Tomorrow is the big day; after almost a year of waiting, I am finally doing it. I’m finally going to Africa. I feel so many emotions at once that I find it hard to even put names to them: apprehension, excitement, even a pinch of dread. My bags are packed, as they have been for some time. I feel at the same time an urge to leave as soon as possible, and some small desire to stay at home where things are safe, familiar, and predictable (I am large, I contain multitudes).
In spite of these feelings, this trip has been something I have looked forward to for a long time, a carrot on a stick that seemed to keep moving away the closer I got. I can barely contain my excitement, and I doubt I will get much more than a wink of sleep tonight!
Last Tuesday, my friends Ricka and Mike took me for a short hike in Lebanon Hills Regional Park. It was a chance to say goodbye not only to them, but also to this beautiful state (heck, this country!) before leaving for the next four months. I know that Tanzania will be a much different place than any other I have been to, but I believe I am as ready as I will ever be to experience that amazing country and all that it has to offer.
I will keep my heart and my mind open to all new experiences. To my family and friends back home and around the world, goodbye! Next time you hear from me, I will finally be there.
Until next time,