Midnight a tropical storm passed through. I am moving to my small apartment. Home for the next few months. A third story “walkup” as they say in New York but with steep tile steps worthy of an ancient Mayan pyramid. It was a miracle that with the help of the hotel staff we were able to drag my bulging suitcases to the top.
I stack my suitcases by the door and rush to the balcony to see my view. In Santa Monica, where I have lived for the past several years I am used to a view of the Pacific Ocean, evening sunsets and easy access to the long Palisade Park that runs parallel to the beach. So having a balcony was top of the list.
I stand for a moment and watch the Tuk Tuk drivers below sitting on their vehicles waiting for the lucky faire that will make their night. The little restaurants and shops side by side a glow with evening customers. The three kittens that live downstairs race across the street risking their life to skirt the traffic to get to the other side.
I feel strangely comfortable, at home and I marvel at the fact I am here. How did I do this great thing – bring myself half way across the world to work with an organization I admire and children that delight.
How did I get the courage to follow what seems a crazy dream to spend my retirement years living in exotic locations working with kids? How did I get inspired and motivated enough to take the actions? What actions did I take? What risks did I make? What did I say yes to over and over again in my heart? Until I had an email invitation to come to CCF and sent back a big yes.
I remind myself that I must retrace my steps. I think there is a good story there. A sort of personal guidebook on how to change your life forever.
But enough of my deep self absorbed and penetrating retrospection and back to the rooftop view and the reality of unpacking my overstuffed suitcases.
Around 9 with a glass of wine in one hand I have successfully unpacked.
My goodness I did bring a lot of sandals. They are small and slide in the sides of suitcases easy. And a friend told me “You can never have too many sandals”.
And I had a packing policy of “no cute T shirt left behind” so I have easily filled my shelves and small closet. I am feeling so accomplished.
Find more stories from Ardice Farrow’s experiences in ‘Ardice Abroad’.