Vacation and Stuff

by ryan on August 4, 2011

People are dumb.

It’s not until we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel that we really start to appreciate what we’ve got going for us.

July, for me, was a great month. I hosted a 4th of July party at my house that had everything anyone could ever ask for from a 4th of July in Lesotho. (Everything, that is…except fireworks…ahem…). Shortly after I went away to Cabo San Lucas to see family. It’s crazy what a polarized life I got to experience…in Cabo I would be lucky to find a drink for less than my day’s Salary in Lesotho! I told myself that I was NOT going to dwell on the extravagance of the occasion, however…and assured myself that American Dollars are simply a figment of some crazy economist’s imagination…like less colorful and slightly more glorified monopoly money. It worked. I enjoyed myself.

Being with family was INCREDIBLE. My younger brother has grown up quite a lot and my little sister is as sweet and ornery as ever. She actually encouraged me at one point to go and practice being awkward with pretty girls. My family. The best. My only complaint was that the trip was over nearly as soon as it started.

Coming home caught me off guard, though. I wasn’t at all dreading coming back to Lesotho. To the contrary, I was excited to see the mountains as my little commuter jet bounced on towards Maseru. I ended up snowed out of site for a week and had a great excuse to visit other volunteers, and finally made my way back up to site the day before school started.

It’s been warm for over a week, and the mountains are still covered with snow(snowball fights with the students are the best.) Someone made a rather curvaceous(and rather naked) snow-woman on the top of my mountain which had me laughing for a good long time.

Besides the gorgeous and unique weather, I’ve been busy nonstop, and it’s been great. I’ve had lots of visitors, some good talks with friends and students, and have been feeling GREAT about the progress of the library. All the while this ghost has been riding on my shoulder saying, “hey buddy, you’ve got 5 months left…then *poof* you’re done.”

Wow. 5 months. To a lot of people that might sound like kind of a long time…but from the perspective of someone who’s been shipped off, dropped off, and left to twiddle their thumbs/figure out the meaning of life in a fun and crazy new world, 5 months is nothing. I need to make the most of this. The days are literally slipping between my fingers.

Now that time is running short, i’m realizing just how much of a home I’ve really made for myself here. The familiar faces, the friends, the little kids who, after 2 years, still haven’t figured out that my pockets aren’t an endless fountain of candy…everyone has made this home for me. For the first time, I’m really nervous about having to leave.


See? Waiting until the last minute to fully appreciate. So. Dumb.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Meredith August 7, 2011 at 6:40 am

Hi Ryan!

How lucky to vaca in Cabo with the family! Sounds like it was tons of fun.

And you are absolutely correct, the next 5 months are going to go by fast!
I cannot believe how fast time has gone by since November 2009! It does not feel like it was 2 years ago we were working on Parker’s packing list and getting his life in order to live in Africa for 27 months! And now you guys have your close of service get together coming up. Really, where does the time go?!

No doubt you will make the most of your last months in country. Be sure to soak it all in and enjoy. The good & the bad. But mostly the good.

Be well & safe travels & I hope spring arrives soon!
🙂 Meredith

Kathryn Jewell August 17, 2011 at 7:11 am

Cabo was a incredible time, and a treat for all. I wish I could have had some of that monoply money once I got home. Noah and I can not wait to have you back with us, although I am glad you are enjoying your time. It like college, and high school, you can not wait to leave until the last semester when you realized how much fun it really was. So enjoy it before you graduate to the next chapter in your life.

Kathryn Jewell August 17, 2011 at 7:26 am

Just thoughts these words from Dr Suess were perfect. Remember the book, Places You will Go?All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

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