so this is it. for nearly a month.
tim and i are off to livingstone, zambia this morning. our country hopping starts there, then continues east to malawi, then north to tanzania, and finally to nairobi, kenya. we fly out of there august 11, make little flight pit-stops in addis ababa, ethiopia and entebbe, uganda before flying back in to cape town.
we’ll be in cape town for one quick day, before we both fly out to london, england on august 13. we get there at the same time on the 14th, but lucky for tim, he doesn’t have to leave 12 hours earlier like i do to make room for a hard tilefloor sleep in the dubai airport.
but anyways, that’s the plan.
to go and behold victoria falls, one of the seven wonders of the natural world. to paddle around lush islands on lake malawi and hopefully see the great lions of africa in south luangwe. to brush by the infamous serengeti and stand before the towering kilimanjaro.
to see, and feel, and be, in the heart of africa.
i can’t wait.
step 1. delete facebook. stop blog. ignore all e-mails (except for good ol’ ma and pa), but generally stay away from computers.
step 2. bring really good tunes and a really good book.
many of my stories have been defined by the soundtracks and words that i hauled around in my backpack at the time. (durban? jimi hendrix bio. malaysian bus trip? simon & garfunkel. bondi beach in sydney? rita marley bio. dts bunk in lower crossroads? mew, “she spider”. bali? surfer michael peterson’s bio. virginia? blue like jazz. indo motorbike trips? modest mouse.)
i found this ancient and roughed-up blue book in a used bookstore in kalk bay. it’s called “personal adventure and romance” from 1931. it has all these bits and pieces about travel and conflict from books titled, “the adventures of a younger son”, “letters from high altitudes”, “sketch book”, “citizen of the world”, “reminiscences”…the authors: william wordsworth, jonathan swift, kingsley fairbridge, thoreau…
i’m in love with the idea of bringing these old words, with their old smell, into africa by backpack. bringing these great authors who came so many decades before me on the road…
i also slipped an old picture of my parents in the 70’s into the front page, which makes it that much better.
step 3. pack light.
step 4. be prepared to hitchhike, or eat weird things, or meet random locals at a dirty shebeen. (actually, hope for these things.)
step 5. do the thing that often gets lost in regular life: spend time just sitting in Gods company. undisturbed. and devoid of outside noise.
i find i get lost in to-do lists and e-mails. and i let a lot of things darken out what should be at the top of the pile.
i want to have conversations with Him. to cut myself out of regular life and go trailing after him.
i want to go into the thick of africa – no kids, no husband, no mortgage, no daytimer, no cellphone, no school, no car keys, no career – none of it. and get into the middle of the story He is writing me. and to let it encompass and throw shade over my heart.
i want to talk to Him about the story we are writing.
“theres the truth about telling stories with your life. it’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. it’s like that with writing books, and it’s like what with life. people loved to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. but joy costs pain.” – donald miller.
you are telling a story. it should be one that you are proud of, one that you would knock on stranger’s doors to tell.
just try to be brave as hell, and go live it.
have a rad month!
bali, indonesia. 2009.