I lift my head up from the sink, splashing water on my face and looking at the mirror. Over my shoulder and out the door to the roof I can see the remaining embers of the sunset behind the mountains--now here is a scene the artist never tires of. The next moment I am peering over the roofs edge absorbing the hush of dusk. The color drains from the sky and intensifies the twinkling display of lights on the far hillside. In the rapidly cooling air, I can smell the smoke of all the wood-fires freshly lit, and watch it materialize in the streetlamp.
The street stretches into and out of town. I was up here not even a week earlier when I caught the sound of a motorcycle zooming into a fatal collision below. I recall this violent memory despite the tranquility. What road lies before me?
There is a lot of beauty here. I have become even more appreciative of a beauty that lies beyond language. I’ve also a new understanding of humbleness. The humbleness of a child that can’t communicate effectively the battle that goes on inside. My inner monologue becomes richer as my tongue struggles to develop the leanest sentences. However, I delight in my successes from the last ten weeks, and I feel strength building in my language and confidence.
Tomorrow, this country will become my home for two years. I’m as ready as anyone can be, knowing the biggest struggles and lessons are yet before me. I am in the arms of a country that has already shown extraordinary hospitality and kindness, as well as misunderstanding and harassment, humor and humility. I come equipped with my own talents, insights, and shortcomings.
I leave the roof as the sun leaves the continent. Tomorrow, I finally swear in as a volunteer.
I am currently serving in Peace Corps, Morocco, as a small business developer working with artisans since September 2008. I have a Master of Fine Art, in studio art from Washington University in St. Louis.