Saturday, August 27, 2011

Allow me some sentiment!

Every ending invites new beginnings and goodbye's are not forever.  After 21 years in one job and living in a small community, we've connected in such a way that those memories are a permanent part of who we are.  I can't really tell you why I'm leaving home.  In all honesty, I come up with superficial answers like stress at work was to much, and being fed up with the rat race.  The deeper truth lies somewhere in the inherited murkiness of the human psyche, a monkey's inclination to wander, always, one has to assure, looking for larger bananas, taller trees, and perhaps a place of fewer predators.

In the months to come, I hope to take long moments to look back and reflect on the distance walked  and all that we have shared.  Leaving to go to a new and unknown habitat, I'll have new freedoms, new responsibilities, and a realization that the long walk is not yet ended, it will just be down a different road.  So let me take this opportunity for some sentiment, as you, my friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family, have all witnessed the tears, even though I am so happy and curious for this new adventure.  Without you all I would never have had the courage to step out of my life to walk down that different road, and I thank you for that.  Everyone of you has been a true gift to me because you all made me a better person.  It seems fitting to be leaving as the seasons are about to change, and so I wanted to share what one of my co-workers gave to me: it was this little character pin of a bear with the inscription:
                                                            THE PATH TO SUCCESS
"As a bear ventures through unknown territory, he is marking the way for many others to follow.  Because he took steps in a different direction, a new path was created for future bears who will use that same trail for generations, placing their feet in the exact same spot every time they walk the course. Your adventurous vision has created a remarkable path that will be traveled for years to come.  Thank you for setting a great example."

Well, thanks Jackie for that wonderful sentiment, and thanks to all of you for the lunches, parties, and morning farewell coffees!  I hope to carry that bear with me and set new examples in Botswana!

"And the seasons they go round and round......"  Joni Mitchell

Monday, August 1, 2011

What's in a name

For those of you who are new in my life, I feel compelled to explain the name of Pai.  After 4 years of visiting Southeast Asia, building new relationships, laughing at the communication gaps, riding on the back of their motor bikes, and adopting their ways, my friends gave me the name of Pai-lin...meaning beautiful lotus.  They understood my love of Southeast Asia, and I gladly accepted the name and welcome anyone who wishes to call me Pai.  Personally, I prefer that name, and now that I am about to start a new chapter in my life, it seems fitting to let go of Lynn.
 In the book "The Life of Pi," he too changed his name, went on a metaphysical trek that explored life's mysteries, embraced all religions, and tried to integrate his circumstances into one meaning.  Becoming a PCV is going to be an adventure similar to being on that lifeboat simply because we will be learning new survival skills, waking up each day to the unknown, and finding ways to fit in with a new culture and new friends.
This blog will be the story of my adventures in Botswana that will hopefully be a fun and interesting ride.
For future PC nominees, I know how it was to read the time lines from start to finish:  mine was relatively easy: completed application on Dec. 25, 2010: interviewed on January 13, 2011: Medically cleared March 21:  Invitation extended on June 2 for September departure.  I was originally slated to leave in July to Asia, but that didn't work out for a variety of reasons, so Africa it is!