gravel roads

There is a burnt orange dirt-gravel road that leads to my dorm on campus.  The pebbles that make up the road are big enough to serve their purpose, but small enough to get into my open-toed shoes when i’m walking absent-mindedly.  When they do, somehow, find their way through the spaces of my shoes, they sometimes become lodged in so tight and are so jagged that it is impossible to put my whole weight on that particular foot.  I’ve developed an impressive sort of “walk-kick” that succeeds in getting the rock out without actually having to stop, bend down, take off the shoe, remove it, and put the shoe back on.  I’m sure to standbyers it looks perfectly normal..  

I think that i unconsciously to “walk-kick” Africa out of my heart and mind sometimes.  Picking the jagged pebble out myself gives way for too many implications.  But after being the places i’ve been, and seeing what i’ve seen, i think that to do nothing is negligence.  and so is trying to find a ‘quick fix’ for everything wrong in the world.     

i’ll be done with classes here in 1 week and home in 2.  so right now, i’m asking, what do i do when i’m not in Africa anymore?  (i think i can add that to a long list of questions for after graduation).  i don’t know all of the answer(s) to that question, and probably won’t for a while.  Who does?  (not for me, per-say.. just in life generally =)  It will definately be a bittersweet departure from East Africa.  The bitter part is already missing the little faces at Cherub, and leaving the relationships and sweet work being done in NGO’s here.  I think it’s safe to say that the sweet part is leaving the bland staple foods and handwashing laundry. 

A couple days ago, some American students went caroling around campus in 90 degree heat, and it felt really odd.  We made paper snowflakes and held them up as we sang.  The most unique caroling experience thus far in my life..  Is it colder than normal?  Any snow yet?  I brought one hoodie and thin pants, so i’m going to freeze in Amsterdam and when i get to DC =)  But i can’t wait for the cold weather and so many layers i can barely move.  talk to me in a month and i might feel differently. 



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6 responses to “gravel roads

  1. A. Hosue

    Bury…this weekend we had a ton of rain…and freezing temperatures…ergo, on Sunday morning all of campus woke up to sheets of ice covering ALL the sidewalks…a 10 minutes ice-craping job ahead of them, and most of all church services cancelled for the day. Trees are hanging lower than normal as the degrees continue to drop and each branch tries to hold itslef up…the glassy look is stunningly beautiful across campus..but DO look where you are going…I slipped SO many time today…it was laughable.
    Y ou definitely need a winter coat…but if the wind isn’t bad (you know how it is) you can get away without the scarf, hat, and mittens.
    Your analogy to “kicking off Africa” was very good. You kinda sent me back to Argentina for a bit…I have shaken it off in my “adjusting back to campus” and makes me feel insensitive sometimes…like what I lived there isn’t part of me at all anymore…it IS a fight sometimes…because I HAVE TO BE the “ONE” to take time and think about it or email people down there…to re-connect.
    …There have been moments where I didn’t fit in here. My mind thinks a lot more broadly now…and from far more angles then my limited past experiences would allow me to think before I studied abroad.
    …thanks for making me think Bur…it will be good to see you…I pray we will make time to stop and talk instead of allowing this culture to move us about from one scheduled thing to the next.
    Enjoy every moment there…take as many mental pictures of your favorite and every day African spots that your personal mental memory card can handle. 🙂
    …love you.

  2. knepper

    bury! i know you got a comment like this from devereaux not long ago, but… i saw your brother this weekend! it was the most random thing in the world. since cambodia and thailand are right next doorm, katy and i have been trying to get together for a while. it finally worked out for this weekend, and we met up and headed to this little town where we stayed in a random bungalow hotel … and as i’m sitting there, your brother wanders past our lunch table. what the heck man!? so funny. he and the hallebecks and other random people i happened to know were all staying at the same hotel as us. you two have such similiar mannerisms it was almost like seeing you … but not quite. 🙂 made me miss you though. for sure.
    anyway. that’s all. finish well. one day we will get coffee and compare notes on our other country experiences.
    much much love to you.

  3. Sarah G.

    Sarah, my dear friend! I love you and just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you. I, too, feel bittersweet about you leaving Africa! I think of what an incredible opportunity it has been and how much I know you must have learned about yourself and about the world as a result of living there. Even my experiences living abroad are nowhere near what you must have experienced this semester. And I am glad to have such a courageous friend who stepped out of her comfort zone and forged her own path – not many seniors go abroad, let alone to Africa! I miss you a lot, and I am sorry to have not really kept in touch so well. I am really excited to see you in January, and I’ll be thinking of you as you get back. Culture shock will be a bitch…if you ever want to talk you can definitely call me. BUT I don’t want you to think too much right now about leaving! Profit from your last two weeks there, my beautiful friend. The time will pass too quickly. So…make the best out of everything you can!! ❤ much love

  4. Jeremy

    Maybe you’re just clumsy, did you ever think of that?

  5. Caleb

    I think that perhaps Herbert does not have the same problem that you do with walking. Maybe if you spent some more time with him, you could learn a few things.

  6. Bt

    We can’t wait to see you. Love you!

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