Saturday, April 4, 2009

Now We're All Infected

By Louise

When I was a sophomore at university, I needed to escape my five, suddenly insane, sorority-pledging roommates. Rather than take the easy route and switch dorms, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I signed up for a study-abroad program in London. Six months later, I returned home a different person. I had seen a whole new world; none of the pettiness mattered anymore, I had discovered that more important things, such as Indian curry and pints of beer, existed. I had been bitten—quite severely—by the travel bug. Infected, I knew in my heart there was no hope for recovery. I would forever crave the excitement, the unknown, the unexpected challenges one faces when visiting a place for the first time.

My infection lay dormant for a short while. I knew it would return when the circumstances were right; I could feel it in my blood. And then I met Andrew. He was highly contagious. Feverish, in fact, and I was immediately re-infected. The next thing I knew I was making tea out of the back of an old Land Rover in the middle of the Zairian jungle. Since then, we’ve both suffered numerous outbreaks. After each episode, we would return home happy, yet wondering when the next fever would hit.

Without even realizing it, Andrew and I found ourselves planning for this latest trip. We would pull the kids from school and travel for five months. The rest, as you all know, is documented on this blog. Now, 12 hours before we board a plane home, I sit here wondering what we have done to our children. We pulled them away from all that was familiar, we tried to make them speak a foreign language, we fed them rodents and insects. Will they be all right? Will they be able to return to life as they knew it, or will they be constantly wondering when the fever will return?


martin.anamaria said...

Dear Lousie:
Graham and Katharine are very smart and I have no doubts they will benefit from this experience as both of you.
Probably it will take some time to go back to routines, but they will be great. You have a wonderful family, that´s what counts.
I was very happy to get to know you all. CariƱos, Ana

corie said...

Dear Louise, Andrew, Katharine and Graham,

I am sorry to read what I think will be the last blog as you are heading home. I have thoroughly enjoyed each entry - especially Katharine and Graham's. Over the time you traveled, their blogs improved dramatically. Their writing and observations were fascinating and well constructed. And I won't soon forget about the guinea pig!
Andrew, I was often laughing out loud at your entries. SOOOO clever!!!! Louise, your blogs told me what I wanted to know - how it really was. .. the good, the bad and the ugly.
I admire all of you for your bravery...and look forward to more exciting news from the home front!