I’ve given a few segments of the story of my time traveling and living in Ethiopia. Some people have requested more of this story, so here is an expanded prose version of yesterday’s poem. The year is 1972. This is long so you might want to read part of it and come back later.
I was 24, just out of college, headed for whatever foreign country would hire me with no experience. The winner was Australia, and I headed out on my big life’s adventure. Setting out alone to somewhere where I knew no one, I was not scared. I was elated. I had no idea what people were like in this new environment. Perhaps they were more like me. I think I already knew that I was someone who enjoyed being the stranger. If I was the stranger, it meant all new territory for me. No one knew my family or anything about me. A youngest child, I could be judged for once completely on my own merits.
Australia was exciting, but after a year and a half of recruiting teachers from elsewhere, they decided they were overstocked and offered any of us willing to leave a payout equal to the amount of income taxes we’d been paid during the time we were in Australia. I cashed in and made $600! Wow! I thought this was enough to travel to London. My Australian roommate, Deirdre, decided to go with me. We planned to work enroute if we could and bought bus tickets from Sydney to Darwin and airline tickets from Darwin to Timor to Bali to Singapore to Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately, once we got to Timor, we discovered that the airline we’d booked our flights on all the way to Sri Lanka had gone bankrupt, so we were a bit stranded. We made our way by World War II Troop barge, which we “rented” from some Indonesian fishermen, then by foot through the jungles. This was the second biggest adventure story of my life and one told in an earlier posting, but that is not the story I am telling today. Suffice it to say that eventually, after about 4 months, we made it to Africa. (If you want to read the rest of this tale, go HERE.)
The prompt today was winsome.