Ready…Set…Fly!

View from the plane
View from the plane

So here I am at work during my lunch break. It’s the day before our departure and within a few hours we’ll be settling in Washington, DC to stay for the evening. At this time tomorrow, we’ll be in the air heading to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, our first stop on the journey to Kafue. The combination of my first big international flight, the months of anticipation and the nature of such a special trip had me anxious and excited for days. I will also note how difficult it is to be productive when your mind is basically “checked out” and on its way to Africa! Now, I’m finding myself in a daze, dreamy-like state. It’s happening. The stresses of travel arrangements, packing and finishing up work assignments are melting away and the reality of the trip is finally setting in full-force.

For the past several days, I have been lucky enough to experience the support, well-wishes and curiosity of friends, family, coworkers and even strangers. People want to know what this is about and why I would select such a unique destination for vacation – and I’m happy to tell them. All I can think about is getting to Kafue and meeting the community. What would the reception be like? How are people going to react to me? How am I going to respond? It’s hard for me to really articulate exactly how I’m feeling, but I know it’s good and it’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If there was a way for me to capture these feelings – to take a snapshot – I would do it in a heartbeat. For now, I will enjoy this moment and hope that others will have the chance to do the same one day. See you in Zambia!