Monday, August 9, 2010

Out of Africa

August 9, 2010
The final full day in Africa – I really didn’t know what this day would feel like when I was applying and planning for Enviovet 2010. I still remember Chad telling all of his friends and co-workers about how I would be gone all summer in Africa, and I kept saying “might be” going to Africa. Well, I made it, and I didn’t even have to use my “just in case” antibiotics! In fact, I got sick in Florida and got healthy in Africa. I feel more at home in Tanzania than I did on the Florida coast. I am currently riding on our coaster towards our last lesson for Envirovet 2010. We are headed for a village to learn about the local practices and hopefully buy seaweed soap and shell jewelry. Tonight we have a wrap-up discussion with Val and then have a surprise dinner and dancing at a Zanzibar club – should be a good way to say goodbye to Africa.

Earlier today a group of us got to go snorkeling in the Indian Ocean. We jumped in a boat with our gear and went out about 30 minutes where the water was a beautiful clear turquoise and the floor of the ocean was covered in live coral. It felt so serene being one with the fishes and hearing the sound of my breath under the water. My mind wandered to the lessons at Harbor Branch about coral reef ecology and fish physiology. The underwater world seems less scary when you can see it for yourself. Now I can say the same is true for Africa. Those who don’t make the journey are often intimidated by stories of man-eating lions, malaria, and pick-pocketing children. Now that I have seen it for myself, I can share Africa’s story with the world and hopefully inspire others to experience its mystique for themselves.

Tutaonana, Africa!

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