Monday, March 30, 2009

one week till africa

That's right. One week from today I will be embarking on my dream trip to partake in my dream job. Ever since my friend, Okado, showed our third grade class a video of him playing soccer in Kenya with his cousins, I've dreamed of going to Africa. Yes, technically I've been to the continent before during my brief weekend in Tangiers, Morocco, but this is different.

At first I was admittedly a little nervous about picking up and leaving for a month. I've gotten too attached to my daily routine and too attached to the dogs I walk. But then I reminded myself, that that is exactly why people need to travel--to break out of their bubbles. And here's what really put me over the edge: I was listening to the radio early this morning while driving into the city from my parent's house. And the DJ asked listeners to call in with their opinions about whether there should be a salary cap on people, like athletes and actors and CEOs, who make over a million dollars a year.
"Joe from Oak Lawn" called in and said, "America is all about making money. That's why we're here!" And in that moment I realized why I need to get out of here. We may be the "richest nation in the world," which isn't even true, seeing as we're in debt to everyone and have a terrible economy, but I don't think that those are or should be the ideals of our country. I think that what is more important than making money is helping people who are less fortunate than ourselves. And it got me really excited to have the opportunity to join forces with surgeons and filmmakers and doctors to help fight against the Malaria epidemic in one of the most remote parts of Africa, along Lake Tanganyika. For more information, you can check out the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic website HERE and download the malaria net initiative proposal.

The past few weeks, as I walk my dogs, I keep noticing things that I don't usually notice because they're things I, and most people, take for electrical lines, the radio, my van. I keep noticing these things because I know they're things I'm not going to have for an entire month. And I'm excited about that. Makes life interesting.
I look forward to meeting the cast of The Lion King while there, but I (unfortunately) learned my lesson a few days ago, regarding wild animals. My hand got massively attacked, both gashed and bitten, by a house cat, completely unprovoked. After I got over cursing the cat and cleaning the blood off my throbbing hand, I decided to look at this as a good thing too have happened before I go into the land of wildcats. Knowing me, I probably would have attempted to hug a lion cub. Now that I've seen what a small house cat can do, I will be sure to stay a safe distance from all wild animals while I'm there.
Except giraffes.

Stay tuned...because I'm going to try and post a few times while there.
Until then...keep it real.

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