In just a few short weeks, I will be leaving my little Caribbean town and heading to a different sort of Jungle.
My decision to spend a month in Africa as a wildlife refugee volunteer was a fairly spontaneous one, but I am pleased with it nonetheless. Although I haven’t written much lately, I do hope that I can figure out how to assemble my electronics so that I can blog from the beautiful location of Victoria Falls, located right in between the countries of Tanzania and Zimbabwe. I have no idea what to expect from this experience, but that is how I prefer it. Without expectations, all I can do is live in the moment and simply focus on appreciating anything and everything that comes my way.
In the meantime, I am spending my days discoving new ways to learn and be creative.
I have begun taking singing lessons with a local musician twice a week, which I am absolutely loving. I use to sing quite a bit in fact, but gave up the practice when I decided that it wasn’t practical enough and that it was time for me to grow up. Ironically, such a decision based on that sort of reasoning now strikes me as such an immature action!
Now, however, I am falling in love with music all over again. I love how it is truly its own language. I love how changing just a single note on a fairly complex chord can alter the sound completley. I love the emotions that differnet melodies and harmonies can evoke. But most of all, I love that for that 45 minutes, I am brought back to a place in my childhood where it didn’t matter if I screwed up a note or if my voice cracked. All that mattered was that I had fun and played with the tools of music, bringing with me only a curious fascination and willingness to experiment and to learn.
In addition, I am also trying to master the art of surfing, which brings a more intense set of challenges, as this is a completely new skill for me. But, oh, that feeling of catching the perfect wave and actually standing up long enough to ride it all the way to the shore!
…OK, in fairness, that has only really happened once. The rest of the time, I am struggling to paddle out beyond the break, getting punched in the face by waves (or by my surfboard) and riding a wave only long enough to slip off my board and pummel into the sea. Yes, I definitely have some more work to do on that, but I am determined to get better…so I will.
Still, despite all of these exciting things I am doing right now, a feeling of homesickness has grasped a firm hold on me for the past few weeks.
I miss going over to Ben and Tony’s house (family friends), endulging in Tony’s incredible guacamole before sitting down for some delicious Mexican Chicken followed by a movie. I miss playing rumikub with my dad and brothers. I miss walking up to the corner store by my dad’s house for groceries…so many seemingly little things that make up such a big story. But, I suppose that is true of life in general. Most of it is just a series of small, insignificant actions that piece together in such a specific way to make each life so perfectly unique.
I’m not sure if these feelings are the beginning stages of a possible transition back to the USA, but I suspect it is more of a result of my continued connection with myself, with love and with gratitude. I am so appreciative for every part of my past because it has gotten me to where I am today.
For now, however, that sort of deeper exploration must be put on hold, for a new adventure awaits…that of Africa.