April, hello? You seem to be here early. I was waiting expectedly for your friends January, February, and March, but I looked down for a minute, and when I glanced back up, here you are – April. Three months have come and gone in 2016, and April, our time together is already halfway through.
This mid-April night there is a bright moon whose light shimmers on the ocean waves outside my bedroom window. As I stare into it’s bright light, it hit me. It’s been almost 6 full months since I first moved to Monrovia, Liberia.
I may have missed recognizing the existence of January, February, and March, but my head has been comfortably buried in the depths of a new life I have created in Liberia. And I think at this point I am confident saying that, this life I have in Liberia is hands down the best of lives I have had in my 23 years of existence. I wake up every day, stretch on my rooftop overlooking the ocean while eating my bowl of cheaply-made cornflakes, waving to the friendliest neighbors I have ever had. And then from there, each day is different. Usually it’s days spent at our amazing partner organization, the More Than Me Academy, doing ‘office’ work while hanging out with 170 of the coolest, most high-energy girls I’ve ever met. But almost each day, ‘work’ comprises visiting government ministries, strategizing in a UN agency conference room, or visiting a grassroots Liberian social enterprise. Then it’s exercise, with Friday rugby, Saturday beach volleyball, Sunday ultimate frisbee, with squash, pick-up basketball, and sunset runs during the week, and the frequent frisbee with the kids from the neighborhood at the beach that is basically our backyard. I have had the privilege in Liberia to truly start over, to design a life that matches my hopes and dreams of what an awesome everyday would look like. It’s been the freedom to explore, the freedom to become the me that I have always wanted to be.
But things shift, changing almost at once. This post started with the moon casting shadows over a calm ocean. Now, a steady pounding of the beginnings of rainy season drown out my thoughts, and the moon has hidden. And in the same swiftness, I came to a realization tonight. In order for Hampton Creek’s work in Liberia to achieve success, I will need to spend significantly more time in San Francisco, away from Liberia. Frequent back and forth will become my new lifestyle. For work, to move the next steps of our project forward, it’s a must.
I love the feeling of being comfortable, of having my weekly activities – but the road calls. For the next few months, my life will be thrown back into the unknown. And April, May, and June may disappear much like the first quarter of 2016. Just when I think I am settled, I am thrown back into the unknown of the road.
Photo: The awesome Melanie Myers mid-hike.