July 5, 2010

Sand, Sun, Stars, Moon (I really wish “moon” started with an “s” to complete my alliteration)

I’ve mentioned it before, but since moving to my site, I’ve been even further struck by the immense beauty of the sky here in Botswana, so I wanted to devote a blog entry to it. 

I don’t know what it is—the lack of air and light pollution, the difference in latitude, the flat, sparsely developed landscape, without skyscrapers, or even two-story buildings obscuring the view, or some combination of these things—but the sky here is simply mesmerizing.  It seems as though the sky takes up nearly 90% of the field of vision here, from the bright red sunrises, which cast long shadows in the sand, to the spotless mid-day sky—slightly pale near the earth, then stunningly deep-sea blue overhead—to the pink and orange cloud-spotted sunsets.  And the night sky here is like nothing I’ve ever seen.  The glistening arm of the Milky Way stretching across the sky, and the large constellations surrounded by thousands of tiny sparkling dots—more stars than I have ever seen.  And the full moon…ahh.  It is literally light enough to read outside when the moon is full.  The ground in Shakawe consists only of pale white sand—it’s just like the beach, minus the ocean—so during the full moon, the moonlight reflects off of the sand, and it is so bright that you literally have to draw your curtains at night because it is too luminous to sleep. 

I want to take pictures of the entire sky every second of every day, but even the few pictures I have taken don’t begin to capture it.  The feeling I get when I really, really look at the sky—even in America, but especially here—is like nothing else in the world.  Centering, calming, humbling and almost terrifying in a strange sort of way, all at once.  So I just had to write about it.  Also, I was a little concerned that my last blog might tarnish my hippie-cred, so, you know, I needed to post this to step it up a bit. ;oP

And, since I’m being all sappy, I think it’s been a while since I’ve articulated this, because I take it so for granted now, but I miss you all more than you know, and am so grateful for your support…I got my first care package (THANK YOU EILEEN) yesterday, and it was amazing.  I never thought Oreos and a coloring book could make me an emotional mess, but what can you do?  LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!  Oh, and I’m doing my best to get my mail out.  It takes a few weeks, and I’ve gotten behind because figuring out the post office has kind of been a logistical nightmare, so I’m sorry to everyone who has written me and not gotten anything back—I have written everyone who has been kind enough to send anything; they’re in my backpack as we speak, and I’m really hoping to make it happen this week!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't REALLY seen the stars since I visited Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and I'm sure it still wasn't even close to what your experience is!


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