Well, living this life seems ripe for so many opportunities. Some good (beautiful, touching, fun, funny….), some bad (cruel, inefficient, unfair….). A week from last Tuesday, I got a call from VSO-Zambia (the volunteer organization I am in Africa with) asking if I could escort a fellow volunteer back to the U.S. He needed to go quickly and they (being Zambians) could not get a VISA that fast. Of course I agreed to do it, but then the pot got a bit sweeter as they offered to fly me home to Seattle for a week before I had to return.
WHEN DO I LEAVE?????
Well, they wanted me to leave the next morning. No problemo! In that short time, I had lined a pick-up at Sea Tac to stay with my sister, plans were under way to crash a good buddies birthday party, by surprise, etc.
We did have some problems, however. I won’t go in to another persons affairs in this blog, but suffice it to say, we had a bit of difficulty getting on the plane in Lusaka and when we got off in Johannisburg, things really went south. It ended with a cancellation of our connection flight to Atlanta and an ambulance ride to the hospital. So, last week was spent taking a taxi back and forth to the hospital, while maintaining constant communications with CUSO-VSO (Canada), VSO (UK), VSO (Zambia), insurance company (Joburg) and insurance (VSO-UK). I was the only representative in Joburg and a lot of people had a lot of questions and plans to make.
We got through the week, the volunteer seems to be comfortable and I flew back to Lusaka last Wednesday. I do wish for his recovery and eventual return to his family in the states. Wish I had good news to report, but once I left the scene, I have been given no more information. I am hoping that he is on a plane today.
On a personal note, I am left with a couple of challenges. First, after such an intense week and leaving it unresolved, I would like to know that he is home, with his family, rather in Joburg….so far from everyone and everything that he is comfortable with.
Also, I am struggling with the change of events. In Buddhism, I have studied the perils of “attachment”. I will readily admit that I became quickly and thoroughly attached to the idea of going home to family and friends for a quick visit. It’s funny, a few days earlier, it wasn’t even a thought. After it became a thought and then a reality and then NOT a reality, I was very disappointed.
Ilene and I are off to Botswana and Namibia in a week. It will be a three week journey by car. Can’t wait to see lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, etc, in Chobe National Park, then to the beautiful Okavango Delta, further south along the edge of the Kalahari Desert, to the sand dunes of Namibia (the largest in the world). Then out to the coast of Namibia and up to Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. I don’t know how we will get home from there, but I’m sure there is a way.
Please keep your fingers crossed for our 1996 Rav4, with miles and miles (make that kilometers and kilometers) of travel in it’s near future. If you don’t hear from us, please send water to somewhere in the Kalihari!!!
We had a field day last Friday, where I work. I will leave with a few photos of that event.