And on the Other Side of the World….

One side effect of living in a developing nation, thousands of miles away from the people you love most in the world, is loneliness.  While there are plenty of interesting locals and worldly expats to meet and experiences to be had, it can’t replace your best friend who hugged you hardest when second you found out you got into the college you  wanted, or your two-year-old niece, who you proudly taught the concept of the “fist bump” to right  before you left the states.

It is easy to be distracted by to eccentricities of living in a place where gasoline is smuggled in from neighboring countries, and where people use frog heads and dead snakes to conjure spirits and practice voodoo curses. Yet, after a certain amount of days or weeks, even that becomes normal and you can’t  help but be reminded of places where you don’t have to worry if you are going to get an amoeba from the food you just ate.

And nothing can make you yearn for home more than the day you get the email from your best friend that reads,

“Hey Babe, I have some amazing news! Nate proposed, I said YES!  Wish you could be here to celebrate with us.”

I was with a few friends when I read these words, and when I told them, they asked me why I sounded so sad. I was surprised at first, because I didn’t realize that I was. I mean, of course I was happy for her. Daniella is one of the most generous, good hearted, and kind people I know, (not to mention talented and beautiful, but the list goes on.) Nothing makes me happier than knowing that she has found someone who will treat her well and love her unconditionally. At the same time, it was a milestone that I was absent for, and a sign of the times, that we are all growing up. Dani was the girl who drove me home after school because she got her drivers license first, who knows every teenage (and post-teenage) secret , and told me I was too good for every person who ever broke my heart. We have inside jokes that make absolutely no sense, and I swear fifteen was yesterday.

See… 15 was yesterday, right? That is Dani and I New Years eve, 2000.

And the night before I moved to Washington, D.C. in 2008. (Yes, I was blonde once upon a time.)

And in other big news…… I heard back this week from my graduate school applications and, I GOT INTO MY FIRST CHOICE SCHOOL!!!! Sooo excited, I will be joining the next class of the Milano School for International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School in New York City. Many of you know it has been a dream of mine to live in New York since I was a little kid, and I will be getting my M.A. in International Affairs, so best of both worlds! I will start in January 2013.

I don’t regret my choice to come here, and once I start my new job (will post on that soon), I am sure I will learn so much that will fuel my future career choices, but right now, I just want to board the first plane out of Africa. It sounds stupid, but sometimes when I am homesick, I imagine getting off a plane in San Francisco, and everyone is waiting for me at baggage claim, my whole family, my closest friends… kind of like that scene at the end of Titanic, except I’m not dead, and Leonardo Dicaprio is not at the top of a staircase in a tuxedo.  But I digress.

In times like these, I remind myself that all we have is now, and that someday in the not so distant future, I will miss the scorching African sun, the naked children running in the streets, and even incessant mosquitoes that bite me through my clothes. Sorry, I know this is not an African themed post, but I am documenting my real world experiences, even if they are on the other side of the world.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. Carrie says:

    Dude! Congrats about NY!! I was pulling for a west coast school cause I miss you living so far away! But of course I’m thrilled!

  2. Jen says:

    Hi Sy. You are doing amazing things and everyone who knows you is thrilled about your adventures. Time passes quickly and someday you will look back and giggle, wishing you had just one more day there. Hugs to you. Chin up. Well, okay, if you need to be a little sad, then you should be. But only for a limited time!!!

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