She looks at the prescription and then then back at me, clearly a white woman going to Africa—it says so on the paper.
Professionally she does little more then eye it for a moment, and then continue on with her job.
I feel uneasy in the fact that I am travelling to a country I have never wanted to visit, and that my privilege allows me the discomfort of pushing outside of my comfort zone in a safe and supported way, while there are so many who have no choice in this world but to live outside of any comforts at all.
The planning of this entire trip has challenged me on many fronts, and not just the fact that I do not like to fly.
Airports are being bombed, aircrafts are being shot down for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and people are being shot in general due to the underlying anger and racism happening in the world right now.
Our children are mixed-race kids, and over the years we have often joked about my how husband who is Indian looks like a terrorist when his beard has grown out too much—which is really not funny at all, as it speaks to a frightening truth.
For years I have been the one to hold the passports as we go through border crossings and at the airport because of my whiteness and it always worked, we got through no questions asked every-time, and I imagine that this time will be no exception.
We can’t let terrorists stop us from living, we can’t let the one million to one chances of our plane crashing stop us from getting on it, and we can’t not let our children experience the world when they clearly want to.
For as long as I can remember fear and I have been battling it out, sometimes fear wins, and sometimes I do, it really depends on the day and how my nervous system is doing at the time.
In my spiritual work trust is everything, and for me this trip is one big leap of faith based on trust that whatever happens will be exactly what is meant to, but it also was a push by the spirit helpers to get me even more out of my head and deeper into my heart, and I suspect that all the reasons that Africa has not called me to visit are exactly all of the reasons why I am being called to go.
I already know this will be the first and last time I ever go there in this lifetime, but I am also deeply aware that I am visiting the cradle of humanity, and the birth place of my ancestors, no matter how long ago they left.
This trip is also a pilgrimage for my husband his family, and our children, as his father was born in Uganda and he still has many relatives living in Mombasa and Nairobi who are eager to see us once again.
Not only that but there is a special part of the trip to go back to the home that his family lost when Idi Amin ordered the ethnic cleansing of all Indians to leave Africa with only 90 days warning. They left behind all they had worked for and owned, homes clothing, photos—everything!
In 1992 my husband Shorab’s family were told that they would be given their home back and that a well known charity who had since took it over, was willing to buy it from them. Our children will get to see that home!
I could go on and one about all of the reasons to go and not to go, in fact I have been doing just that for the past year as this trip was being planned, and at one point had even decided firmly that I would not go, only to change my mind once I realized that our son would be turning 18 on the trip and my heart could not bear seeing him enjoy such a big birthday in Africa surrounded by family.
As so it has come to be that in less then a week I board an airplane that will begin our trip as we fly first to London and then another aircraft that will take us to Nairobi and then yet a third that will take us to Zanzibar for the first of many leg’s of the trip.
My heart is nervous, my body is nervous and reacting, and my mind is requiring much discipline right now to keep still and calm and trusting.
It is my greatest hope that I discover deeper reasons for why this trip is happening right now, if not for me, then for our children who will be going in the trip of a lifetime at ages that are perfect for taking it all in…..
My plan is to blog more on this, but first I have to get there--so wish me luck!