To: July 24 2010 and 2011

It’s been one year, one whole year since I got on that plane that took me to a place where life taught me all that mattered. It’s so far away, that even I’ve forgotten some of the routes and take-the-left-when-the-road-forks, and when was the best time to eat our chocolate bars.

It was there I breathed the smell of the sky trodden upon by herds of cattle, when the wind echapee’d with the dust as the music reached my ears. Oh, the music! How they sang for God! Their voices would make the angels cringe in embarrassment of themselves. And the sound of life! So gentle and real and calming. Never once did I want it to shut up! and go away. If only the voice of the universe was always like that.

The warm feeling of sitting by a campfire and listening to the voices of friends-becoming-family, the morning smell of chai tea, the crunch of new-but-now-worn work gloves, and hushed huff the earth sighed as I passed its dried surface as my feet traveled on…

And now all I’ve got left is a couple of beaded bracelets, a few soapstone carvings, a wax art piece, and well, a blanket. That’s all. I don’t have the shovels or pickaxes that nearly broke my back, I’ll never be able to see the kids, and I don’t even have my buddies who braved this adventure with me. All I’ve got are memories that I won’t ever let go, even if they start to fade away. I’ll paint them again in my head over and over again; all the acacia trees and bushy hills and the thick red sand, I can still see it all.

But sometimes, I wonder if it ever happened. After all, I’m still here in Canada, with enough money and overflowing, messy shelves and dressers, and an infinite number of things to do. It’s so hard to believe that it was the same me that pushed the old wheelbarrows and watched the kids sing; I feel as though I’m looking at the memories through windows and frames, instead of really feeling it. But some things never change. The crisp 100 shilling bill that’s really only worth $1.10 will still be sitting in that green change purse, and the wax that the vendor so importantly pointed out on the drawing still smells great. So I guess I’ll always have my ticket home to Kenya. Most of the time it’ll just be a little walk in my precious memories, but maybe one day, that Air Canada plane that flies over my head really will take me to Montreal, where Swiss Air will drop a piece of beautiful, creamy chocolate in my hand as they fly me, finally, home to Kenya.

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