365 days

One year.  It’s hard to believe.  So much has changed in twelve months, yet so little.  Some days I feel like I’m striding, and others I feel like I’m stuck in quicksand.  Some days I want to stay here forever, and other days I’m calling home crying.

I think back to what a local Cape Verdean told me, “After living here for two years, you will always be a Cape Verdean.”  He said that no matter where life takes me, I will carry a part of Cape Verde with me.  I’m starting to think he’s right.  There’s something about this place, these people, this culture that quiets your cravings and satisfies your wants.

Marcelo

As I’m writing this post, my 8-year-old neighbor, Marcelo, is sitting in my room playing with a ball and drawing pictures of his dream house.  Maybe that’s what it’s all about.  Not about saving the world, but about making friends, young and old.  About learning, listening, and adapting – about relationships.  The people of Cape Verde have taught me about happiness from the inside out, about satisfaction from simplicity.

If I had to sum up in a sentence what I’ve learned this year, it would be a few words from Wordsworth, “Bring with you a heart that watches and receives.”  Through observation and adaptation, we learn.  We help.  We live side by side.  Isn’t that the point of it all?

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2 Responses to 365 days

  1. REBrown says:

    I can’t believe you’ve been gone for a year!

  2. Steve Pierce says:

    Dear Krista,
    Happy 1 year anniversary in Cape Verde! In that year think of all the people you have met and made a part of your life. Reflect on the positive impact you are having on the people you work with and see every day – especially the young ones. Think about how you have grown in all areas of your life – emotionally, spiritually, and empathetically. You are making a difference in the lives of many people, so remember that on those difficult days.

    Over this year you have grown to appreciate how resilient the human spirit is. You have learned that contentment comes not from material things but from relationships – something you knew, but has been confirmed and experienced on a level we can only imagine. You have added many new family members and been an encouragement and light to people you have met.

    You have also served as an inspiration to people in the US who know you and love you. Through your blog I am learning about Cape Verde, but more importantly I am learning about the importance of relationships and how those relationships define who we are. Thank you, Krista for sharing your journey with us. I pray that this next year be as rich as the one you just completed.

    Much love,
    Mr. P

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