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28 February 2007

Tammy's in Africa

Early morning walk with the dogs. We were cooped up for 60 days with snow cover that affected our leisurely walks, so they are focused on sniffing the outside-the-yard bushes that were unsniffed for weeks. It's chilly but not overly so. My breath hangs in a dense cloud in front of my face and seems to bounce and move forward with my steps as we progress. The sky is lightening behind the clouds, soon the days will lengthen and we will be walking in early morning sunlight instead of the light from my headlamp.

My mind drifts. My daughter is traveling in Africa, I hope she is safe and comfortable and enjoying a day of adventure. Partly in honor of her trip, I chose a Teaching Company course on Africa. It is a great course. Like so many Americans, I tended to think of Africa as a dark continent filled with jungles and black people staring unsmiling out at the camera. The professor has opened a whole new world to me, discussing first the geography and now the histories of Africa. Parts of Africa probably look much the same as our own valley in Colorado. I am reading a book the professor recommended, a book of oral stories passed on by griots. Amazing how we misconceive the African continent and peoples. Now I am coming to think of Africa as rich, complex, exotic, and beautiful, an interesting place to travel to.

I walk up across our property, little dog running free ahead of me, Lucy bounding after unseen rabbits. My left toe squeezes against my shoe and I have the urge to squeeze my right toe to balance it. Then I want to squeeze again, left, right, to make things right. No. Stop, don't do that.

That's my daily life. I'm pretty comfortable with my neuroses, but realize that they keep me grounded in Colorado and in my secure, low-stress-as-possible routine in which I have a chance to resist the urges and calm my brain.

And Tammy's in Africa.

Tammy and Mohammed