Mount Kilimanjaro, from the air, is a truly spectacular sight. You can see it on the flight from Nairobi to Zanzibar, snow capped, amidst towering thunderheads. Going to Zanzibar alone was a bit of a mistake, this occurred to me as I was having a romantic dinner for one on a "spectacular white beach". What I really needed from my R and R was someone to talk to, a sympathetic ear, the chance to ventilate. But my usual sounding boards, Erik and my sister Monica, were at home in Canada. Speaking to them on my GSM phone just wasn't adequate. I tried to make the best of Zanzibar, but it was the incessant harassment by the street hawkers that finally did me in. At another time, in a different frame of mind, I would have loved Zanzibar, but not now. I am embarrassed to admit that I went back to Nairobi early and ensconced myself in the Hilton for two days, bothered by the persistent thought that the money I was spending would have fed X number of people in Lankien for Y number of weeks. (Pleas feel free to fill in the variables.)
I dream about Lankien when I am away from it, something I do not do when I am there.
I spent most of my R and R trying to figure out what I needed to regain my physical and emotional equilibrium before going back to the field. Tomorrow I return and it is a relief. The work is intense, fascinating and consuming. There is no time to fell lonely or homesick. .