Sunday, December 21, 2014


[click on title for full post]

Fresh from a swim in the Indian Ocean
- wearing Sr. Jean's bathing suit.

Today's Think Kit blog prompt:
Ooh! Aah!

What surprised you this year? Was it a jump-out-of-your-seat shocking moment? Learning something new that really flipped your wig? A moment in time that left you speechless? A friend or stranger's actions that really blew your mind? Leave us slack-jawed and standing silent...or at least thoughtfully quiet for a few seconds!

This is a tough one. Mostly because I'm not easily flummoxed or left speechless, and the two things that shocked me this year are not my stories to tell.

So I'll tell you about a moment that was the opposite. The moment that I felt a boatload of stress wash away. The moment that I felt at total peace and realized that I didn't have a care in the world. The moment that I felt absolute joy.

And I was wearing a borrowed-from-a-nun-bathing-suit.

I had arrived in Tanzania the night before and between little sleep and the chaos of traveling and lost luggage and spending the morning in the largest and loudest city in Tanzania, I was frazzled. I'd also figured out that what little Swahili I knew was useless, the US dollars I brought were in the wrong denomination, and apparently lizards in the house were a good thing.

I'd had tears behind my eyes all day, wondering what in the heck I'd gotten myself into.

My godmother, Sr. Janet, and I were spending the night at the home of Sr. Jean.  We arrived to her beautiful home - like living in an art gallery - and Jean loaned me an outfit so I could rinse out my clothes and a bathing suit for swimming.

We drove to a beautiful beach right before sunset. 

I'm not much of a swim in natural water kind of person. There is fish and stuff in there.That you can't see.

I loitered on the beach watching Janet and Jean bob along in the water and finally took the plunge, casting my scardy-cat thoughts (what if cut my foot, what if I get a cramp, what if an exotic fish bites me... blah blah) out of the way.

I swam out to meet them and felt more buoyant than I ever had. It took no effort to float and I felt like I could glide in the water. 

Laying on the back, watching the sunset, I felt fabulous. I could feel all of my worries and fear and stress fly out of my body.

The trip was going to be wonderful.

And it was.

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