I didn’t know what I would see/feel/think/act like/be upon arriving in Africa. I’d convinced myself it would be so foreign that I’d feel completely alone, even with my father and sister by my side. With all the excitement and generalized anxiety that arose on account of the book release, I mixed my anticipation of this great unknown with the anticipation of that great unknown. I let them be the same thing, and try as I might, I couldn’t seem to put the feelings in their proper boxes.
Excitement about being “out here”: Africa box
Excitement about having my book “out there”: Book box
Nervousness about rejection: Book box
Nervousness about being ingested: Africa box
Fear of being bitten by typhoid fever-carrying mosquito: Africa box
Fear of being bitten by literary critics: Book box
There is a whole list of fears I’d been coddling since before I left. One being that I would drive my sister crazy being the controlling and bossy big sister that I am. And I have been that girl, much to my and my sister’s disliking. But I acknowledged it and have been trying to keep my mouth shut. I’ve been told that sometimes that’s the best option. She is an angel of forgiveness.
We are staying outside the Etosha National Park and the life on the other side of the double fence is so different than anything I could ever imagine. I suppose the same could be said for my own life. Five years ago I NEVER would have been able to look across the double fence that is fresh sobriety and starting over to see this day, an awe-inspiring day. A day filled with laughter with my father, hugs with my sister, a near battle with a giraffe (check out the Twitter link), so many elephants that I nearly cried, all of this beauty leading up to something I, once again, never would have imagined for myself. There have been so many occasions on this trip where I am left speechless… And so many where another voice seemed to take over and say words for me (and not in that “I hear voices” kind of way).
I have never felt closer or more connected to that power greater than me. I can see it working in every stripe of a zebra, in baby elephants nestling into their mothers to feed, in the springbockes covering the fields in the dozens and oryx hiding behind tall bushes with long faces. And today, as we cross the 150km park in search of rhinos and big cats, I know that power will be working through and inside of me.
I have some news about the book and pre-order stuff, which I’m super pumped to tell you about, but it can wait until Monday. Today and right now it’s adventure time: I am here, present, blessed and honored.