I am learning, again, how to love a place, how to dream in a place, how to exist in a space while physically remaining continents away.
It happens by reading blogs, checking out library books, discussing future plans in as certain terms as possible, trying on hiking boots, getting yellow fever vaccinations. Sharing. Anticipating. Praying.
Even before I travelled to India almost a year and a half ago, I left with such certainty. This is exactly where I have to be. Before I even tasted a cup of chai in the Delhi YWCA, India had become, essentially, a part of me.
This time is different. I am leaving with a sense of vision first, a calling of place second, but it is all fluid. This journey is, and always has been, as much a part of me as my time in Clinton, India, or wherever else awaits.
The more I learn about Ethiopia and imagine what life there will entail as a Peace Corps Volunteer, the more confirmation I receive that this time, this place, is right. Not easy, productive, or even totally good for that matter, but right.
And that, I think, is what love is. Not a starry-eyed sentimental feeling or a contrived connection, but a deep understanding of someone, something, else. A commitment. A hope. A risk.