Monday, January 10, 2005

one more post

one more post for today. got lots to get off my mind and lots of writing to do here and in my journal to get back to the states mentally. leaving mali was tough. i had never really known what the phrase "parting is such sweet sorrow" meant until now, really. before after big trips, leaving places i had always either finished what i came to do, wanting to get the heck out, or just wanted to get home or get wherever i was going. however, this trip i really wanted to stay but really wanted to get home. i had some wonderful trips and was with some wonderful people, but was really ready to get home, get back to my wonderful friends here and get back to work. hence the sweet and the sorrow. (kind of like sweet and sour food, but different)
sidy, ba and kadi all took me to the airport in a cab. now that the air france flights arrive and leave at night, getting to and leaving mali is a different story. now you drive through town both ways in the dark and when arriving, don't really realize where you are until morning.
at the airport, check in was easy and my bags fit the weight limit. i even had the same porter as in 2001. he recognized me from the music videos i was in last trip and started up the conversation again from 2001. crazy stuff.
i left the airport to hang a bit with ba, sidy and kadi and then they left and i went through customs, security etc. managed to spend a little bit of cash on some last minute souvenirs. and spent some time talking with the aforementioned nurses from utah. they were really great, and it was nice having that conversation.
on the airplane, i finally got a chance to see some photos of the tsunami disaster and read a bit about that. shocking. i feel like each trip i take to mali, some huge disaster unfolds. i hope that is really not true cause i want to go back. the first trip was sept 11 and this trip the tsunami. it is really interesting how i rely on photos to give me a sense of what is happening and what is real. i had of course been listening to the bbc and rfi and knew kind of what was going on with the tsunami and that hundreds of thousands had died. but it didn't really sink in what was happening until i saw the photos in the magazines. wow.
france. cdg airport is a bad place to spend lots of time. alone. not well organized, so lots of lines, lots of confusion, expensive expensive food, fairly dirty, etc. but i made it out and made it home to be greeted by karen and lucy. and i've spent the past 36 hours kind of unpacking, but really just adjusting mentally to being home. my room is a disaster since i had 8 hours to drop unpack and repack between fiji and mali. so it'll take some time to sort out. and of course post africa, i have this urge to just throw all my stuff out. or rather find a way to get it to those with less.
just a reminder that i am extremely lucky and priviledged. trips like these are always humbling and grounding and centering. if i haven't called yet, don't take it personally, i'll be easing back into life here. thanks again to all of you for your support of me in these journeys. stay tuned. . . . . . .

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