Before leaving for Africa I had secured a great apartment in Seattle with one of my best friends. I knew it would be a bit of a struggle finding work when I got home, so I headed back up to Seattle and hit the ground running. Before I knew it, I had three jobs. It wasn't long before I realized that I was burning the candle at both ends, so I scaled back to the two jobs that paid the bills; Restaurant (Bastille) and Nannying. I have never worked restaurants nor have I ever been a nanny, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. As it turned out, I fell in love with all the people that I was privileged to work with at Bastille and I got to care for a sweet little baby named Alistair, and his sister Lila and brother Emerson. My days were full and I fell into bed exhausted at night, but I loved it.
I was a busy bee over the summer, but I did find time to do a few fun things. For my 30th birthday my mom gave me something I've always wanted; skydiving. It was the best thing I've ever done. And to top it all off, my uncle Dennis was my tandem. It was amazing.
I also was lucky enough to get to go on several Stingray pub-crawl rides with my peeps in Seattle. Thanks guys, you made my summer...again.
In early August, I got an email that changed everything. The email was from Venetia, and it was everything I was hoping for, all the way back to my time in Patagonia. I was officially being invited to go back to Africa as an intern. My decision was made for me. Africa was calling, and I would answer without hesitation, no matter what it took. I gave notice, bought my tickets, worked out what felt like mountains of details, and now here I am, sitting in Atlanta, waiting to board my flight back to that beloved place. I can't begin to tell how this feels. In so many ways it feels like I need to pinch myself. How did any of this happen? How did I get so lucky? I know it's true love because I'm giving up good coffee and hot baths to go live in tents often shared by mice, too many spiders to count, and bats that pee on your face.
And then there's Franco...
I'll arrive tomorrow morning, around 8 am Pacific ST, and Franco will be there to fetch me. From there we'll stay in Pretoria for a night, and then we're off to Venetia. I have no idea what lies ahead, all I really have is the love from all of you behind me. And that's enough, no matter what. I already feel like the luckiest soul alive simply for that.
To be continued...