Monday, August 16, 2010

Home Again

I have to first apologize to all of my blog followers because I left you hanging. It is true that I arrived home safely last Sunday (Aug 8th) with lots of luggage.

I must back track a bit though because I briefly described the Safari, but I still had a week left of Tanzania. It was a bitter sweet week and therefore kind of difficult to write about not to mention I was hit with my second illness. It wasn't as serious as before, but my symptoms weren't looking good for a couple days, so again I was being closely monitored by my lovely CCS staff.

When we got back from an amazing weekend on safari, we were met with a warm welcome by Edna and the rest of our CCS friends, but there was also a new group waiting to meet us. As much as it was exciting to meet the new group of bleary eyed travelers embarking on their new adventure, we were veterans now, and we missed our friends who had left.  Everyone in the new group seemed very nice and had a surprising amount of energy.

It was my last week of placement, so I wanted to have some fun to leave a lasting impression. We played all kinds of fun games like pictionary and bingo! We also set up a facebook page for Twisuka. On my last day I wasn't feeling very well, but I wanted to say goodbye so I dragged myself down Dar Highway for the last time. They were so sweet. We chatted and took pictures for a bit, then they presented me with a beautiful wood carving of a twiga, my favorite. Although I wasn't doing what I thought I would be doing at this placement, I really grew to love the people I worked with.

My leg after henna
As for the rest of the last week, I spent my time finishing a book, relaxing on the couch, and trying to take in every moment of my experience before I had to board the van to the airport. It was an impossible task. Nonetheless, I tried and in that attempt I had some clothes made out of khangas purchased at the Monday market. I also got henna done on my leg. While I didn't have any sort of design in mind when she started, it turned into a beautiful winding road that reminds me of my journey in Tanzania. Even though I wasn't feeling very well, I sat under the tree and watched this woman free hand this design in under ten minutes. Amazing! The week was pretty much like that. Before I knew it I was getting in the CCS van on the way to the airport. I said goodbye to everyone, watched some crazy people on the way like the guy carrying the fish tank full of fish on his head, and I was on my way to Dubai, JFK, and Orlando.

As much as I would love to share every moment I experienced on this journey, there is no way to put into words what I saw, smelled, tasted, felt, and experienced. I know on some level I have been deeply affected, and I don't think I will really know the depth of that change right away. I have been back now for over a week, and I still have not been able to process everything that I have been through. I am back to work, but I don't feel like I am fully engaged or involved in my work because part of me is still in Bagamoyo or somewhere else entirely. Maybe its jetlag; maybe it's a parasite; but maybe it is the start of something bigger, some kind of change in myself that I won't truly realize until I am able to allow my journey to complete itself. Thank you to everyone who followed me on this exciting ride.