Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Return to Fremont: Aug 31, 2010

Early morning clouds rest above 1000 ft on our closest Fremont hills. Mornings start out brisk, before the sun takes over midday. First apples are ripening…. I’m not ready for summer to be over! A week ago it was early spring in South Africa – here are signs of fall.

Jet lag has its advantages – I still wake at 4- It’s a quiet good time to work. I am alert and productive until mid morning… In the evening I cave in by 8… We have been home a week and are both still bumping into walls… It is said that coming west is worse for jet lag than going east. How much of it is due to just coming home from a great vacation?

Our two terriers turned inside out with joy on seeing us return. We spoil them terribly – This morning they looked at me putting on my shoes and they said, “Well, we are going to go for a walk aren’t we?” …And of course I couldn’t refuse them. They expect communal “everyone sit on the couch time” every evening – and if we are slow they come looking for us.

Slowly we are reconnecting with our regular lives… getting the garden back in shape, meetings, making plans with my fall student teacher supervision duties, restocking the kitchen, processing apples and tomatoes.

What do we tell people when they ask, “How was your trip?” How do we begin to tell them about the people we met, the scenery, the daily encounters, the projects that we want to support… the routine sounds and smells of Tanzania? The dala dalas, the uneven sidewalks, the pleasure of a Kilimanjaro beer and conversation in the evening! We were advised to prepare an “elevator speech” – an account long enough to tell someone with whom you share an elevator ride… Impossible! I took my blogs and a sampling of photos and put them on this blog site… I hope to make regular additions… it’s a good discipline for me.

Are we happy to be home? Yes and No… Our home and garden is beautiful, it is comfortable and easy to be here… It is so nice to be able to call family easily … to meet our neighbors and friends, easy access to computers, the produce section of our super market, our own “just right” bed, meaningful work and challenges…. But I think there must be some gypsy in me… I love waking in the morning and having to adapt to a different culture– I love traveling and not knowing for sure where I will sleep that night- I love the challenges of a different language, different money, and cultural expectations for which I must be mindful. I love being surprised and amazed by new sights and experiences that I could not anticipate. Being in a new cultural setting makes me feel alert and very much alive. I love sharing these experiences with Judy. Yes it’s good to be home but it’s so nice to be able to have good adventures too!