all words to describe how I'm feeling about my surroundings after returning from Africa and my perspective on trip itself. The trip was amazing and awesome for so many reasons. The time with my family was priceless. The kids rose to the occasion- we were proud parents. Seeing the country from their perspective and how they embraced it was inspiring and motivating. They loved it all- they soaked it in and asked for more. They embraced every part- the food- who knew Clare had such a taste for french African cuisine- they all tried it all. Even Sally ventured off the chicken nuggets and loved the chicken croquettes! The markets- they made a chant- "goat heads and pools of blood" with a smiling lilt. They were happy adventurers into the desert. Even the long van ride home was filled with happy giggles and silly games. OK at times it got a bit out of hand but they rebounded and so did I. Clare's car sickness from the speed bumps, exhaust fumes and traffic took its toll- good ole coke a cola and a front seat saved the day. Mrs. Michael and I in full mother mode. Sally's anxiety and concerns faded away just after lift off and she never looked back- the pictures capture her happiness to be on such a ride. Peter and Simon's friendship is a beautiful thing. Simon was an incredible co-host, tour guide, translator and barter on our behalf. He felt like part of the family- he is- all of the Michaels are. It was fun to see Maggie accepting this change- she is in her element- a teenager for sure- just as Clare is a preteen in her footsteps. We were able to see Maggie at her wonderful new school and embracing the opportunities presented to her in this foreign land with friendships as the foundation. I'm pretty proud of my own adventure to the Rotary meeting solo. I'm grateful to Joe for taking us on this trip- he accepted the fact early on this was an opportunity we had to seize- and he was right. And when he was the one who fell prey at 5:15 am to digestive issues- he still managed to send a messenager to update me that the stars were finally visible (we were really hoping for a starry night- cloud cover, smoke form the bonfire and the light of the almost full moon prevented great views- oh well- it was worth it. Back to Joe. Joe will tell you he usually isn't a good patient- however in Africa he made jokes and accepted this situation. Who knew the desert is a good place to get sick- better than kitty litter like substances. And Kristine and Guy's strength in all of their efforts to make this work is so admirable. I so understand and value what they are doing for many reasons, reasons to see first hand make it all the more compelling. The opportunities and experience is huge!!
So life back here also feels big, full, boundless. My lungs feel the clean air, the sky and landscapes are so spread out, the house is roomy and cozy- as was my parents house and the hotel room where we stayed in Maryland for Easter weekend. Our opportunities to work, heal, advance- all the options in front of us on the small level- at the grocery store- and big picture as we consider vacations and career choices. I've always known life is perspective and relative. I'm feeling it on Newark-Granville Road in a big way. Thanks for reading.