Wednesday, September 28, 2011

South Africa and Back

A little over two weeks ago an eye infection took me out of my small town in Western Ethiopia to Pretoria, South Africa. This is the typical route Peace Corps volunteers serving in most parts of Africa take when thought to need treatment beyond that of their host country's abilities to provide.

During my time in Pretoria, I stayed in a guest house while frequenting malls, eye appointments, the PC office, and various ethnic restaurants I missed the flavours of since departing Washington DC about a year ago. Food/drink appreciated the most: wine, coffee in big cups, sushi, indian food, quality cheeses, South African style beef jerky, and granola. Really, Pretoria has it all - it's basically the US, say many South African Volunteers (keep in mind that Pretoria differs than most cities in South Africa, let alone cities in Africa as a whole).

A couple days ago I returned to Ethiopia and my eye has almost recovered- still blurry, like vasiline over the lens - but getting there (I can read a billboard). My slightly impaired vision will not keep me from functioning normally but I may stay away from sports that require throwing and catching. Heading back to site, I feel born anew, ready to re-engage with the world with a new found sense of appreciation for where I am.

The picutre above is of me and a fellow volunteer @ a baby lion feeding session in a South African game reserve. The lion cub I have in hand is a white lion, a very uncommon phenotype!

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