It’s quite weird to think that it’s already 2011. Where the hell did 2010 go?! I feel like I don’t remember any of it! Which is sad and quite embarrassing, because quite a number of important things happened over the year! Another tattoo, tons of amazing concerts, stellar trips, graduating from uni, back to Africa, wonderful memories and friendships… I mean, who could forget John with my mom and bestie (yes, I did cry during ‘Edge of Desire’ during the encore)? Or laughing my arse off at Tyler Perry’s Madea? Or seeing my mates from Edinburgh? Or the many crazy nights in Chicago with The Birches or at Madonnarama with my Disney crew? Forcing Kathryn to take me to Hobbiton for my birthday – nothing better! ;) It astounds me that so much has taken place in the span of 365 days. And I am sincerely, utterly grateful for every single one of those three hundred and sixty-five (it wasn’t a leap year, was it?) days. I really have been, and continue to be, so lucky and privileged to have been able to do the aforementioned things and to go to these amazing places.
And, to think, so much more is to come in the next few months and over the course of two years! MOM COMING TO AFRICA IN FOUR DAYS! [I know it sounds incredibly silly and childish to be so excited about your mother coming to visit, but she really is one of my best friends and I’ve missed her so much over the past four months! Can only imagine the kind of havoc we’ll wreak on Jambiani once she gets here. PUMPED.] Another birthday (an odd number one! L) in 21 days. A jaunt over to Oz and NZ – friends, plays, and Hobbits? Yes, please! Tazer and Laichs with Risa in DC. Norbert (hopefully/FINALLY!) in NYC. Traveling to say goodbye in Georgia, Chicago, Virginia, DC, etc. Heading to Kyrgyzstan for the Peace Corps waaaay too soon. There’s so much in need of being crammed in once I get home. Everything is happening so quickly; too quickly for me to really get myself mentally prepared for whatever is ahead. I know I keep harping on this fact; it’s just all catching up with me now, catching me off entirely guard. At this precise moment in time, I’m scared absolutely shitless about what’s going to happen in March. Like, actually crying about it while I type this. I’m scared. I know you’re tired of me saying this over and over, but I’m terrified.
There’s a quote from a book that I talked about a few weeks ago (Night Train to Lisbon) that I feel fits my inability to really articulate how much everything I’ve done and will do means to me. ‘Of the thousand experiences we have, we find language for one at most and even this one merely by chance and without the care it deserves. Buried under all the mute experiences are those unseen ones that give our life its form, its colour, and its melody.’ So, even though I’ve experienced (and will continue to do so over the course of the next 27 months, and the rest of my life) all of these monumental things, it’s the little things that really shape and influence me. The days when nothing outstanding happens are the ones that actually mean the most. Finding out who we all are through the little things; growing inch by inch, day by day. And now that that’s written, I have absolutely no idea if it even makes sense, but I’m rollin’ with it anyway. ;)
Today was the first day back to nursery school for me. It was definitely a weird experience to walk into my classroom at Kikadini and NOT have my normal kids in class since all of ‘em (but one – poor Muza!) moved up a class. I don’t know how teachers handle that, year after year. You get so attached and used to your kids and then they’re gone! It doesn’t seem fair. I’m not sure I could do that every single year. I have so much more respect for the teachers I’ve had in the past and all of my friends who are now teachers. You all are amazing at letting go! How do you do it? Any suggestions for me for my near future? I guess this should act as practice for my job in Peace Corps, eh? Even though it’ll be with high school students (dear God, save me already) instead of ickle ones. Think that will make it easier or harder to say bye at the end of each school year?
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bookworm. To the nth degree. Almost embarrassingly so, but that’s just me. Haha. Anyway, I think it’s about time that I update everyone on my latest reading endeavors and offer book suggestions for everyone. Get ready; there are quite a few (which is what happens when you have nothing to do for two weeks but lay in the sun and read).
- The Eight by Katherine Neville – this is one I reread ‘cause I love it so much. It’s kind of like The DaVinci Code, except not at all. Haha. Think a chess set, that when played correctly, uncovers a dark secret. Phenom. Promise.
- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – LONG. Was an alright story, but really only finished it so that I would know what’s going on in the miniseries (if I ever get the chance to see it).
- Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin – I thought it was going to be better than it was. Love the concept of hearing from the ‘survivors’ of the Rwandan genocide and how they ‘move on,’ but overall story wasn’t great.
- Hornet Flight by Ken Follett – MUCH better than PotE. Definitely a page-turner. Complete historical brain fluff, but still a good read.
- Savage Garden by Mark Mills – this was a bit of a slow read for me without a real climax or ending; had great potential, but then just kind of puttered off…
- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Moving, fictional story that takes place during the Kenyan (maybe? The one where Biafra is created for a short amount of time?) civil war. Ending was abrupt, but decent. Didn’t think it deserved the acclaim of being written by this generation’s Chinua Achebe, though.
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – already spoke about this one; still makes me glad to be a lover of history.
- The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook – fun, geeky ready that every Doctor Who fan should read. Actually also a surprisingly informative read about the concept of writing.
- Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer – reread, which made me surprisingly (somewhat) side more with Jacob than Edward. Maybe I’m slowly being disillusioned to the whole franchise? Haha.
- Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier – reminded me quite a bit of Shadow of the Wind, except not nearly as amazing. No climax. Only worthwhile because of a number of passages that made one really stop and think.
- A Weekend With Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly – SERIOUS brain candy. The title says it all: two women go to a Jane Austen conference and find love. Hey, I needed one of these while I was here, right?
- Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates – fantastically written book that overturns the myth of Paradise in Suburbia during the late 1950s. Film stayed incredibly close to the book, which I like. And with Kate and Leo as the leads – perfect casting.
- Currently reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin – about 200 pages in and not quite sure how I feel about it yet. Admirable and exciting, but there are little things about this guy that just piss me off. We’ll see what happens when I finish it!
Looking back, I really wish that I had written down the length of each of these books. ‘Cause last summer, when I was here for two months, I read 12 books; this year, after three months, I’m only on book 13, yet a few of the above books were in the 900 – 1000 page range. That makes up for the fewer NUMBER of books completed, right? And I have a good chunk more books to read before I leave/head back to the States. Fahrenheit 451, Fugitive Pieces, The Blind Assassin, The Motorcycle Diaries, and I’m trying SO HARD to leave Water for Elephants to reread on the way home. ‘Cause I love that book and want it fresh in my head for the gorgeousness of RPattz in the film (even though I won’t be able to see it!). ;)
Brain has lost its coherency. More as it comes – probably after Mom arrives, though!
PS – Listened to the soundtrack to 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee last night while I couldn’t sleep and words cannot describe how excited I am to see my friends in this at OCP, come February. No joke. And how much I want someone to rig the system so that I get to be one of the guest spellers. Haha. Skank (or Chris!), get on that for me. ;)