Sunday, November 20, 2016

African Journal: Part 15 (Back to America)

July 31, 1994

We got to church late, but it didn't matter. We wore our (African) clothes and people along the streets would laugh and look. The service was long, but neat. I got hungry, but they gave us food (cake) and soda. Chris fell asleep during church...on camera even. The girls looked like Chiquita banana women, but looked pretty darn cool.

We left the service early so we had time to rest. I took a shower and a nap and then we were off to the airport. Mable met us with a hug and we said goodbye. Of course the Ghana airport was a pain. It was delayed from 10:30 to 12:30 then to 1:00. Some guy fainted and it reminded me of the whole thing with my dad.

We finally got on the plane for six hours to (????). Then with a two-hour layover I ate and then we left for our eight-hour trip. It was boring. I read my Michael Jackson book (he's married to Lisa Marie Presley), and wrote my play and played Rummi. We got to the airport, didn't have to go through customs (Yes!). Brenda met us with a hug and we drove to Camp Donegal. I couldn't open my eyes. They were watering like crazy. I had my contacts in for 35 hours. I looked terrible that night. Chris and I (others joined) watched Aladdin. I went to bed. I couldn't keep my eyes open. Megan  brought me a towel earlier and brought me a radio and U2 tapes and a teddy bear. Megan was someone I met at Donegal years earlier and would become one of my closest and best friends in the next few years. However, it's getting close to ten years now since we've spoken. She told her friend Joy that she's going to get me to notice her when I returned. The bear, Alexander, she had since she was little. And boy, did I ever miss my U2! 

We called home. "It's the African." "Hello." She said she loved me and that people missed me. That was after supper before the movie. We swam right when we got back.

I do not know who I called. I don't think it was Angie because we weren't together at that time. I guess it was my mom.

August 1, 1994

Felt a whole lot better today. We had a session with Beth. I think I wrote down everything we talked about. I can't remember what else happened. It's August 8th by the way. I think we made posters because we got our pictures back (just one roll).

August 2, 1994

We had a hike down to the waterfall tonight. I talked to Megan most of the time. On the way back we hiked in the stream (that lead all the way back to camp). It was fun. Megan recently had a boyfriend for six months. She got drunk once and learned.

(Just to give you an update) The other people ended up taking the trail back eventually. Megan, Lori, Jon and I kept going. We had no idea where we were and it was getting dark. We ended all the way up at Unit 2. So we joined the others at the swimming party. Megan and I played volleyball the rest of the time. We ended up taking a walk to the chapel in complete darkness. And we talked for awhile about Melissa and her religion. She said I wasn't what she expected. I told her I was glad to hear that because I want to be unpredictable. Because she judged me in a sort of way when we met before I left for Africa.

We got back and watched The Bodyguard. She doesn't fall asleep during movies. Megan is great. She's really a nice person. I think on Monday we talked. Sometimes we talked in my cabin about my dad and my brother (Jason). Things seem to be getting with him. My relationship with Jason was estranged through those my high school years while he was in college. I'm thankful now that he and all my brothers are also my best friends.

Her mother died when she was in third grade. So she talked about her stepmother. After that we went up to the kitchen for a raid. Then we took that walk. (The chapel walk I think.)

Camp Donegal has played a pivotal part in my life. From the trails through the woods to the trials of my emotions, it served as a home away from home. I learned more during my years at Donegal about myself and others than any other segment of my life. For my Africa trip, it served as place to get away from first world distractions before leaving and a place to ease back into those same distractions upon our return. I developed friendships, particularly with Megan, that would have lasted and should have lasted a lifetime (especially now with social media), but it is what it is. There's a reason for everything. 

I yearn to return to those woods, to walk to the river, to be in the one place that holds so many important memories. I hope I can go back to one of the cabin's and stay there locking myself in and have a writer's weekend. I believe the inspiration would be beneficial for my writing as well as my spirit.

There will be one more African Journal entry.

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