Monday, April 18, 2011

A Long, Strange Day

A Long, Strange Day

Disorientated. That's one word that can sum up how I feel at the end of what has been a long, long day. I left Kampala for a week in Cape Town. I've travelled alone and not sure if I like it, but Robyn arrives on later in the week. Marathon's on Saturday. It's gonna be a great week. But as for now: disorientated. Another word: exhausted.

I slept through two separate alarms this morning that were set to wake me up for my 4:30am pick-up for the airport. Despite my superhuman ability to sleep through any din, I did make it it to the airport on time; Vincent always gets me there when I need to be. This morning, he was very talkative. The subject of his 4:45 conversation was the ongoing walk to work campaign. Vincent's view was that troublemakers are destroying the peace in Uganda. I was too sleepy to offer any form of rebuttal. I took it as on opportunity to exercise patience and simply listen to (without comment) another's opinion, one that I really don't agree with. Simply listen I did.

Cape Town in beautiful.

A more scenic location for a city could not have been selected. I must admit that I once again feel like I've paid a visit to the Twilight Zone. I've not gone very far, yet I've gone very far. Am I making sense? I'm finding my footing, and I'm sure I'll end up having an amazing time.

I had a few surprises on my trip here. Are South Africans super-superstitious, or is it common to not have an aisle 13 for airplane seating?

I've never noticed this practice before. I got confused when trying to find my seat, 14c. 10, 11, 12, ...14? Is this an anomaly, or have I just not been very observant on other flights?

Surges of emotion often give me relief, confirming that I've not become too calloused, my heart is intact and functions, and I still have human feelings. However, surges of emotion that trigger tears are not convenient when on a full aircraft, especially when you forgot to put ahandkerchief in you pocket in the morning when rushing to make an early flight after having slept through two separate alarms.

I highly recommend A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. While the book is short (just over 100 pages), Park succeeds in intertwining two challenging and beautiful stories. Written for young readers, Park sensitively, yet powerfully, writes about the struggles, horrors and triumphs of children and youth in South Sudan during and after the war that began in 1983. Yes, tears were flowing from my eyes at the end of Salva's story. Then it happened again at the culmination of Nya's.

I've got another blog post churning in my head. There is something that Salva (A Long Walk to Water), Lost Boy from Sudan, and Calpurnia Tate (The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate), young American girl from the Midwest in 1899, have in common, at least one particular experience that is highlighted in both books. See if you can figure out what it is before I blog about it next week.

I started a new book on the plane after finishing A long Walk to Water, Methland by Nick Reding. I can hardly put it down.

The subject matter is pretty grim, but it's a fascinating read, very well researched and written. I bought it during my visit home last month at small, independent book shop in Port St. Joe, FL--another town suffering from the effects of meth addiction. I have already learnt so much from the 80 pages I've read. Methamphetamine is no joke. It can 'eff' up your life (including your teeth), your family, your whole town. Even though the small town in the book is in Iowa, it could be any small town in America. It's like I personally know the people being described in the book. The events in the depressed small town, I've lived through them. What I've read today makes me very worried about people I love.

I don't to end of that depressing thought...

It's gonna be a great week... Let me just focus on now: It's gonna be a good night.

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