by Patricia Gott
Africa greeted me on a balmy 70-degree evening around 9 pm in November. Cross-Cultural Solutions had sent a driver, Simon, to pick me up and drive me to the Home-base. He spoke passable English and it was from him that I learned much about Tanzania and its people in the coming weeks.
When I was in 9th grade, I wrote a short story entitled “Running.” In the story, I unknowingly set wheels in motion that I am only now even beginning to understand. In the story, the narrator is on a bus in Uganda. She notices a small girl running alongside the road and is immediately intrigued. Why was the little girl running? I still see this little girl vividly in my mind, and she represents a crucial part of my life.
I awakened with my head pressed firmly against the airplane window with a stale sandwich wrapped in plastic on my lap. I had slept the entire 5-hour red-eye flight from LA to Guatemala City. I opened my eyes to the early morning sun peeking over the mountaintops. Wait, I could not believe it, those were not mountains they were volcanoes.