Life in America has been extremely hard for me these past two years. I had been judgmental, bitter, jaded and angry more times that I can count. Consumerism and apathy have surrounded me because I have allowed them to. I have focused on the negative and idealized the rest of the world. It has been especially difficult to readjust once again into the American life without losing the beauty of African life. So what's the cure for my ill, you ask? Roadtrip. Ingredients: Sister, beach, good talks, nuns, public transportation and camping. No hydrogenated oils.
After teaching gardening in Tulsa for 3 weeks, I embarked on yet another adventure. My friend John and I headed out to California via Route 66, Sedona and long endless highways. Fueled by too many cups of coffee, we made it to San Diego where my sister and brother-in-law are currently teaching. It was perfect. I love my sister. I realized that this was our first "trip" together without the 'rents. We got to chill at the beach, eat lots of Mexican food, drink good beers, and search for used socio-politcal books like nerds. What more could a girl want?
In addition, I stayed at a Carmelite Monastery with fourteen beautiful nuns. I had my own apartment with a kitchen, bathroom and windows that opened out onto the insanely gorgeous gardens. It was one of the most clearly holy places I have been. The presence of the Lord was found in the stillness of the halls, the vibrant colors of the SoCal flowers and the smile of Sister Yvonne, the Prioress who welcomed my Protestant self into her humble abode. I cried when I left. There was good half hour where I seriously considered joining the Carmelites and becoming a nun. It's not been completely ruled out.
After having some good quality sister time, we headed up highway 1 toward the final destination of San Francisco. We had the best Thai food of my life in LA, slept illegally in a State Park, cooked pancakes on the beach north of Santa Cruz and made it to San Francisco to drink coffee by mid-morning. I love San Francisco. An intoxicated Frenchmen told John and me that no one was actually from San Francisco, it's just that all the crazies and outcasts from everywhere else in America move there. Sounds perfect to me.
Most details I will keep to myself because I feel like the more things are spoken, the less sacred they remain. And roadtrips are sacred, as far as I am concerned.
So instead, I will leave you with the image of Bhadri and John during an intense game of checkers at a local San Diego coffee shop. Bethanie and I watched on with about as much anticipation as these two expressed during the match.