Last weekend I was sitting around a table talking with friends. The sunset had been nearly picture perfect, the night air was crisp without being cold, our hands were holding gin & tonics, and we had eaten a fabulous home-made meal packed full of fresh veggies. I was in Rwanda at a table of international friends.
Two of these friends began talking about what it would be like to return home to England where a glimpse of sun brings rejoicing and grey sky is the norm. Well, not exactly what I would be returning too. No, the place I was headed was slightly different. With the violent change of seasons, storms pop up that bring trees down on houses. It is hot and humid all summer long – two showers-a-day kind of weather. The mosquitos leave welts (though not disease). Going on hikes means that you must check your body for ticks (which can carry disease). Woods and rivers have snakes, and I regularly kill spiders in my house (in a city). I once killed a small cockroach on my table at a (nice) restaurant. I promise – all of these things are true.
As I created this list, I could not help but laugh because people sometimes express worry about me traveling to the African bush. But here I sit in my Nashville home with welts caused by mosquito bites that are driving me mad with the itching. All because I ate dinner in my yard two nights ago – surrounded by citronella candles and wearing mosquito repellent.