Heather L. Barmore
No Pasa Nada Heather Barmore Elsewhere About
Heather L. Barmore
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Heather Barmore
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    Change In Action at Babble Voices

    Monday
    May182015

    Malawi, Briefly

    "The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land."  ~G.K. Chesterton

    Outside of a community hospital in Monkey Bay, I stopped Karen.

    “I’m such an asshole.”

    Wielding two large DSLRs she looked at me, concerned, “why are you an asshole?”

    “Because I’m selfish? I’m surrounded by privilege and I can be so unappreciative of my life?”, I sighed at the absurdity of my often reactive and defensive behavior and my annoyance at what amounts to basic life crap.  

    “You’re not an asshole”, was the reply. “You know why? Because you’re going to go home and write about what you saw. You’re going to tell these stories.”

    Which is true. I began outlining how to tell you what I saw in Malawi. I gave myself a pat on the back one morning because I had it all figured out. Only to return to the states and be completely overwhelmed by placing an order at Starbucks and picking out an iron at Target. I’ve always rolled my eyes at people who return from trips with grandiose life changing statements because, really? You went to X country and suddenly have perspective? Puh-lease. Now I’m on the other side of the trip and it’s all true; everything I want to write is cliched. My emotions are all over the place. I am a writer who should be able to write, right? But I can’t. As you can tell by this stellar post.

    Before the trip we were sent an extensive list of what to pack, which I followed to the letter including a raincoat and an umbrella even though it was 80+ and sunny everyday. We were given briefings and itineraries and travel times. What we didn’t get was a primer on how to go about moving through the “real world” upon our return. There is no handout on how, after a week in Malawi, you’r entire worldview will change and everything will bring you to tears and your heart aches. I was probably annoyed about something on May 5th but today it’s the most insignificant thing ever.

    Everyone I have spoken to says to be gentle with myself and that is what I’m going to do. Last night I began to upload photos from my larger camera and will continue to do so and write about this experience because it needs to be shared. First, I need to to sit with myself and, as my friend Wendi said, digest. For now here are is a quick slideshow I hastily put together on Thursday afternoon. Everywhere we went we were greeted with song and dance. The music is one of those songs and the photos are all iPhone shots. I figured a little snippet of Malawi would be better than nothing. I'll post more photos on Instagram and more words will come later. Be gentle with me.

     

    Probably the best trip to Malawi ever from HeatherB on Vimeo.

     

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    Reader Comments (2)

    I'm impressed you got so many great photos since you napped the whole time! just KIDDING ;)

    beautiful, heather. the post. the slideshow, all of it.

    May 18, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjane

    I needed this. Thank you.
    I feel the exact same way, so your words completely resonated. You're beautiful and I miss you!

    May 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAna Flores

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