Saturday, October 26, 2013

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Westsong Walkway, Victoria, B.C.
I have been home, at Westbay, since September 21.  Life has been a whirlwind of preparations for my volunteer time with the Third World Eye Care Society (TWECS). 

Travel to non-English speaking countries is foreign to me (pardon the pun).  Also, my time away will be broken into four distinct segments:  two weeks with TWECS, a week in the Galapagos, a week hiking to Machu Picchu, and five days with friends in Lima. 

Preparations have included vaccinations for disease, medication for traveller’s diarrhea, and medication for altitude sickness. I have had a crash course on packing a walk-on bag with enough to suffice for five weeks away from home.  The biggest challenge has been deciding what camera equipment to bring considering my agenda and subject matter.  Believe me, I have contemplated, packed, re-packed, weighed and even took my bags to the airport to ensure they fit the walk-on criteria for fit.

Documents have had to be copied and stored in each bag … just in case I lose one set, I will have another.

I spent a week in the Comox Valley visiting the kids and grands before leaving.  I always have a great and joyful time with my children and their children.  While there, I could not for the life of me figure out why I was so tired all the time.  It became apparent once home on Ta Daa.  I was overcome with a cold and fever and found myself boat-bound for days. 

Feeling better, I am tasked to catch up with chores and the last of the preparations of
Elk Lake, Pat Bay Highway, Victoria
which is preparing the boat for neighbours to take care of her.  I have also created a blog for you to follow the TWECS project.  I will still keep this blog current, as it will contain my personal thoughts, events, photographs and feelings.  Current is synonymous with available internet.

Through all the excitement, anxiety and nervousness of my big adventure, I have never stopped thinking of Ron; he should be here with me, physically.  I know here is here in spirit but sometimes that does not feel good enough; it is not comforting enough.  I have a little cry and ask myself, what would Ron say, what would he do.  Above all, I know he would be proud of me. 

Ron and I had a dream to sail the world.  We did not plan to be ‘marina’ people.  We wanted to find anchorages near communities to whom we could lend a hand.  We would often talk about leaving these communities in some small way better off than when we arrived.  We had no idea what we could offer but we knew we would figure it out when we got there.

My trip to Ecuador and my time with TWECS, I believe, will allow me to experience doing something good for a community, to fulfill a small part of a dream we shared together. 

I have also donated Ron’s eyeglasses to the project.  I will be following them to photograph and journalize their journey to a new and needed owner. Ron’s eyeglasses were the impetus for me to attend the Western Academy of Photography — so that I could do a better job of writing and photographing. 

While I have been learning, sailing, being a mother, a Minnie to my grands, and a friend to my friends, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing missing from my life, just someone — and not just someone — it is Ron.

Yet again I feel as thought my canvas is blank and very white. 

Colour for my canvas
For the past two years, 9 months and 13 days I feel as though I have moved three steps forward and two steps back.  I do not feel this is a negative; it is an observation since arriving home in September.  I have great optimism for the future so stay tuned.  I have no idea where I am going, who I will meet, or what I will be doing. 

Rest assured that I am poised to throw nothing but colour on my canvas.

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