Tck… Tck… Tck…


As I read silence is invaded by the loud and obnoxious ticking of my watch. Tck… Tck… Tck… With each tck tomorrow morning comes a second closer. I stir uneasily unsure as to what my real emotions are. I think I’m apprehensive, perhaps a little scared, but I’m not really sure.  My eyes turn back to George Orwell’s legendary 1984. The censored life depicted in the pages is so lonely and fearfully horrible that I’m not sure that it is doing anything to help my mood. I finish off the half glass of water sitting on the coffee table beside me and stare out through the large windows of our living room, through the trees and out into the green sunlit field beyond. It is so beautiful. I role my wrist over to look at my watch; it’s 6:20; the sun is putting out it’s last rays for the day. It’s hard to believe that it is no longer a matter of days, but a matter of hours. Even before the sun rises again I will be on a plane flying far far away. I realize the next time I will see the sunrise will be from the plane window.

When I was six months old my family sailed down the coast from Skagway Alaska arriving on Vancouver Island. That’s about the farthest that I’ve travelled from home. So how do I wrap my head around the fact that in 36 hours I will be on the other side of the world? I can’t, it’s not even worth trying.

The name Addis Ababa is imprinted on the inside of my brain, a busy school filled with young children with cool sunlight filtering through the windows is most of what I see. I’ll see the rest when I get there. I think I’m nervous. Ever since my family sailed down the coast from Alaska and I learned to walk aboard the swaying deck of the boat, the ocean has been my home. I’m about to fly somewhere not only on the other side of the world, but also somewhere with no coastline, no ocean. The thought holds no comfort for my befuddled mind, I think dwelling on everything that I love, and that I am about to leave behind, is not doing anything at all to help my mood.

I’m excited to finally meet Kyle and Jasmin, the two other year of service. I’m excited to meet Gail and Zelalem, the founders of the school. I’m excited to meet the teachers and the students. I’m excited to explore. In fact, I can’t wait for the adventure to begin! So what is it exactly that I’m feeling? I think it’s a bit of a hobo slumgullian mix of feelings that don’t sit well together in the stomach. I just need a little bit of hydrochloric acid to help my stomach digest it all.

I look back at 1984, the eye of big brother stares out at me from the cover. My stomach is unsettled and I can feel flem in my throat. I must be suffering from suffering from pre-meditative homesickness. I suppose its better I feel it now, I suspect I’ll be cured by reality upon arrival. My eyes return to the black print on the page before me. Maybe I need a happier book.