Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reflections on Two Years in the Field

Yesterday was my anniversary.

I never expected to even be here.  I did have expectations, but those all landed me in a fur hat, drinking vodka, and singing folk songs about the Volga while strumming a balalaika.  For those of you who know me outside of the interwebs, you likely already know about my little obsession.*  But, what do they say?  Life is what happens when you’re making other plans… no, no, that’s not the one I want.  Right, it’s “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  Anyhoo.  Here I am two years later typing at eight degrees South instead of sixty-ish degrees North.

A lot can happen in two years and I feel I’ve accomplished and experienced a good amount.  (Deep breath in…) I’ve read like 50 books, climbed a mountain, been charged by a hippo, swam in the Nile, sailed on Lake Victoria, ridden in a hot air balloon, learned to drive on the wrong side of the road, ran a 5k, purchased and cared for a puppy who I subsequently semi-trained, been promoted, moved countries, improved my Swahili, and learned many of the ins and outs of my new best friend (Microsoft Excel).

I’ve also been dished up a whole heap of crap.  I’ve been held at gunpoint, defrauded, had a machete-brandishing man try to "adopt" the aforementioned puppy, lost my computer, music, pictures, and not to mention WEDDING RING to thieves (okay that one’s a combo with the first, but I felt it deserved it’s own section), suffered malaria and steady intestinal discomfort, and may or may not have contracted Schistosomiasis.  Which is worms.  Awesome.

So, it’s been eventful.

Starting this post, I wanted to think of something eloquent – stirring even – to summarize my time spent here so far.  I wanted to think of something persuasive to convince you that it’s all worth it because we’re changing lives and rooting out hunger.  But for some reason, instead, all I can think is to tell you about a game I just learned.

It’s not the no-pants game, which I recently learned from my dear friend, Ducky.  If you want to hear that one, just ask.  You can play it anywhere.  I was just a spectator because it turns out that Meridith might be called Duck but I’m just plain Chicken.

This game is called “goat or kid.”  You can probably guess the rules.  When you hear a baby crying in the village you have to decide…. Goat or Kid?  Could have been called “Kid or Kid” really.  (It woulda been if I ran things…)

The chances of you getting to play this game are very low if you’re reading this from a developed country.  You probably only get to experience goats at petting zoos, and that’s kind of a shame.  Then again, not really.  In fact, I might not mind a more limited interaction with these, the dirtiest of creatures.  Because it turns out: goats are dumb.  And noisy.  And under-foot.  And tough (the meat part).  And just generally annoying.

That said, I’m still thinking of getting one for Pickles.

Among the things I never expected to do... on safari with mis padres.
*I’m a Russophile.  I have a certificate to prove it and everything.


  1. I wish there was a like button... :)

  2. Sarah! I was thinking about you the other day and was wondering how you have been and what you have been up to since we departed ways back in high school. I was excited to see that you kept a blog. I would love to catch up some time!

    1. Panda! I was just thinking about you. I was in Ohio for two weeks and jogged past the Dalesandry's house. Wish I could have seen you - next time for sure!

  3. Awww... shucks! Barely missed ya. Congrats to your anniversary. I got myself hitched this past October. I got to read a bit of your blog and it sounds like you lead quite the interesting life!