Wow. Staying true to slacker form, it’s been a year since the last update. Currently my socks are being viciously attacked by my little sister’s Chihuahua, so forgive me if this post is no good. America…so full of distractions.
My last year in a nutshell: Africa farewell trip was the trip of a lifetime, I got accepted to medical school at UTHSC San Antonio, and got a job on an oil rig!(putting it in such a condensed manner makes it sound pretty cool, but no worries, I’ve been perfectly useless to society in all other ways since my last post.)
I can’t wait to contribute to something. I’ve no doubt got Edward Abbey churning up some soil in Moab at the moment with my job selection, but I actually feel really good about it. My training was a blast, and i’m working with some really good, salt of the earth kind of folks. There was a lot of talk about guns, ‘coons, trucks, and country music(you mean i have to learn ANOTHER language!?), and enough dip was consumed to keep a couple of plantations in business a few years…but the guys are good people, plain and simple, and were willing to take me under wing to show me the ropes in spite of my being a bit of a black sheep. I learned a lot…and it wasn’t all rigs, guns, and ‘coons, either. I envy the honest hearts of some of these guys. Here’s to hoping it’s contagious.
DONESIES! I got my ‘R’ (RPCV—for Returned) on December 21! It was a surreal feeling…filling out paperwork with parker…getting it done…and then going right back to my normal life in Lesotho, even though i’m not technically a volunteer anymore. I spent christmas in the south and had a great time meeting a number of the newer volunteers…in other words my replacements. It’s a good group…I suppose Lesotho is gonna be okay after we up and leave…:P
Parker and I are busy trying to get our nearly 20 year old bikes into their best running order…opening up the engines and grinding the valves to ensure compression isn’t being lost…by grinding the valves we will be making sure we get the best fuel mileage possible…plus it’s fun…stressful but the problem solving is pretty awesome(so long as we can actually solve our problems)…which so far we’re doing okay…learning lots about mechanics and how to work on engines.
We have a website up for the trip…it’s www.africa3deep.com. We are going to be working over the next few days to get this thing going.
Nate is currently held up building bridges at his site…classic peace corps cliche…the money just came into his account to get the job done and he should be done with the project in the next week…after which he will(hopefully) close his service and we can get started on the trip. It’s cutting it close but his village really will benefit from his work here…as many students show up to school soaked from head to toe treading through the dangerous waters that must be crossed to get around at his site. Tentatively we are expecting a departure date of around Jan. 20…but this is africa and anything is possible. Parker and I aren’t complaining as this is giving us a great chance to get adequately prepared and to ensure that everything is running perfectly.
If anyone is curious, our bikes are ’93 Suzuki Bandit GSF 400s which have been modified with dual sport tires and raised suspension to help us out if we need to do some off-road riding. They are beautiful bikes but a touch over the hill…so we’ve been busy trying to get them running like they did the day they were born…which i’m pretty sure we can do. We might just be the first(slash dumbest) guys ever to take such bikes through the rugged terrain of africa…so it will indeed be a one of a kind adventure…i’m sure we’re going to have some amazing stories to share…i’m so excited!