Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Vignettes

Friday, March 6th, 2009

I have been in Ghana for less than 72 hours and it feels like I have been here for so much longer. It will be nearly impossible to recount everything that has happened so far, so I offer up a few very small vignettes.

Stepping off the airplane into the thick tropical air. Going into the parking lot on the way to Robyn’s car and being asked by a local Ghanaian for a Coca-Cola, not having any clue what that meant. (He was asking for some money) Just being amazed at the organized chaos of the traffic.

At the beach late at night looking out at the Atlantic ocean and marveling at how small the world suddenly felt.

In the days leading up to my departure, feeling worried about forgetting things or leaving things behind. And then in the final hours before leaving the house, a calm settling over me … and then wondering to myself if this is how mom felt in her last days. You can only do what you can and simply trust that things will be okay in your absence.

Striking a balance between living and blogging

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

A co-worker referenced this XKCD comic today as he suggested focusing on enjoying the time I’ll be abroad and not worrying too much about blogging. The balance between experiencing the moment and blogging is something that I’ll be thinking about in the days leading up to my departure. It often takes me a lot of time to compose what I consider to be a good blog post and in addition to the time it takes to write it, I often spend most of the day letting the thoughts simmer on the back of my mind.

I will be challenging myself to set a time limit of 15 minutes for each blog entry and will be making my best effort to otherwise not think about puttings things online.

Time’s up for today. This is a lot tougher than I thought.

A Farewell at Angie’s

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

A cup of water and a burger with everything.It’s a pretty ordinary meal, but it’s one that I often order at Angie’s Diner and it’s a lunch hour routine that I’ll miss while I’m overseas. Pause. No, when I really think about it, it’s not the routine itself, but the people. The friendly faces, the cheerfulness and feeling right at home. So when I was asked where I would like to have a farewell get-together with coworkers, Angie’s naturally came to mind.

I was overwhelmed at the response and was glad so many people came out to share in the occasion. I wish I had the chance to speak to everyone individually, but having everyone in the same room together did afford me the opportunity to say a few words of appreciation for all the positive support and great memories during my time with the organization.

However, there are many sentiments of appreciation that floated through my mind for the rest of the day; ones that I wish I had taken an extra moment in the past year to say to people, but the moment never seemed quite right. Things like, thank you for your kindness; for taking that moment way back when and asking how I was doing; for being a pleasure to work with; for always being a positive and cheerful presence, because even though we seldom talked, it was nonetheless appreciated. Things like that. But I’ve been fortunate to work with many individuals for whom the thank yous aren’t their raison d’etre. Not to say those sentiments aren’t appreciated, but they do the things they do because they’re good people.

It really will be the people I miss the most.

Hello world!

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Alright, let’s get this show on the road. For those of you visiting this site for the first time, I will be departing for Ghana at the beginning of March and I will be blogging my experience overseas. I’ve blogged in some form another since 2002, but I haven’t been keeping up on it in the last couple of years as I needed to take a step back from the “public” eye and live a bit of life without feeling the need to constantly write about it.

While blogging has exploded in recent years, I’ve noticed that the general tone of blogs has shifted. They aren’t as intimate and personal as the ones I was familiar with in the early 2000s. To me, blogging has always been about sharing pieces of myself with the world and hoping that others may find some of their own thoughts, experiences, hopes, or dreams reflected back at them.

In this blog, I will be sharing writing, pictures, video (if bandwidth allows) and audio during my time away. In addition to detailing my work in Ghana, I will also be sharing my thoughts and feelings surrounding my first time outside the Americas. My initial posts will be short and perhaps less polished then I would like, but I am hoping that this will change as I get into the swing of things.

As well, some posts may be password protected for viewing only by close friends and family members. If you fall into either one of those categories and come across a protected entry, please email me for the password. I will be using this feature mostly to post things like itineraries and phone numbers, things that are probably best left outside of the public eye.

So that’s it for the first post. More to come!