Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What do I hear when I say I hear the call of the road?

The most recent stamp on my passport is July 13, 2007 - returning from Fez via Paris, processed at Washington Dulles just before George arrived to pick me up. George himself had arrived the previous day from a year in Masan, South Korea, and so we spent the weekend catching up with one another and our host David before going our respective ways once again.

At the time, I expected to return to Morocco that fall. I had accepted a teaching contract with Amideast, to begin after Eid, and was home only to check in, recharge, and repack for another year in a place I loved. Instead, an unexpected call from New York took me to the UN, and then a welcome letter from Cambridge invited me to the Kennedy School, and suddenly three years had passed in which I traveled little but hardly noticed, given the pace of a full and happy quotidian existence.

Nonetheless, I'm hardly one to sit still, and so the summer break brought the promise of another escape to somewhere new. When the opportunity to participate in the Afghan parliamentary campaign season arose, I broke the news to my parents that I planned to take an internship in Kabul and then shared the cost of Rosetta Stone farsi with a friend, herself Bamiyan-bound. In all truth, the details remain undefined - I will be with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, but I have no plan of work; I have a room in a guesthouse for the first week, but no summer-long housing. I will be depending on an abundant hospitality already outpouring in full force for some weeks now in the form of emailed introductions to what seems like half the international community in Kabul.

And so a new adventure begins once over, and I find myself wondering in a quiet moment after the initial rush of boarding a transcontinental flight whence this impulse always to pick up and depart.

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