Elephant Gun

Ananda Day - Senegal


October 16, 2009

It rips through the silence, and all that is left, is all that I hide.-Beirut

Looking at the majority of my days, there are usually some things that go wrong, but every day seems to turn out at least a little bit great. Its funny though how sometimes, even when so many things go right, the few wrong things that actually happen consume you and your day. Yesterday I recieved an e-mail from Ian, one of the guatemalan fellows, which made me elated beyond belief, as we became fast friends in San Fran. I got to talk to Mrs. Lindquist and wish her Happy Birthday (Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!). I improved my french. I ate an orange. I got to listen to some good music, met a new friend named Boxie who can rap and beatbox, had really good food (eggs for the first time!!!!!! They are fried like the fries at mcdonalds, so I dont know how I feel about that), and the heat wasnt even that bad. Oh, and I am in Africa, so thats pretty beyond amazing as well. I cant really say how much better all of these things make me feel.

Yet yesterday was one of those moments that eveyone talks about, when you just say “what in the world am I doing here?” Everyone says you will have this moment because of what you are doing where you are, or because of what you cannot do where you are. I have a cold, there is no toilet paper, the smell of burning trash is nauseating, the scenes you see pull at your heart strings again and again. You deal with these things, you learn from them. They are part of the reason for why I am here. They are the challenge that is here to make me more than what I am-and I embrace every moment of it.

My first moment then is not due to any of these expected challenges. Instead it is simply due to the feeling of absence that I have. The singular fact that I am not there for the people I left across the ocean. Yesterday I found out beyond dissapointing news for a person who means the world to me, and I know that I cant do anything to contact her and I wouldnt even know how console her if I could. After learning that, I found out that the mother of one of my best friends, who for the past three summers was a good friend to me, died. I dont even know how she died, just that she did. Right now, I am absent for these people, who I can do nothing for right now. Usually during these times you are around the people that know how to help you be okay, and how to help you help the ones who are hurting even more than you. But today will not be one of those days-the ocean is to vast. So here is my first obstacle, and its not even the country that is trying me- it is the gnawing feeling of the hole of absence in my heart. And so I grow up. I am okay, and I will be okay. The only thing this does is affirm to me how

Rest In Peace Martha Peavyhouse.

Ananda Day