This morning it was warm.
That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it wasn't pouring rain, and I could get away with wearing just a sweater.
(While shivering, just a little bit).
It was like Ireland was at least attempting to be spring-like.
It was spring-like enough for me to put on my new red out-of-Africa dress and walk to the Botanical Gardens. I wandered around, trying to think about what I should write in my third quarterly report but mainly thinking about how in the world it's possible so much time has passed that I'm writing my third quarterly report.
My Watsoversary photos vary a lot. Most are taken quickly, in the privacy of whatever room I happen to be staying in. (This is mainly because of time, but also because setting up a camera and photographing myself holding up any number of fingers in a public place would be more than a little embarrassing). My surroundings are constantly changing in them, but I am too, in visible and invisible ways. My clothes change, my body's changed, my hair has been long, then short, and now an awkward in-between. There are some photos where the number of months loom large, and some where it's kind of an afterthought. This feels fitting. There are times this year when I am, literally, counting down days, and there are times when I don't remember that I'm on a timeline at all.
Now is one of those times. It's as if because I know home is just around the corner, I can stop thinking about it so much. I am going to try, as much as possible, to treasure these last three months--to focus less on the numbers, and more on the gardens.
In the past month I have:
-Gone on safari.
-Watched multiple African sunrises.
-Had a tailor in Kwambala Market make me a sundress out of a Zambian chitenje.
-Visited Kafue National Park.
-Been woken up at 4am by a hippopotamus.
-Compiled a list of Zambian names from five different tribes.
-Received a Turkish water blessing while driving away in a taxi.
-Ridden a bike for the first time all year.
-Been the closest to home than I've been in nine months (geographically).
-Completed my time in all of my project countries outside of Europe.
-Had a proper British afternoon tea.
-Visited Shakespeare's Globe.
-Picnicked in the park.
-Eaten fish and chips (more times than we need to count).
-Set foot in Ireland for the first time in my life.
-Learned the proper protocol for drinking Guinness in a pub.
-Watched Dry the River perform at Whelan's Pub in Dublin.
-Seen four plays.
-Incorporated the words "dearie", "love", "feck", and "grand" into my vocabulary.
-Gained a better understanding of Irish history and recognized the anniversary of Easter Rising on April 24th with a trip to Kilmainham Gaol.
-Climbed the cliffs of Howth.
-Reinforced my love for Farmers' Markets.
-Learned to stop making weather predictions and always carry a raincoat.