Last month … I woke at 5 am. Not unusual. I read about the devastation in Malawi and Mozambique. That IS unusual.
I have tickets to fly to Malawi in May to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I am going to help build a home for a family. Give a hand up not a hand out. The area we are building in has not been affected. I am relieved and yet I am heart broken for all whose lives have been destroyed by flooding and then Cyclone Idai.
After two weeks in Malawi I have a ticket to fly to Nairobi with Air Ethiopian which was also recently in the news and then onto Antananarivo which currently is experiencing a measles outbreak. Regardless, I am committed to a 13 day cycling tour with Cycle Madagascar. Call me crazy!
Planning a trip takes vision and trust. When I asked myself, Janet, where do YOU want to go? I answered without hesitation - Africa. Volunteering in Malawi and cycling in Madagascar for the month of May satisfies my love of alliteration.
So what is a girl to do who likes to be in control?
The answer, of course, is to continue putting one foot in front of the other and organize the best 55 day itinerary to celebrate my one and only 55th birthday year!
I have a pile of items I have to bring like malaria pills, a day pack, laundry soap, journals, bicycle helmet, mosquito net & more! Writing about my experiences will not only be creating a memory palace but a jumping off point for my next chapter. Could it be a TED talk titled 55 days? What can one do in 55 seconds? 55 hours? 55 years? I’m going to be thinking about this and a few other things.
Using the metaphor of a bicycle and thinking about the wheels that turn with minimal effort UNLESS you are going up a hill, I will focus on my latest mantra which is pedalpoweredJOY. I can control what I bring, what I plan, how I feel but I cannot control e v e r y t h i n g and that I intend to leave at home.