Ok, enough about work – time for the important stuff.
I was surprised on my first night here that there were so many beers on the menu that I haven’t tried before – Mutzig, Skol, Primus, Tembo, Turbo King, Legend, Castel..and of course there is the ubiquitous Heineken (barely worth a mention). At our hotel, which thinks it’s pretty posh, they serve us our beers in wine glasses. My favorite was eating at an outside ‘restaurant’ (there are vendors all around selling chicken, goat, beer, peanuts, etc. and they’ll bring them to you at your plastic table and chairs crammed in on the sidewalks and over the covered-sewers) and seeing all the buildings around brightly painted like different beer labels – very fun. I know, it seems like I’ve been partying a lot, but really we’ve been working hard! We just managed to fit a beer tour into our busy schedule – it was a priority.
One of the things that I was looking forward to most about moving to Cape Town was the chance to finally put down some roots. This is not something I would have imagined myself saying a few years ago – I have always had itchy feet and while I imagined having a home someday, that someday always seemed far away. Not sure what it was – stress, age, circumstances, all of the above – but I was very excited about the idea of staying put for awhile when we moved here. And I managed not to travel for a bit…
It’s starting to seem a bit like I’ve put down those really shallow roots – they hold me in one place, but aren’t really all that solid yet and can easily get swept away. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do my job without traveling so much, but with little success so far. So I’ve also been thinking about what else I can do so I don’t have to travel so much – also haven’t gotten very far on that.
Maybe part of the problem isn’t so much the travel or even the work – I most always enjoy it once I get there. I think probably it’s more about the uncertainty. And the unpredictability. In the last month I’ve almost gone to about 3 different countries – Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Georgia – and every one was a last minute, prepare-to-put-your -life-on -hold-and-be-ready-to-leave-in-two-days kind of assignment. And none of them panned out, for various reasons (the organization I was on a bit with didn’t win the proposal, the proposal was postponed, etc). Makes it a little hard to plan your life when you’re never sure if you’ll be in the country the following week.
So now I think it looks like I’ll be heading to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with the IRC a week from today. They wanted me there sooner, but there is this whole pesky visa thing. And I was literally called about this job for the first time last night. Things move quickly! I’m never sure I’m actually going until I’m on the plane, but this one seems pretty solid. It should be an interesting assignment, writing a $142mm health proposal, and I’ve always wanted to visit DRC. But I am heartbroken to have to leave my little kitten – she’ll be so big when I get back in 3-4 weeks! Not to mention having to cancel classes I was planning to take, etc. Oh well, c’est la vie – at least for now.