Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ethiopia :: The Lighter Side

Well, for one thing, I have to be up in six hours and I haven't even been down yet. It's reverse jet-lag, a condition I'm personally pioneering as we speak.

So now seems like as good a time as any to catch you up on some of the juice.
I'll begin with a story.

Once upon a time there was a girl who procrastinated every important thing in life. For instance, if she was traveling across the globe, she probably wouldn't think about any of the practical aspects of said journey until roughly 1.5 days prior. Then she would commence in the most ridiculous and agonizing experience of analyzing her entire closet, convinced she had absolutely nothing both travel-worthy and fashionable (she was traveling with fashionable companions and hey, who doesn't like to think of themselves as on-trend travelers, representing the homeland with grace and dignity?)

After much angst and one shameless Googling of "Lisa Ling outfits", she gave up completely and packed 2 pairs of cargo pants, 1 pair of jeans, and a weird sweater with a bird on it that she hadn't worn in over two years.

So savvy was she, that she decided to ditch the extra outfit in her carry on because, yo, the flight was direct. No problem, man. (Also, the bag was already so heavy it made her a full inch shorter when she carried it.)

Yada, yada, she arrived in Ethiopia. Her bag did not.

But at least she was wearing her "Lay it Down" cuff, the one that served her well three years ago when her whole life was turned upside down and continues to serve her well to this day. It was a fitting reminder, so she laid it on down, determined not to let it fluster her.

She wore the same outfit for over 48 hours. And trust me, it was no head-turner. She had no brush, nary a hair product, not a moisturizer to be found.

It's Shannan Martin's legendary travel luck, with a twist!

Here I am, moments after arriving in my hotel room, 24 hours in on the outfit, over 24 hours to go. (It wasn't pretty...)

The good news is, the bag arrived the following morning.
The bad news is, well, the weird blue bird sweater.

It seems no matter where I go, I still have stuff to learn, stuff I feel like I probably should have mastered. I'm in a different world right now, but I'm still wholly me, full of complication and quirk.

I'm a flip-phone, treading water in a sea of Instagram'ers, living a life that's hard to explain and harder to understand. Yet even here, I'm reminded of the beauty hiding in the small. I'm nudged to keep on owning every bit of my quiet tendency and my misfit soul. I'm doing my best to walk in the right direction when I feel adrift. I'm bonding over Scandal, guacamole, reality tv, motherhood, blog talk, cute kid pics. You know, the important stuff.

I'm navigating a journey of the soul and doing it in full-on community.

Tomorrow Today is another full day, ripe with possibility and I'm praying for a heart that's prepared and a back that can hack it. (Remember that too-heavy bag? It sort of wrecked my lower back. Send prayers!)

I still struggle to really understand my "place" on this trip, but I trust that there is one and sometimes, that's all a girl can do.

This team is amazing. This country really is life-changing.

And....we’re having a Twitter party later today (Tuesday, 2pm Eastern) I’d love to see your pretty face on that feed! Come and visit me. Chime in. See for yourself how amazing my mates are. Learn a bit more about what we're doing here. Just follow the hashtag #blogABLE.

I'll be the one in the blue bird shirt.


CU Soon!