Has anybody ever told you, “Just go with the flow!” What was your response? Usually, I agree with the person and try to relax, but the thought comes easier than the action.
At this very moment, I’m sitting at an Ethiopian airport waiting for my flight to Cape Town. As a 21st birthday present, my parents decided to make my childhood dreams come true in the most terrifying way. Instead of going on a family trip to South Africa so I could go cage diving (a bucket list dream), they booked me into a marine volunteer program for a month! Yes, a MONTH! Just when I’m getting things started with Inspire-Truth, I’ve been shipped off to have a crazy adventure.
Packing is an expertise of mine. I’ve always been a good packer and can usually achieve the task in one to two hours. However, packing to come to Africa was extremely difficult! I had no clue what to pack and was a mess. I have no idea what kind of place I’m going to or what will be available to me. My parents booked this trip, and I’m just going along with their plans. Some might say I’m ‘going with the flow,’ though this flow has a strong current.
For a month, I will be cage diving, whale watching, helping with African Penguin conservation, and working alongside marine biologists!! For a while, becoming a marine biologist was my dream until I realized how much I hated chemistry and physics!
So, this opportunity is going to be an exhilarating adventure. However, the process of getting here wasn’t an easy one. Ever since I turned 21, life has been full of ups and downs. Just before I left, my dog, Joey, was viciously attacked by a large dog and now has stitches. My poor baby looks pitiful with his back shaved, bandage securing the drainage pipes, and the cone of shame attached neatly onto his collar. I’m just thankful that he showed significant improvement before I left, but it was still tough to say goodbye to him.
My biggest concern is that I am traveling alone and going to a country that I haven’t been to since I was a toddler! It’s scary to have all these plans made but having no idea what to expect upon arrival! At least I’ll be able to have a day’s rest at a hotel before the real adventure begins — not that it hasn’t already!
Now that I’ve completed part one of my journey, I’m feeling much more confident and stronger. Most airports are alike, and I know my way around them, so that hasn’t been a problem. However, I’ve arrived in Ethiopia really early, and there are sleeping people (mummies) everywhere! I didn’t know where to sit! Also, all the people from my plane seem to have vanished, so I didn’t even know if I am in the right place!
Getting water was a funny experience! I went to this cafe and could see a whole refrigerator of water bottles. I asked for one, and the lady said that it cost $2… Who knew they used dollars in Ethiopia (I should’ve done my homework). Anyway, I paid with my card, but to do that, I had to wait for this man to come and process my card, which took 10 minutes. Then, I had to go to the guy standing beside the refrigerator, approximately 2 feet away, present my receipt, and then wait AGAIN for him to check the receipt before giving me a bottle! What an experience! Haha
This trip is already proving to be a journey, and I’m not even at my destination yet! I can’t wait to see what I face next!