When comparing and contrasting Africa and the US one usually has a pretty good sense of what will be said—water, weather, animals, etc.—it's all different. But what I notice the most about my time stateside are the little things; the things that excite the senses and leave me wanting more.
Tonight I went a walk, something I've done many times before, but this time it was just me, the babe, and my spotify radio set to Ben Rector. (can I get an amen?) Normally I'm walking with the hubs, iPhone-less and we are talking about the current ramblings going through our brain, but tonight I only my own thoughts to keep me spinning.
After awhile I started remembering my walks in the Horn of Africa. It wasn't the heat or the random goat crossing that I remembered, but instead it was the small stretch of sidewalk around the U.S. Embassy that we grew to love. A similarity, a small one, but something to bridge the gap. Then as quickly as the thought entered my mind I smelled something I never smell in my part of Africa—hamburgers grilling in the backyard. My senses had been awoken—green trees lined the concrete creating dancing shadows of sweet relief from the summer heat, fresh cut grass filled the air, water sprinklers played with the setting sun as rainbows formed over the perfectly manicured lawns, and I felt safe.
I wasn't looking over my shoulder for strangers, I didn't feel a sense to hurry through my walk, and I never once got a glaring stare for showing my ankles. (And in this case my shoulders and legs too) But please don't see this as something only attributed to Africa or a third world life. This is still a reality and many places in the US and even in our own city. Walking around the ritzy neighborhood of Dallas I still feel a little uneasy by the amount of people who seem to be up to no good and continue to have my walls up. Part of it may just be my life in third-worlds, but the other part may be for good reason, who knows. What I do know is that tonight I was fearless—not in the sense of bravery, but more carefree.
So while I can't always live a carefree, fearless life, it's nice to enjoy those moments filled with summer bar-b-que's, fresh cut lawns, and shaded sidewalks.