I spent two days of this past weekend in Bluffton visiting friends that I made while in college. For some reason however, it seems as though many of my college friends still have a year or more to complete before they graduate. I happened to be on campus the day that classes began and for the first time in three years I could just sit and observe instead of rushing around to hidden classrooms and then purchasing expensive books.

Sunday evening began with myself and two good friends sitting on a porch in the slightly chilly Ohio weather caught up in a conversation ranging from metaphysics to religion to the concept of time, to a slight dabbling in politics, etc. From then it was on the Flying J truckstop in Beaverdam to meet with more friends and experience lots of coffee and laughter. The night/early morning dissolved into staying up with a friend who was going to Northern Ireland for a semester and therefore did not have to get up for classes on Monday. We talked and laughed and watched horrible action movies on TV until 5:30 a.m. before we slept for a few hours and I woke up to an invitation to more coffee.

I left Bluffton feeling slightly peculiar about the whole issue of college/graduation/friends/sentimentality/summer/schoolyear/America/Vietnam. I drove for two hours to get home and had time to eat chicken that my parents had saved from a wonderful restaurant in Akron before heading off to work in an unventilated sauna known as a dishroom.

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Late nights and early mornings

I was outside late last night and there was lots of fog and it was deathly quiet. This morning I was eating eggs at the kitchen table and drinking coffee and it was quiet. That is one major thing that I know I’m going to have to get used to in Vietnam: the noise.

I mean, I’ve been there briefly a couple times, but it seemed at the end of the month I was ready for the quiet of this Ohio farm; ready for the dew in the morning and sounds of only insects late at night. I never really minded the sounds of motorcycles early in the morning, but I hope I can create enough silence to think every now and again.

Yesterday the phone call came. Right before I was about to go and wash dishes, the phone rang and the caller ID said unknown. I picked up not knowing what to expect. It was MCC and I have been invited to serve in Viet Nam. I didn’t need any time to think about it.

I hate to be incredibly corny and all, but this means that in the book of my short life, a page is about to be turned, and another chapter is about to be delved into. This means going way out of my comfort zone of the Midwest; it means leaving behind almost everything that has made me who and what I am. I think it will be for the very best though.