It seems like it was just yesterday: landing in the heat of Dakar and being pulled into the unknown.
I had hopefully left all necessary baggage behind me. I was Travelling Light.
First look and feel of Dakar? Heat, sand, sounds of prayer at the nearby Mosque, colors, noises.
I was full of hope and energy to explore and finally discover part of Africa. This had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I was HERE! I remember the first few days and how different I felt. How easily, it seemed, I had left old Perspectives behind. I was overwhelmed by the differences and the contrasts. How can you not be? How do you deal with barefoot children on street corners hoping for 100 f CFA (about 25 cents…) – the Talibe. How do you grasp the fact that luxury SUVs navigate chaos of traffic amidst barely working taxis, horses, sheeps, scooters and courageous pedestrians?
Everything sounded like an Explosion sometimes. In my mind and in my heart. Every detail, every taxi ride.
It made me wonder: how the hell was I going to get through this?
Without my family and friends, I realized how fortunate I was to have them. How much I missed them. My dear friend Anne-Andrée played a huge part in my Adaptation: she made me laugh on Facetime when I was sick or sad. Daily text messages from my son became my moments of gratitude.
Listening to my heart and my gut feeling made me book a flight back to Montreal for some down time and to rejuvenate. It was better than the spa! I came back to Dakar early October like a ‘’Dakaroise’’ with my carry-on, ‘’in the know’’, Djibi waiting for me.
I realized I had found a new Comfort Zone. The turbulence was behind me. I was cruisin’! My PULSE assignment got the jolts of my new energy. I felt totally in sync with my work, with people, with the environment, and was more able to give everyone and everything my very best.
As I sit here tonight, tears in my eyes, wrapping up my last day at PATH, I am coming to a Full Circle.
To the essential act of travelling light to get new Perspectives, to listen to the sounds of every Explosion life brings, to understand that Adaptation takes time, and Comfort Zones emerge from turbulence.
Only then, you can envision new opportunities, changes, a new perspective.
Life is a series of Full Circles.
On a more personal note: PULSE was one of the best experiences of my life (giving birth is still #1 for me). Like the very last bit of a favorite dessert, I am savoring every last bite, every last moment, and will cherish every memory.
I want to thank a few people in particular: my son Pierre-Olivier who pushed me and kept me going, my family who always believed in me, my wonderful and precious friends, my personal ‘’advisory board’’, Dan Clow, Carissa Vados and Ahsiya Mencin. My PULSE Village. Philippe Guinot and everyone at PATH who welcomed me with true TERENGA.
And Bernard, who left loved ones behind to join me on this adventure.