Sunday, April 30, 2006

Thoughts before predeparture training

I’m sitting on the plane to Toronto and I only wish I could describe what I feel. I’ve been waiting for this chance for as long as I can remember; I’m finally going to live out my dream. All of the doubts and fears as to whether or not I will be useful or effective have been washed away by this overwhelming feeling that things will work out in the end and that I’ll make the most of my opportunities.

I’ve spent a couple months answering some simple questions: “How does it feel?” “Are you excited?” I never knew how to truly answer those questions to any degree of depth because the prospects of this entire trip were completely overwhelming. And they’re still overwhelming now. I can’t possibly imagine what my summer will be like because the entire culture, country, and continent are so far removed from the life I’ve known up until now. Every single little thing that I’ve taken for granted may very well change and I have no idea how I’ll react to that. All I can really do at this point is ask questions and have faith in myself and my ability to persevere and/or adapt.

One of my good friends from Manitoba, Apoorva, is also going to Ghana with me, though she’s working on a different project. We’ve been exchanging excited/terrified emails for several weeks leading up until now, but her last one really struck a chord with me; it really conveyed the feelings that seem to go unspoken throughout all of these preparations:

“they say, 'you must be excited'
have you packed?
and i say yes, smilingly, tossing my short hair.
but inside i wonder
how can i tell you, inquiring friend,
how can i tell you that overwhelmingly sometimes
i stop while walking in the street and when i imagine this place
all i can imagine is home. a familiarity that i can't even begin to describe;
an ancestral belonging. i am not going on a vacation
i am going on a pilgrimage to the very places i had hoped in my entire
childhood that i would go
and when i get there, i will be speechless.
because i will be home.”

I think that that’s all for now. In classic Bryn-style, I’m frantically completing readings and modules that need to be ready when I arrive at training in an hour. Thanks for checking in on me and I’ll try to update at least one more time before leaving the continent.

Take care,


At 4:58 p.m., Blogger Laura said...

Its interesting... We were driving as a family yesterday to Mike's for breakfast and Molly says
"You know, when we talk, it is like Canada is the only place in the world. But there are more places, and they are different from Canada. And the people in those different places are doing the same thing that we're doing now."
What a great observation for a ten year old to have, enough to snap all of us out of naive little existance sometimes.

I really hope this trip is incredible for you! I've been thinking about you lots wondering how you've been preparing for it! You'll make the most of it, and when you come back, you'll have to come to Rothesay and we'll lay in the grass watching the stars, and you'll tell me all about it!

At 1:05 a.m., Anonymous Katie said...

I know you'll get more out of this trip than you'll ever be able to share with friends and family, but I hope that you are able to enlighten those who are living vicariously through you with as much of the trip as you can.

I was always afraid to go to places like Ghana because I know I have it way better than everyone there, and to go to there and actually experience it would break my heart - it's not that I can't live without what I have here, because I can, it's just that I feel terrible because of all the things I know exist and yet they don't have.

Anyway, Bryn, I know we don't talk much, but I am looking forward to your future posts, whenever they may be. Enjoy yourself! :)

At 9:24 p.m., Anonymous Jenn said...

Some times when I'm thinking about how life is going, the world, the sensation I get is overwhelming. Then I just feel like a jerk for having everything while so many have few. I know shocking coming from your little sis who seems spoiled and ignorant at times, but I'm really not and trying to get better at it. It's so cool that your dream has finaly come true to to be useful and to take advantage of all your opportunities. I definitely want to follow in your foot steps and travel the world, helping out if I can. That might be a reason on why I want to learn so much.

I can't wait to read more of your blogs and I hope you get everything out of this experiance that you can!

At 9:39 a.m., Anonymous Brett said...

WOW to Jenn's Comment

In other news. I think it's hilarious that when I read this, not once did I think to myself "Wow, I asked him that". Then I started wondering if maybe I should have but concluded that there was really no point in me asking because I knew the answers. I know how much doing things like this means to you and I hope you have a very intense trip. I'm sure you'll do fine and I can't wait to hear / read all about it!


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