It is Sunday morning. I have been in Africa for only one week and it feels like a lifetime.

Since arriving here, I have seen the most incredble things, including the massive span of The Victoria Waterfalls and witnessed some of the most amazing wildlife in existance.  I’ve done intense physical labor under the heat of the Zimbabwean sun.  I’ve slept under the stars while a heard of elephants swam in the river just beside us.  Just yesterday, I rafted the best and most dangerous white water rapids in the world.

Today is my first day that I have absolutely nothing to do except sit on the reserve, overlooking the beautiful land while I joke around with my housemates.  My body couldn’t be more grateful for this pause in action – a chance to heal from being severely beat up over the past week.  The things I have done and the things I have seen people do have given me a whole new perspective about the capability of human beings and how sheltered my upbringing was in the United States.

Nothing makes a person stronger than being broken and healing only to be broken again.  By the end of this trip, I will either be dead or I will be changed for life and more fearless than I ever believed I could be.  In fact, the purpose of life becomes so clear when having this sort of experience.  Playing it safe is not the way we were meant to live.  We have such a short time on this planet…what better way to spend it than to keep growing and evolving within ourselves?  I would much rather survive until 40 and have truly LIVED my life than survive until 80 having played it completely safe.

Of course, not everyone’s edge will be the same as my edge…that is a very personal choice.  One person’s edge might be as simple as speaking up in a business meeting by offering their differing ideas, or confronting a friend about a hurtful comment.  But, if everyone pushed their boundaries as often as possible, think about how much less time we would have to stay inside our own heads, creating negative stories and drowning in the practice of judging ourselves and others?

I have no idea what will happen over the next three weeks before I head back to Costa Rica, but I look forward to more blood, sweat and tears…all in the name of further deepening my own sense of self and that of the world around me.

Africa, I love you.

 

mel and elephant    mel at falls             mel at falls 2  mel working 1    Mel working rafting      rafting 2

 

giraffes      rhino 2   rhino and baby

Zebras

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

sunset