In an email a few months ago my mother asked me if I ever pinch myself and say… “I am in Africa”? Of course the answer is yes but there are also times, for example the last few weeks, where I wonder what I am doing here. Here meaning, out in the middle of a National Park living in a tent alone save for three rural Zambian men who are wonderful but we couldn’t have come from more opposite backgrounds. These times are worth it because when something great happens it becomes extraordinary and surreal. David, who has been in the Peace Corps explains it like this: when you are out in nowhere Zambia alone your lows are very low and your highs are very high.  Everything feels more extreme here including the sunsets, rainstorms, and rainbows. Lucky for me I am NOT a Peace Corps volunteer with not enough work to fill my day. When the baboons are around I don’t have a spare minute. However, when they disappear, for example this past week, I can feel very isolated. I still have plenty to do but it is all on the computer. I find it somewhat depressing as I am NOT out here to sit in front of a computer.

So last night I had a “pinch myself” moment. Our camp attendant found our baboons while out collecting wood. We followed them and they came back to sleep within 500 meters of camp. They went up in their trees as if they hadn’t been somewhere unknown to us on holiday! I was elated.  I headed back to camp and while I was making dinner I looked out to a glowing pink and purple sky. An absolutely extraordinary sunset!! …..

This is why I am here. This is what all of the computer work, grant writing and course work were for. I feel so fortunate.

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