“We don't have an eternity to realize our dreams, only the time we are here.” ~Susan Taylor
One year ago I departed from the known world, from my comfort zone, from all the wonderful things like constant electricity, driving a car, having fast reliable internet, and of course the cold water/drinks readily available - day or night..
I departed to explore the unknown, a life I had only read about and thought I was beginning to understand: the simple life. Yet it is one thing to read about simplicity and another thing to live it.
One year later... I miss certain things about the comfortable world known as the US such as cheese, cold water readily available, and most of all Mexican food. (For you all UTO reading this: Chino Bandidos needs to open up shop in Kenya!)
I also miss my friends and family: especially our road trips (Turn left, turn left! Your other left! Among other stories..); I miss going to see a movie and having lunch/diner with my family.
But all these things that are missed have been replaced..
In my new world of simplicity cheese is a rare commodity to find, and when found its all the better. Cold water is not readily available in my house but it is still nice to find once in a while. In fact, up to around 9:30ish in the evening a kiosk that my next door neighbors run has cold drinks available including water (and sometimes even ICE!) Though you really one does not truly appreciate cold water until you live in a place where the weather is terribly hot (similar to Phoenix) while also not having the luxury of having air conditioning in the car you are in (if you happen to be lucky enough to be in a car) and/or not having a fan inside the room you are in (or if you do have a fan - perhaps its not running because there is no electricity). Best part is, the weather is only going to get hotter during the next few months :)
I've also developed new habits and made new friends. Instead of going to the movies with my family, I will typically hang out with some friends around here. Occasionally we will watch a film or a TV show, but most of the time we just chill and talk. There are also other foreigners to hang out with which can be nice - at least we can relate a bit.
I've also gotten into the habit of walking a lot - almost everywhere in fact (as I've mentioned in previous posts). I also enjoy doing Yoga in the early morning or evening time (typically by candle light if there is no electricity). I've also gotten into the habit of cooking diner and eating by candle light.
All these things I didn't really expect as I wasn't really sure what to expect when I packed up my life for two years.
"How does one pack up their life for two years?" I find myself thinking as I write this blog. Well it's definitely not easy not really knowing what you'll need or wont need. The good thing is, you will always find a way to survive (like the locals) even if you don't have the luxuries of the lifestyle you are used to.
These days when someone asks me where my home is, I tell them "hapa Garissa kwa province" (Eng: Here in Garissa in province). (Province is a regional label for the area of town where I live). Occasionally people will clarify, 'I meant where do you come from' alas, that's a different question altogether since my home is, and will be, in Garissa for the next year.