It's done. I bought my ticket. I got the shots. I am going to Africa in January. I will be there on my 44th birthday.
What it is not:
It is not a safari. It is not about zebras and elephants. It is not a tourist thing. I won't be on a guided tour with a bunch of other Americans or Europeans, oohing and ahhing over the mud mosque of Dogon or Timbuktu. I might even leave the big camera at home.
What it is:
Experiencing West Africa from the inside. Today, we learned about the personal hygiene. We will eat, sleep, drink, play drums. We will spend time with friends, new and old. We will go to weddings, funerals, circumcision rituals and baptisms. We will be taught how to eat with Muslims and what is considered polite and what is rude. We will dance.
I feel a great sense of privilege and adventure. I feel grateful beyond words at this opportunity. Oh, joy.