ZAM – Okay, seriously this time, how did I get here?

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For anyone sitting home worrying about how I’m faring in Africa, let me assure you, I’m enjoying my vacation. Lusaka is lovely so far. It’s only been days but I feel like I’ve been here for months. Either time is passing slowly or I’m feeling quite comfortable already, hopefully it’s a mix of both.

The home I’m staying in is an airy, sunny oasis with plenty of room, which doesn’t even matter because any second I’m home I’m spending outside. A tall cement wall encloses the yard and its lovely garden, complete with mango, lemon and avocado trees. Above the walls is nothing but cloudless open sky. There’s never a question about the weather because it’s hot and sunny every single day (until the wet season starts in a month or so). It’s so quiet and private at home that I’m often tricked into thinking no world exists beyond these walls and that this little abode and its garden has the African continent to itself.

My favorite thing about Zambia so far might be the sun (and its pursuant moon).  It’s bright, powerful, perfectly defined and reliably brings the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets. As soon as I find a way to capture these with my camera, I’ll send some images along. The sun peaks up on one side of the yard early in the morning, follows a perfect little arch up through the clear sky before setting brilliantly on the other side of the yard in the early evening. A short while later, the moon comes up behind and starts the same path across the sky; my very own cosmic mobile.

I can speak accurately of this path because I’ve watched it, for an entire day, more than once. Without a car or pressing place to go, days off have been spent rotating to various parts of the yard, hour after peaceful hour, reading, talking, sitting and thinking. To some, having days essentially stuck inside four walls sans internet, TV, etc. might sound like prison, but I’m enjoying it as a change of pace and view staying interested and engaged for the next few months in this quiet life as a welcome challenge. How many times as a student would I fall asleep inside textbooks dreaming about free to time to read whatever I wanted? Or living in New York how often would I want nothing more than to sit around doing absolutely nothing, only to feel guilty knowing the miles outside my apartment offered more endless adventure and stimulation that I could wrap my head around or feeling the weight of the list of pressing things I had to do?

Earlier  this week transferring my life to Zambia seemed too surreal to be true. The reality of this place so far, with its natural beauty, kind people and slower pace of life is no less a dream.

-Erin

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