Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tim Is No Longer in Africa

Many of you probably know this, but I'm in the midst of a big transition from East Africa to the East Coast of America, specifically Washington, D.C. My year in Rwanda has come to an end, but I was fortunate to be offered another contract by VisionFund, which will allow me to be based out of the USA while I take trips around the world to do a couple projects at their MFIs.

It'll probably be several months or years before I can do a proper postmortem on my time in Rwanda- it was definitely transformative, and one of the best times of my life, but for the moment I'm looking forward. I will be joining many good friends who are already in our nation's capitol; living with fellow T4 alum and 'Old Man' Peter Chang, and definitely meeting with all my other friends for regular freedom celebrations at Old Glory.

I'm going to be very busy the next few weeks and months; furnishing the apartment, getting settled in DC, conducting training for work/being trained, and preparing for (possibly) several more trips overseas before the end of the year.

If the first few days back in the states are any model for what my life will be like now, I may decide to just ship off back to Africa. I arrived from Dubai early Saturday morning, went through immigration, and was notified that my 11 am flight down to DC had been canceled on account of the hurricane.

No problem, said I; I'll find a flight on Sunday or Monday, use my World Vision card to get a hotel room, and wait out the storm. After all, my time traveling through Africa has made me nothing if not flexible.

A series of events followed that resulted in something of a perfect travel storm- my phone was out of battery, it was the weekend and couldn't reach the travel office, there were no available flights for the next two days, no available hotels in the entire city, and we were told to evacuate the airport. I joined forces with a couple Austrian ladies ("G'day, mate!" Yes, I said it to them) who were trying to get back to Europe, and we shared a taxi to the evacuation shelter. The friendly New Yorkers at the first location told us to go elsewhere, as we didn't want to stay there unless we had a gun.

So I spent Sunday afternoon and night on a cot at School 108 in Queens, listening to the drizzle + breeze outside reach epic, hurricane-like conditions of a slightly heavier drizzle and slightly stronger wind. Anthony Perez was able to pick me up the following morning, and we went to his house on Long Beach to hang out until transportation resumed.

Finally caught a Bolt Bus down to DC, and here I am- a couple days late, but non the worse for wear. I'll post occasionally about the places I go. Your prayers for travel mercies are always welcome.

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