It is time to say farewell or “Sala kahle” to Swaziland. It’s hard for me to believe that I have already been here for 6 months. I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here… the people are very nice, the country is beautiful, and I truly enjoyed getting to know both.
I joined MSF not knowing where they would send me, for how long, or what the focus of the mission would be. When I received my assignment in Swaziland, I didn’t know what to expect… I had simple questions… what would the people in the mission be like, how would the Swazi’s feel about this American, would I find food that I liked, would I be able to find basic things I need (like shampoo), would I have a safe place to live, would I have the skills needed to do the job, what would the security limitations consist of? Taking a position with MSF is a leap of faith… you don’t learn many details about your assignment before packing your 21kg suitcase full of everything you think you will need for your mission. I have found all of this to be part of the adventure.
My replacement is also from the USA and we have had a two week overlap which provided an opportunity for me to pass on what I have learned as well as the outstanding items. I had contact with her via email before she arrived to share some of my learnings… and perhaps address some of her questions.
Where am I headed? I wish I knew. I do not have my next assignment with MSF so, after debriefings in Geneva and NYC, I will be heading back to California. My house is rented so I will be couch surfing at the homes of my friends and family for a while. How long you ask? Well, I don’t know… What will I do with my time? Well, I don’t know about that either… I plan to study French (to open up additional opportunities with MSF) and visit with friends and family… and perhaps even go to a gym… but we’ll see. For a planner like myself… all of this uncertainty is part of the adventure.
I’ll drop you a note when I learn more… Siyabonga kakhulu for taking the time to read about my adventures in Swaziland. It’s been a great journey.