It is 2048 Sunday December 16th
I am laying prone on soft pillows listening to incredible blues music streamed live from the Internet and soaking up the atmosphere by the flickering light of a lit fireplace and I ponder the question.....
is this home?
I know the faces, my dog is resting loyally beside me, and the BBQ ribs just eaten were delicious but something is missing.
Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to be home but this life is going to take some getting used to.
the food is plentiful and tasty and readily available but the connection and intimacy i feel in Africa to my environment is gone. I am reminded once again how we are living apart of nature instead of a part of it.
None of the food consumed today was by my own hands, nor from anyone I knew. In fact with only a few meals eaten today more was spent than what i spend for nearly an entire month on myself in my village.
When i flew into New York our flights were all canceled and as the lines to the help desk congested tempers flew "this is absurd!" "how can this happen?" "what are you going to give us because we can't fly out?"
Sai Hankuri "have patience" It is not human incompetence that created this situation its the whims of nature and there is nothing that can be done so why not stop bickering, meet some amazing people from all over the world, hell drink a beer and relax.
When was the last time you really relaxed?
Once during hot season in Niger I waited for over 12 hours in the bush in a unfamiliar town, no money, no language, didn't even know if the car was coming. But i made the best of it.
I wrote, met people, played mandolin, and just passed the time as seen fit.
I'm not trying to prove anything, waiting is just a part of life and when you have to, do something. But just don't complain wastefully and ruin someone else's day and your own.
Somethings are just beyond your control, so sit back, ride it out and find a way to make something positive out of it.
The next morning after flying into NYC/USA my damn Nigerien mindset said "take your time" get to the gate and you'll leave when their ready to.
The end result being,the ticket counter thought I was nuts for thinking like this and my return home was delayed for an afternoon.
But because I took my time I opted to take a connecting flight to salt lake city and fly over the US o' A and reaquainted myself with the majesty of the American landscape and visit a place never before visited.
the worst that happened was that i met some nice people, readjusted a little more to America, drank some incredibly tasty microbrews, and then had many a discussion with strangers and even met the "we should just kill em all over there and take the oil" mentality.
Who is the terrorist here?
this guy was even Native American go figure.
A couple years ago I went to Mexico and stayed in some friends apartment during christmas break for a month.
After returning people asked or actually stated "makes you appreciate what we have eh?"
My answer was, nah it just made me understand and respect the people more who leave an incredible culture and their families to work for practially nothing and little thanks.
They might not have much, but they have a lot more joy from what little they do have.
My first full day back seems more of a novelty than a realization that this was my former life.
I have been home for only a short time and I can already conclude that there needs to be a Peace Corps program for America.
But we need the volunteers to come here.
but all and all it is wonderful to be back and spend time with my family.
Merry Christmas everybody it is good to be back.