Landing in ukraine I looked out the window full of condensation at the land i just left, a land that is familiar after only 15 days. Repeating to myself again as the task ahead became larger and more real to me like the trees and houses out my window. And the pilot starts talking as I start whispering to myself, “what am i doing here?” The 845 morning sky with it’s horizon towards red still scatters the rain as the silhouette cranes building homes for the wealthy dot every so often.
My head rests on the seat. The dash to the customs line is now like a ballet to me. All numbers are memorized and I recite them like a poem explaining to my customs card the details of my passport, explaining to the Delta agent the details of my frequent flier number. All numbers are memorized.
The melodies of the morning. God has protected me. Customs done, now I need to wait for ride. Prompting with more international body language and a bit of russian I ask a few girls if I can sit next to them. With their russian body language and a lot more russian, they respond as I stare blankly. They caught on I knew no russian besides, “Can I” and thus english was brought to the table “You must buy something to sit here”.
In June of 1994 I left with my 8th grade class on the 8th grade class trip to Tahoe. I learned there that the quaking aspen had leaves that tell you before any other tree, the direction of the wind. With the breeze coming off the river I see the same trees telling me of that same direction.
Its 446 am and I am wide awake as the remaining drinkers from last night stumble past my boat laughing.