9 days till we leave for the desert.
4 days since I started a course of antibiotics to get rid of flu.
I have been waking up from nightmares where I lose luggage while travelling, forget things, do not recognise people I am supposed to know and have a bunch of hippies standing stranded next to the road – drenched in sweat, with a headache and sore abs from coughing my lungs out.
It has been an interesting week to say the least.
At some stage I looked through my inbox for the mail full of things to pack for six weeks in the Karoo that my friend and former DPW lead Paul sent us last year, so that I could double check the mail I was composing for my crew, with the same purpose. I was shocked to see that the mail, the first I got from Paul, was dated 2 April 2013. Has it really been less than a year since this event, these people, this force, entered in my life?
It is hard to believe. The support and understanding I get (and got, especially this week, getting sick during what is arguably the most stressful week of my year) from the people within the crew and the organisation, is really touching.
Today I had lunch with two friends whom I have not seen for over 18 months. It was difficult to describe to them exactly how much my life has changed… Yes Nowhere and the Burning Man culture started this transformation for me in 2012 already, but the last year, having the AfrikaBurn community around, as friends, at parties, on weekends away, at christmas… it has really swung my life in all sorts of interesting directions.
In Barcelona last year, the morning we were packing vans and getting ready to head out to the Monegros desert there was a moment where I found it hard to believe that only a year before I had been in the same place, but in a very different space. In 2012 I knew noone, I was ‘the outsider’, the newbie. In 2013 I was ‘running the show’ telling people what to pack where, who goes into what vehicle, which petrol station we would fuel up at…
This feels very similar. Last year I got that email from Paul, packed what he instructed, showed up to drive around getting things with Roger (not realising he was the Crew Boss). This year I am sending those mails, I tell people where to show up, and Roger is my colleague… Oh how things change and somehow stay exactly the same.
I guess if this was a corporate set up I could claim that I had been given a major promotion. It does not feel like that, but I sure have a lot more responsibility… no more ‘um sorry, where is the…’ if I don’t know where it is, I did not order it and we do not have it. And we are in trouble.
It has also been 13 days since my last drink.
WHAT. who am I? I confessed in a meeting (a logistics meeting, for this job) that I had not had a drink since Cape Town Carnival and Paul asked if he had ‘broken me.’ Now we did have a pretty huge fantastic (some parts of it was like a fantasy) eve after Carnival, mostly thanks to Paul, and it was the reason I did not drink for the first few days after that… but usually I attend wine tastings at least once a week, open a bottle of wine at home every other day and go for a beer, well, regularly.
At some point I guess autumn kicked in and summer caught up with me. (A side of me still thinks I might be sick BECAUSE I didn’t drink, and not the other way round) but in a way I am glad it played out like this.
I am glad the detox, the flu, the period has all hit me at once. Rather now, here, in the comfort of my bedroom with en-suite bathroom, where my housemates cook for me and my mother calls with advice, than 10 days from now, in a tent, in the desert, 160km from the nearest antibiotic.
There will be a LOT of drinking in the desert, and I am so ready I can taste it. But, in the next 8 days I also have a lot of responsibility to get a lot of things sorted. SO MUCH DEPENDS ON THIS. I am honoured and happy to do it, and I truely hope I do not screw it up.
Having said all that, tomorrow I am opening some wine, (getting Bongani to) making some snacks and having some friends over for an early-birthday-I-am-leaving-for-the-desert-for-six-weeks-goodbye party and I will drink inappropriate amounts of grenache.
BUT now I will have another cup of honey and ginger lemon rooibos tea and read my book while listening to the neighbours having a fat party.