Thursday, August 29, 2013

To Not Falling Asleep Fully Clothed (... I'm back)

Hey y'all! I am back!!! Ok, to be honest... I've been back in Senegal for a week now. But life has just been an {unexpected} whirlwind these past few weeks. I would love to be at a point where I can continue regular blogging amidst the unavoidable whirlwinds life will always throw at me, but, well... I'm not quite there yet.

Anywho... let's pretend this three week absence never happened, shall we?! Moving right along...

Normally I return from my work trips filled to the brim with inspiration. Unfortunately I was so busy and under so much pressure this time around there really wasn't much physical or mental space for design inspiration. Womp, womp.

The days went as such: wake up in a fog, down several cups of weak coffee, venture out into the humidity with multiple layers of deodorant as armor, dare to enter third-world meat factories {don't ask} praying for close-toed shoes and a face mask**, field inappropriate questions from business partners, collapse on hotel bed, wrestle with WIFI connection to manage activities in other countries and temporarily LDR, eat late dinner whilst debating feminism and polygamy with Muslim and Mormon colleagues, fall asleep fully clothed responding to work emails. Rinse and repeat.

I did sneak away to check out some fabric stores in Abidjan one day during lunch, and look what I found....

Six Bougies fabric! In the flesh! Apparently Uniwax is reprinting this historical design this season...

I didn't have enough money on me to buy the fabric {also, I am honestly not a fan of the colors} but when I returned to maybe purchase... the shop was closed. I must return!!! Or track down the Uniwax fabric in Dakar.

There were of course some other highlights to my three week trip. I spent a few hours wandering the Burkina Faso Artisan Village one gloriously free afternoon but made the silly mistake - again - to assume I would return before leaving. Time didn't allow and I came home empty handed. Fool me twice, shame on me.

These hand woven fabrics from Burkina Faso slay me. How did I not snag some before leaving?!?!

In other news, Jenni is hosting a writing link-up in September and I am so there (similar to Blog Every Day in May)! It should be the perfect pick-me-up and inspiration for starting the fall blogging season on the right foot. Hope you will follow along :)

And now I bring this reintroduction to an end before I continue the tradition of nodding off with the lights on and my day clothes still on ;) Goodnight!

**And here the photographic evidence of my version of hell: braving an African meat factory... in open-toe shoes (not my choice!):

Sweet dreams ;)

P.S. In a few years, remind me to write a memoir on some of my rather unique work experiences... oh, the stories I *wish* I could tell!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Its Raining in Abidjan

Its been awhile, friends. I am on Day 4 of my work-trip and just arrived in Abdijan, Côte d'Ivoire. Its been rainy here and in Burkina as well, which is a welcome change... if only I could snuggle in bed all day to enjoy it! I don't mean to let the blog lay dormant for too long, but this trip has been physically and mentally exhausting.

We are finally able to relax a little as today is the last day of Ramadan and a major holiday, plus the rain slows everything down. I am sitting in the hotel's outdoor restaurant, under an awning protected from the light drizzle that comes and goes.

An oldies soundtrack plays in the background, and I just had the most intense flashback to watching Singing in the Rain as a kid at my French grandparent's house as an escape from summer rain storms. My grandmother has an affinity for old American cinema and Singing in the Rain was always the go to movie for a rainy day that meant staying in doors snuggled under covers, safe from the thunder, lightning, and downpour.

Oh, goodness, nostalgia is washing over me, even in my West African surroundings. However, this nostalgia is welcome... reminiscent of carefree, peaceful moments, ensconced in a cocoon of safety and unconditional love.

These sounds, smells, and images transport me back to my youth, and even further to a time I've never experienced before, a feeling automatically associated with the glory days of old Hollywood. Does that happen to you? Do you ever find yourself missing or longing for something you've never actually lived or experienced?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Turning Crisis Into Opportunity

Gahhhh!!! The monthly Expat Diaries link-up is today and there is so much I want to write about - the rest of my trip in France, life as an expat in a primarily Muslim country during Ramadan, general life updates, etc. I am determined to write a post for the Expat Diaries... but I guess it will have to be delayed.

Shit has figuratively/literally hit the fan in my professional world, and I'm off on a regional trip for two and a half weeks on Sunday night.... three days from now. The trip was just confirmed yesterday. While it may not be toooo interesting to readers, sometimes I long to use this space to vent about work stuff. Alas, that would be unprofessional, so I'll seal my lips for now. But if anyone feels the urge to beer me some positive work vibes, I'm all for it ;)

I woke up to this quote on Jess Lively's blog, and especially liked the last part. Then I read the original post, another needed pick-me up.

Sunrise on the morning I left the South of France.

I don't know about you all, but I really enjoy inspirational quotes when I'm feeling overwhelmed or lacking inspiration and/or motivation. Jess Lively's blog regularly provides that inspirational and practical boost I need! Sometimes the #selfhelp tone is exactly what I need when I'd rather curl up and go back to sleep than face the day.


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