I've moved to Malawi.
This happened about four months ago, and every once and while the enormity of what I've done sinks in. It was a move I contemplated for many, many months, and one that actually took more than a few years to hatch. It was well thought-out, planned. It was the right move.
I'm one of two Deputies, with a triple role of heading up Administrative, Evaluation and Grants components of the project here. It's a big job, but doable. I'm here for two years, but to be honest with you, every day I think about quitting. I liken it to when you start a really good, tough workout. You know you'll like it, once you get into it. But man, those first 20 minutes are hell.
The move itself went pretty smoothly. I still marvel that I was able to sell my house (in one day), inclusive of my cat. I was homeless up until about a months; couch surfing, living out of a hotel, then staying with new friends. The good thing about having a long run up to a big change is that you have time to think you're ready. That I chose to do this, and had thought out all the options, has made the move slightly easier.
I love it here. I love my job, my life. I'm incredibly happy, but it's hard. I'm committed to living in Malawi, in approaching it the only way I know how to tackle challenging things - with my whole self: authentic, clumsy, big-mouthed, frustrated, joyful, curious, messy, hilarious and yes sometimes a bit drunken.
I've also decided to become a writer. After too many years of wanting to do things, I finally see the that isn't enough. My job has taught me that you can be Conflict Expert just by calling yourself the Conflict Expert, so I've decided to call myself a Writer. As I chronicle my life here, I'm simultaneously (hopefully) evolving into another.
It's nice to have found my voice again.