the last couple of weeks have been loaded. as many of you have heard, my grandpa did leave us on Wednesday the 28th, right around the time that i posted that blog about him. my mom says that the funeral was beautiful and a true celebration. it has been harder on me than i expected. i anticipated the sorrow of loosing someone close to me, but i never imagined what it would be like to go through it without my family. and for some self-focused reason i initially considered that i would be losing my grandpa while failing to consider that my mom would be losing her daddy and my grandma would be losing her husband of 50+ years... those realizations have made it hard to feel so far away right now, but i'm trusting that i'm in freetown for a REAL good reason. another lesson in BEING where i find myself... but i admit that have been counting the days and longing to be somewhere else.
it's not all bad though! i read that paragraph and realized that i sound like a total downer... whoa. i'm still learning and laughing and making friends and getting my butt kicked here in freetown. this whole longing to go home thing has had several lessons in it. first of all, i've been convicted of the fact that i am an educated American with constant access to an "escape plan." if i really really wanted to, i could be out of here within a couple of days. and even if i don't want to leave freetown, i can still find a resturant with sattelite TV or an internet cafe with air-conditioning and at least let my mind escape for an hour or so... it's hard to accept that i am one of the "white people."
today is the exact half-way point of my stay in freetown. 8 weeks down, and 8 to go. because i'm feeling kinda stuck and not all that positive right now, i've been trying to think of all the things that i like about freetown. all of the things that tickle my throat or make me smile. here's a short list...
i love the smell of diesel in the morning. (i realize this sounds weird, but i'm serious)
i love it that you can see the water from almost any point in freetown.
i love when kids grab my hand and call me "auntie."
i love when bus drivers slam on their brakes to let little kids and old ladies cross the street.
i love how the view of the water from our veranda never looks the same twice.
i love fula bread and laughing cow cheese. everyday. every single day.
i love seeing kids wash their school uniforms in the afternoon.
i love the bright colors and head scarves that all of the women wear.
i love the poda-poda that says "neatness" across the front.
i love cayan pepper.
i love that people sing and dance so freely here.
i love feeling like i've made a new friend in spite of the language barrier.
i love granat cake - peanut brittle has got nothing on this stuff!
and the list could go on, but i'll stop for now. hope you're enjoying the changing seasons over there. it's still hot during the days and rainy during the nights, but i like it that way. got to spend the day at the beach thursday so i'm not complaining!
later - steph