I was returned to my college days, my peace corps ones. returned to the joy that a tiny slip of paper in my mailbox can conjure.

Yesterday I got a package from my parents. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, a day more in need of pepping. I almost didn’t trudge down to the post office. The extra distance not particularly long, but made longer when the return journey is empty-handed. my mood was dodgy, my temperament brooding. I craved a sign from something someone somewhere external of me that would call me by my name (granted the post office transcribed it as Linnia but tiny details) and leave the mzungu moniker somewhere distant.

And there it was. dusty beyond anything I’d seen. It looked as if it had been kicked from kampala to iganga by a hoard of world cup aspiring seventh graders. Like it had played a game of hide and seek and the only place to hide was within a pile of cinnamon toast.

The lady behind the counter laughed at me as I ecstaticly handed her 3000shillings, as I skipped down the concrete steps holding the package to my chest.

In a way it feels silly. I’m old. Too old to expect anything more than letters from home. Too old to be homesick and clamor from confirmations of love from beyond the borders I live within.

I’d actually forgotten the sensation. New Zealand, never seemed to garner warm and fuzzies from anyone. It was like I was in another state rather than another country. I called home. I emailed. As far away as I was it never seemed to register as such. And Liberia, although folks requested an address for my short stint there, the mail was too unreliable. I didn’t have the patience (or the money for the oft times necessary bribe) to deal with a system still shell-shocked from years of mismanagement and war.

So imagine my surprise a few months ago, when my dear sweet friend Kali sent my first care package in so many years. Sour patch kids, a book, and sweet words of friendship, all conspired to give me a long distance hug. I found myself there again yesterday. In that touchless embrace that thoughtfulness a world away can conjure up for me.

I am too old to expect the world to stop and minister to the life and sometimes trials I willingly introduce myself to. This isn’t college – my first time away from home, or Peace Corps-I don’t know what to expect. I’ve been here. I’ve done this. Still, I appreciate the waving away of age. The willingness to disregard the truth that any hard patch I find myself in – pissy day, bewildered moment- is by own design. And I am moved by the long distance love.

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