Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quotations I like that used to be in my facebook profile

But I cleared out my profile in order to keep Facebook's massively privacy-invading policies from putting everything out there. So, here they are.

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things you need to believe in the most. That people are basically good--that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything, that power and money, money and power, mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy, you remember that. Doesn't matter if they're true or not, y'see, because a man should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing *in.* "

--Uncle Hub, Secondhand Lions.

"So everything that doesn't fit into some stupid idea of what you think God wants you just try to hide or fix or get rid of? It's just all too much to live up to. No one fits in one hundred percent of the time. Not even you."

--Mary, Saved

"As someone had pointed out, when man first dreamed of flying he had seen himself rising on his own silver wings into the blue empyrean, but it hadn't turned out at all like that. First he was trundled to a field, then he was shut in a box, then he was terrified, then he was sick, then he was in Paris."

--Josephine Tey, The Singing Sands

"Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interferences, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness -- all of them due to the offenders' ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow-creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man's two hands, feet, or eyelids, or like the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature's law -- and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction? "

--Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

"You may say you won't interfere with another person's soul, but you do--merely by existing. The snag about it is the practical difficulty, so to speak, of not existing. I mean, here we all are, you know, and what are we to do about it?"

--Lord Peter Wimsey (Dorothy Sayers, Gaudy Night)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Around the world and back again

Well, here I am, back in Kedougou, Senegal. The new stage is installing today, tomorrow, and the next day--they arrived day before yesterday, and yesterday, we took them shopping for all kinds of exciting things like door curtains, floor mats, and all kinds of plastic buckets and basins.

I can't tell you how the wells are going (or not) because I've been away for about a month. I went to Kaolack for the Ag Summit, then to Dakar, then to New York, California, and back to Dakar. I didn't post this on the blog or facebook for a few reasons: (a) I didn't have time to see everyone (b) I was trying to surprise a particular person, who was very surprised (c) I didn't want to be inundated with a to-do list of people-to-call while I was in the states and (d) I was just plain busy. But I am sorry that I didn't get to see everyone--honestly, I am.

I got to see a lot of great people, though. Got to see Heidi and Kyle get married. Got to see my best friends from high school, many of my best friends from college, my mom, my best friend from middle school, and lots of family. In short, I got a really brilliant reminder of all the ways in which I am in love with the people in my life, and that is why it is a good thing that I am back here. Doesn't follow? Yes, it does, because if I hadn't come back when I did, I think I would've lost my nerve and not torn myself away.

Things I learned:
(1) I like the city (also, The City) much more than I had thought, and would even live there one day
(2) It is surprisingly easy to switch between cultures, at least heading back to the original one. It is not as difficult as I'd expected to come back to Senegal, so far, either. Which isn't to say it's easy, but that's the risk I took
(3) It is possible, contrary to my former belief, for me to love rain even more than I did before leaving the US.
(4) I miss home.
(5) I may be becoming a similar kind of cynical to the dear, COS-ed JB. But we hope not.
(6) I missed bean sandwiches.
(7) Humid heat is really less fun than dry heat.

Anyhow, I'm back, and going up to village for a couple weeks tomorrow. Then I'll come back down, go visit a couple of the new stage with Frank or Kate, then go out to Frank's village to do a world map. When I come back, one of my friends Emily (who is a PCV) will come visit.

Not a lot of news, but at least it's an update.