year. I left April 7 for Managua, to start this journey and build OUR school with The Friends Project.
So many people, experiences, lessons .... I'm stronger and have faced some personal mental things I prefer not to see, but did it anyway. Out here, I am making decisions daily and jumping off that "cliff" ... I have finally learned to stop hamster-wheeling the "what ifs" and let things be. (For the most part).
ONe of the things I think about out here, often, is how unexotic things become when you are IN them. In some ways, I've been bored in Zambia. Sitting around the house with the preacher tv, hot sun, no breeze, waiting around for nshima and wondering to go for a walk. And then that's the beauty, what seemed so foreign and left you with a big question mark weeks earlier is now "everyday," so you can feel such a way.
The more you travel, especially to places like the Bukusu village and embed yourself in situations unlike your own, it SEEMS scary or different. Then you find out it is not.
Suddenly, that place way off the beaten path is no longer exotic. You can see how we're all the same.
Which is the best thing on earth.
Life is short. The world is big.