Friday, June 02, 2006
Africa pervades all my thoughts...
Each day my adventure grows closer I increase in excitement. This seems to happen mostly at night, when I am left alone to my thoughts with no family or friends to distract me. I've been having a hard time sleeping this past week becasue I keep thinking of things I need to do before I leave. Tomorrow is a day with much to do in it: See friends and family (2 sets of grandparents in one day!), say farewell to friends in far-away places on the phone, see some that I haven't seen since school started in the fall, find some felt board characters, thank-you notes of course, hopefully get an answer on a computer question and explore Festival. And..oh yes how silly of me to have forgotten? Pack. I do of course have most of Saturday to pack as well, as I don't leave GRR (as they call it in the airplane business) until 7pm.
Back again to this sleeping business: I woke up not very well rested day before last because I had a dream that I fell asleep and instantly awoke in Niger. Tom Johnson was there to greet me, and drove me through the winding streets of Niamey. I remember seeing an immensly tall church that looked like it came out of the movie Alladin: exquisitley decorated Arabic-style architecture against a midnight-blue sky. It was beautiful. I do distinctly remember Tom asking me if I spoke Espanol and explaining to him (in French) that no, I spoke French and wasn't he expecting me to speak French? I only knew a few words in Spanish that an Ecuadorian friend at school taught me. AND I saw all these women wearing tank tops, and I was very disgruntled because I had only brought t-shirts (trying to fit in with the dress code) and was convinced that I would be decidedly hotter than the sleveless women all around me. Then I met an American missionary family (who knows where they came from? To paraphrase Scrooge in Dickens's A Christmas Carol, they could simply be a figment, the result of a poorly boiled potato) with two daughters that spoke English. I think. But I was still dreaming in French, somehow... In anycase, I was conveying to them my confusion at how one could fall asleep in one place and wake up in another, and how it was especially disconcerting that my luggage had not made it over on DreamAir flight ZZZ to Niamey. At least we know one thing: I dreamt in French. People say that you don't really know a language until you dream in it. Well, warn all the Turkish men in Grand Rapids: I officially dream in French! I'm better than they think I am.
As you can see, my preperations have taken up most of my (conscious and subconcious) thoughts. I'm beginning to worry I'll be spoiling the girls with all the gifts I'm bringing them. But really, have you been to the baby/kids toy section at any of our fine Grand Rapids superstores?(And by that I mean Target, Meijers, and occasionally Old Navy). So many choices! I went out to get a sippy cup tonight and after searching for the sippy cup department and walking past it twice, in true Amanda fashion, I found myself bombarded by an array of sippy cups in all different shapes, sizes, colors and brands. One handle, two handles, or none? Boy design or girl design? Ergonomic shape? Straw-in-cap? Powerpuff girls or SpongeBob Squarepants? Is Gerber better than Playtex? Or Avey? I mean come-on Mr. Meijer, how many sippy cup slections do I need?? You know how terrible I am at making decisions (remember college?) you could at least take this into consideration. I spent half an hour in the sippy cup section and ended up buying two (one with two handles and one with none. I probably should have gone with a nice one-handler in between). Don't even get me started on the clothes.
May I add, however, how much more I enjoy shopping for other people than shopping for myself? My mother insisted I get another skirt (since when is it normal for parents to ask their daughters to get more clothes? I think we need to get my Mom checked out...)
Again. This decision making disorder. I looked at all (and I mean all) the skirts in TJ Max, and ended up returning to Old Navy in the end anyway. Oh well.
Friday is my last full 24-hour day in Grand Rapids Michigan for this summer. Do you know that, in spite of all the travelling I've done, this is the longest continual period I've ever been away from home? The good news is that my parents are going to be at Malibu with Jesse half the time anyway. Maury is rooming with our good friends Arika and Chris in Allendale.
I still need ideas for my copious layovers. As much as I love them, there are only so many Sudoku puzzles you can do.
Africa here I come!