Today I got the trifecta - hot water, power, and internet. This is apparently unusual in Africa, but I have to say, I might have been able to have it sooner if I'd used the shower properly. I've had cold showers for five days... and all of you who know me REALLY well know that I don't only NOT take cold showers, I scald myself daily. And also that I love showers, and morning singing, and deep thinking, and the water, and being clean. I love these things and I was having to pep talk myself into the bathroom every morning. However, having conquered what I believe to be my own orientations towards Africa-must-be-missing-something, I have hot showers, starting this morning. Over the last few days, we've lost power once and the internet has been slower than it was when I arrived (though it's never disappeared completely). But this morning, I awoke to the trifecta! And it is VERY EXCITING.
Mostly because I have found what is missing in Africa, and it isn't hot water or power or internet or good food or great people or interesting work or beauty or opportunity or any of those preconceptions that I might have added to my carry on for the trip. What's missing from Africa is home. My network isn't here, they are ... hold please ... 43,020 km if I take I-90 through Mongolia and then a ferry of some kind and goodness ... oh okay ... happyzebra.com tells me ... 7,836.7 miles as the crow flies ... that'll do. So, on with it, my people are forever away. My PEOPLE that I care for deeply, whose lives are so rich and interesting, whose challenges I find myself engaged in too, whose perceptions inform my thinking. Those things aren't here.
And I do miss them, but they sent me off well. With all kinds of hopes and dreams and journals to record them. With words of support and encouragement. With the momentum of many years of being loved in the cocoon, they sent me off to see the world. I will do that for you all, I will happily keep my promise.
Maisha Mzuri. A Swahili toast to a beautiful life. (And don't quote me on the spelling, thank you very much.)