While I was trying to figure out this whole blog thing, I had a post entitled “This is a fake post.” up to see what happened when I clicked all the buttons back here in blogger world. Most changes were too slight for my hard copy loving eye. So we’re starting basic, friends. This is a real post. And that’s good enough for me.
And this is a real post for a reason. I’m not beginning my career as a web icon or creating a hilarious new internet meme (these are things that my friends have to tell me exist). I am just savvy enough to have recently learned about hashtagging, which I think is great. #coolkid. I am also about to move to Africa, y’all. And according to this cartoon from “Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like” I need to have a blog.
Somehow I convinced the Peace Corps that I know enough about the French language and sustainable agriculture for them to send me to Senegal for two years. This is scary. And exciting. Of course, it is. I am sure I will keep on doubting my ability to fulfill the role of “Sustainable Agriculture Agent” (#intimidating), but my friends and family seem to put a lot of faith in me. And that’s the scary part: I’m leaving them! The first slap of this reality hit me when I was leaving my Goucher Ultimate friends on the blue, beach-worn porch of Eli’s aunt and uncles’ house in Cape May, NJ after the Wildwood tourney #beachultimate<3. I was doing the rounds, hug hug, I’m gonna miss you, good luck! and then I look up on the porch and Eli is doing his best puppy dog face. Avoidance shield deactivated. A step down the sidewalk is Miriam, oh crap, this hug makes the almost tears grow up into real tears. I’m about to move to AFRICA, y’all.
The past week at home was tense. I think it has to do with getting to the point where avoidance is not option. Packing is coming along. I have my final “to do” list sorted out. It’s stressful. And in case you haven’t gotten it, this moving to Senegal thing is real. But yesterday the three Cads at home took a day off from stressing and went to D.C. for some culture. We visited the National Museum of African Art and saw “A Better Life” at the theater in Shirlington. It was a good calming practice. Seeing something different was definitely useful, but seeing Africa was the remedy I needed. The familiarity of the Asante gold and an elaborate egungun (although from Nigeria, not Benin) warmed my lips into a smile. And, I cannot lie, the two Ghanian coffins they displayed made me laugh outright (one an elephant, the other a Nokia phone–both beautifully and artistically rendered, but the send off the Ga tribe provide their dear ones into the next world is incredible #seeing is believing). I also learned a bit about Senegalese glass painting and Sheikh Amadou Bamba, who led a peaceful cultural resistance against the French in the last 19th century and was famously made mythic during his exile. Point is, I remembered how much I like Africa, or at least West Africa, or where I’ve been in West Africa (I’m sure I’ll venture into Afrientalism more later #thanks, LJ) and I am excited to go to Senegal.
Okay, that’s plenty for now. This blogging thing is kind of fun #self-satisfying. A heads up, though, I have no idea what my internet connection will be like when I am in Senegal, so the frequency and detail of posts will certainly vary. Until then I’ll be packing and hanging out with my puppy (and parents).
Over and Out,