Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Merciful Law of Karma

So, what is all this mumbo jumbo floating around in my head lately about karma.  Is Karma something that's always lurking in the shadows just waiting for you to make a mistake or do something bad, and when you have---it seems to wait for just that perfect time to get you back for what you did days, weeks, months, years, or lifetimes ago.

While I always ascribe to the Fortune Cookie School of Psychology, I have often wondered, does everything that goes around really come back around. And if so, will it come back to bite you in the ass? Is there such a thing as relationship karma? If karma is the concept of action vs. deed, a cycle of cause and effect, action vs. reaction that governs all life, if we sow good seeds, we will reap good seeds? Is karma the merciful law which is our teacher, our friend, or our foe? So many questions?

I'm thinking about this for a variety of reasons though. With the enormity of choices we make throughout our lives, I made one, that in the twinkling of an eye, I was transported around the world to another continent, a new land with new woods, and with strange people carrying things on their heads. Yet, before I came to this strange land, I thought my karma was in a bad coma, and now with less than 6 months til I depart, has my karma revived?  I never blamed 'karma' for anything, but maybe I needed to (en) lighten up a bit.  So now I wonder if the God's gonna give me good karma because I joined the PC and tried to do good deeds everyday?

The answer may be yes and no.  During my service, I badly sprained an ankle, and a wrist, lost one passport, and ate a forbidden orange. That's not so bad considering I had many thoughts of killing  people sitting on top of me in 105 heat on kombie rides, and I'm probably still being bit by past schtick!  On the other hand, I believe there was a purpose to be played out here, and at the ripe old age of not so young, I found out that friends come in all shapes and sizes, and my karma led me to friendships I soon won't forget, but in particular to a young boy named Lefika. I can go on and on about him, but from the onset, there was a recognition on a soul level, our frequencies matched, we've learned to trust, love, and share.  He's only 7, but a brilliant and wise one he is, and honestly, I don't know what my service would've been like without him. The power of his friendship gave me the gift of being my best self, and in doing so---please----maybe some good karma!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Desert Storm

I'm telling you, African storms are something else. It's mind blowing to the nth degree! The storms are events that I've never heard or seen anything like'em. A furious drum roll of thunder lasting well over 10 seconds, followed by terrifying streaks of lightening, howling desert winds that feel like the roof is gonna blow off, and yes, I scream and shout, or jump out of my skin at every flash and roll.  Even Keoki was startled at this one---he jumped right into bed with me and didn't move!  As if we need reminders that it is the end of rainy season, surprise surprise, the power is gone, and gone is the water too. What a wild few days its been. I run out in the torrential storm with my camera trying to catch a fantastic bolt of lightening, but as I stand around, shaking from the cold and soaked to the bone, the thunder rumbles, the lightening is coming, and instead of holding steadfast to take a photo, I'm scared out of my wits, and I run for cover.

Sitting here in the pitch dark with only the light remaining of my iphone is a strange feeling that I've gotten used to in almost 2 years. It makes me think of the things I don't have here and now, but really, all I need is an insanely good read, and a good blanket to hunker under.

Time has shot by like an arrow—roughly 6 more months to go, and when you are a PCV, I've found that you come across things that repulse you just as much as things entice you----like a scary storm. But in between the frantic weather, the sun shines, and I yelp for Lefika to come run with me into the bush so we can capture the rainbow that has appeared, and which reminds me what a wonderful beauty a thunderstorm can bring!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Walking Into A Dream

Sessreim Canyon
Something was pulling me, something very strong, something deep, something I couldn't escape. It was another trip to Namibia where the vast expanses of nothingness, where everywhere is in the middle of nowhere just captures my imagination and curiosity---I had to go! Starting out for a few days in Swakopmund, a quaint hamlet with the ambience of a tiny colonial German Village---a perfect little gem where I replenished on decent food, had a good haircut, gazed at the sea, and communed with some dolphins and coffee shops. But I really didn't come here for Swakopmund, as cute as it is—We ventured out on Namibia's roads where vanishing point shimmers and blends into the sky like a never ending illusion to wind up in my dream world of Sossusvlei.

Officially, Sossusvlei is the name of a large salt and clay pan located inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The towering dunes of Sossusvlei topped it pretty quickly. They are preposterously beautiful, and I was gasping in amazement at the lofty mountainous shapes and luxuriant widening landscapes changing colors in the rising and setting sun. We made the ascent of an arm of the Big Mama Dune, one of the highest dunes in the world---but we did not get to climb Big Daddy---the biggest in the world.  We ate under such clear constellations in the sky. We drove and hiked in the Namib Park where animals, such as Oryx and Ostrich wander the gently rolling landscape, and wild vistas are never out of reach. We communed with Cheetahs, posed for posterity at the universal landmark of the Tropic of Capricorn, and all too soon, we left the desert and my frothy cappuccinos behind as if it were a dream.

In a country overflowing with surreal scenery that pushes the boundaries of what you think the earth can look like, Sossusvlei is perhaps the most peculiar. Sand is piled at its greatest heights and trees that have been dead for centuries (I was told 900 years) still stand in a dried up marsh. They call it Dead Vlei.  Sessreim canyon is also other worldly, as was the sky that was so dark you can't even imagine and where shooting stars were occurring at an alarming rate---I got a lot of wishes in!

Namibia makes me wonder what it might have been like when life began, when exploration and discovery were firsts for all humankind, and with no assurance of a road sign or set destination,with no clue where, or if, the desert would end. I didn't want to leave it, I wanted to just hunker down to take it all in, and keep going and get lost in this surreal country called Namibia. It seems like each and every turn I take, whether it be hiking in Lesotho, a safari in Moremi, the Serengetti, South Luangwa, meandering through Cape Town, or just listening to the voices in my village, I become increasingly fascinated by the magic of Africa!

Big Mama Dune

Desert Camp

Kelly, Me, Maureen