Saturday, June 18, 2011

African Adventures



Hey everyone! My first post on the NYTimes blog is up:
http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/win-a-trip-2011-saumya-reports-from-morocco/
(It covers a snippet of the past couple of days. )



The days are bustled, packed with one thing after another, while the nights are occupied with reading and writing. This is the first time I've written in this context (usually it's been in my own home on my own schedule) and I'm seeing what a difference deadlines make when it comes to writing. The more I'm here, the more I realize how much of a luxury even a vice like procrastination is.

There's also something priceless about traveling with people I haven't met before. Those unfamiliar dynamics have forced to unearth new portions of myself, ones that are far from the comfort zone I usually turn to when I get on a plane. I suppose we all seek our new locations and experiences for the chance to become refreshed.

We spent this afternoon traveling from Mauritania to Darkar. I feel like I'm in another world altogether because of how desolate everything is. There are vast, open stretches of sand and camels cross the street with more entitlement than vehicles. Men wear robes that graze the ground while women expose their hair parting at most.




I'm not sure how many of you have been abroad but visiting these countries reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for: air conditioning, hot water any time, hair dryers that don't blow out, Mexican food, and WiFi in most places, to name some.

But most of all, when I see these graceful, elegant women, I once again send a silent pinch of gratitude to the universe for giving me the liberty to express myself.

Thanks so much for encouraging my writing endeavors and giving me the chances to know yours.
Even though we haven't met, I feel blessed to be connected with all of you.

(Pictures from our journey today)

21 comments:

  1. You have a post on the NY Times' blog???? That is incredible! Congratulations. You get to share your adventure with so many others.

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  2. I am checking out the blog post now!

    I think this is a truly amazing thing you're doing, a wonderful opportunity. And I agree that you realize just how much procrastination is a luxury when your days are jam-packed because of necessity.

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  3. Congratulations on your post in the New York Times Blog. Will check it out.

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  4. Read the post, Saumya...your descriptions are lovely.

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  5. I love the 'if pride were a sound' line and you managed to fit in a lot of sensory details, Saumya. I hope you and Africa continue having fun getting to know one another.

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  6. Woot! Congrats on having a post on the NYT blog, and enjoy the rest of your trip :)

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  7. Hey...that was a wonderful post...Enjoy Exploring Africa...

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  8. I mean I read your post in NYTimes blog...

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  9. I loved this post and the one on the NYTimes blog.
    In a way, humans are always trying to figure each other out. It is only when it comes from so far outside of our understanding do problems erupt.

    I can't wait for future posts. Safe journey!

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  10. Wow you're posting for the NYTimes. That's amazing!
    Jealous!
    Looking forward to the other blogposts.

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  11. Congratulations on your post, you must be so proud!!!

    Hope you're having an awesome time. Being in a place like that really reminds you to be grateful, doesn't it?

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  12. I am off to read your post! YAY! And you are right we should pinch ourselves more often as a reminder of our freedoms.

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  13. Okay, I'm back from reading it. Debating whether to create a NYT login so I can leave comments, but for now, let me tell you - sweet! I love the evoking scents and images you open with, and the airport interchange. Bollywood - smile :)

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  14. Congratulations, Saumya! You must be SO thrilled? I've never been anywhere, so thanks for sharing a piece of the world with me :)

    Have a safe journey!

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  15. I'll click on the link. I hope you have a fulfilling trip.

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  16. I am grateful for Wi-fi, heating, cooling and other luxuries.. but I don't have a camel (yet).
    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

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  17. Just saw your picture on Kristof's facebook! Beautiful colors!

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  18. Going to check out your NYT post after this. I'm so impressed (and envious) with the way you're totally soaking this whole thing in. Every moment you're soaking in something that's making you a better writer (and stronger woman) in the long run.

    Enjoy!!

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  19. This is a truly wonderful encounter, and sounds like you were a blessing as well as being blessed by meeting such incredible people. It's things like this that does put your own life into perspective, doesn't it?

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  20. Wait a minute- so you won the essay contest?! Saumya, how the heck did I miss that? I'm so so sorry! I feel like such a bad blog friend. Congrats!!! That is wonderful! You definitely deserved it!

    And speaking of being a bad blog friend, I WILL HAVE my notes for your pages after this holiday weekend. Normally I'm way on top of things, but some other things got in the way and I dropped the ball in this :( So sorry! Now I'm doing a much more thorough read-through than I did earlier and so far I'm loving the changes!

    Enjoy your trip!

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  21. Great to read and listen to your African experience. Peace to you as you continue to shed light of those who do not have a voice.

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